About El Anatsui:
Anatsui visited Denver to discuss a retrospective of his work at the Denver Art Museum. "El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa" will be on display from Sept. 9 - Dec. 30, 2012. The exhibit is a traveling exhibit culled from several collections, and organized by the Museum for African Art in New York.
While in art school in Ghana, Anatsui noticed the lack of inclusion of the country's rich history of indigenous art. "One very striking feature of that curriculum was that it was very Western-oriented," he said. Students studied standard art history topics such as the Italian Renaissance, but did not delve into the artwork of Africa.
"When I left art school, one of the conscious decisions I made was to find media in my own environment," he said. Anatsui began his career by working on wooden trays commonly found in markets in Ghana and inscribing them with hot brands. He then moved on to pottery, as well as intricate wooden and cloth wall hangings.
Anatsui's most recent inspiration was found in everyday objects such as discarded bottle caps. Anatsui creates large tapestries by weaving the bottle caps and labels into wall hangings, which drape and fold differently in each installation. "The drinks area all made in Nigeria, so again, it's using materials in the environment," he said.
About the Exhibit:
The exhibit includes more than 60 works by Anatsui spanning over four decades, including "Rain Has No Father?" and several other metal wall tapestries. Lisa Bider, the exhibition curator, said the unique space offered by the design of the Denver Art Museum offers a setting for the exhibit that allows "his work to breathe."
The exhibit is not arranged in chronological order, but is grouped by materials and allows visitors to experience different phases of Anatsui's career. The exhibit in Denver is sponsored by US Bank, and is included in regular admission to the Denver Art Museum.
Museum Location, Hours and Admission:
100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver, CO 80204
Tues. - Thurs. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Fri. 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Sat. - Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
"El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa" is included in regular admission to the museum. The Denver Art Museum is closed on Mondays.
Admission to the Denver Art Museum:
Colorado residents: Adults $10, Seniors/Students/Military $8, Youth (Ages 6 - 18) $3
Out-of-state residents: Adults $13, Seniors/Students/Military $10, Youth (Ages 6 - 18) $5
Children ages 5 and younger receive free admission.