El Anatsui grew up in the hopeful 1960s, a period typified by the profound search for social and personal identity. This search became a central theme that he's investigated throughout his life and art. He interrogates the erosion of tradition, as well as its survival and transmission into the future.Read More
Most of Anatsui's sculptures are composed with materials that were once designated for another purpose. His early works were built from broken pottery or old wooden logs, which he cut up using a chainsaw. Over the past decade, Anatsui has focussed on large, tapestry-like metal sculptures that are delicately constructed from thousands of colourful liquor caps. He reworks and rearranges found objects, transforming materials into something new without them losing their own history. His work could be described as a collage of discarded memories. Anatsui recombines them into his own, never-fixed syntax, which the viewer is invited to adapt freely, bringing in their own history. The meaning of Anatsui's work is fluid, just like textiles and perception.
Text courtesy Axel Vervoordt Gallery.
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