Drawing on the artistic and aesthetic traditions of his birth country of Ghana, his home in Nigeria and various Western art forms and movements, Anatsui’s work combines personal, local and global concerns.
Anatsui arranges for the collection of discarded aluminum bottle tops, seals and labels produced by local Nigerian distilleries, which are then bent, twisted and pieced together to create massive, colorful, richly-textured hanging works. Given liquor’s crucial role in the slave trade, these monumental pieces also reference colonial relationships between Europe, Africa and the United States.
The exhibition and national tour of Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui is organized by the Akron Art Museum and made possible by a major grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The exhibition is funded in part by a generous grant from National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Christie’s and Citizens Interested in Arts.
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