Spotlight Wednesday | El Anatsui



El Anatsui

El Anatsui, African artist
El Anatsui, African artist

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] Its one of those moments where you just stare at his intricate artwork and wonder, “How does someone even come up with this technique?!” [/dropcap]

Technique. This is undoubtedly the most intriguing factor of El Anatsui’s work. One of the greatest African contemporary artists of our time.

Making use of aluminium bottle covers, wood, iron nails, cassava graters, railway sleepers, etc., he expertly crafts detailed sculptural forms that leave one in deep thought.

I have viewed his work at previous exhibitions, and could not help but admire the mastery of the work and dedication to the vision.

El Anatsui is a seasoned artist with immense experience both in teaching and creating art. His teaching experience includes lecturing at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, from 1975.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that he has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally. These include: the Brooklyn Museum, the Clark Art Institute, Rice University Art Gallery, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Venice Biennale, the Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, the Royal ontario Museum, etc.

Place of Birth: Anyako, Ghana

Date of Birth: 1944

Check out some of his amazing artwork!

Dusasa I Installation view, 2007 aluminum liquor bottle caps and copper wire 288 x 360 inches

Flag for a New World Power, 2004. Aluminium and copper wire, 500 x 550 cm.

Neospeak Windows, 2002. Tropical hardwoods, 64 x 130cm.

Ikoro, 1990. Tropical hardwoods and tempera, 56 x 97cm.

Mammoth Crowd Series I, 1993. Tropical hardwoods, 62 x 150cm.

In the World But Don’t Know the World, 2011. Aluminium and copper wire, 560 x 1000 cm.

Three Sectors, 2011. Aluminium and copper wire, 306 x 302 cm.

Untitled (#1) (detail), El Anatsui, 2009.

Installation view of Broken Bridge, 2012 Paris Triennial 2012, le Palais de Tokyo, Paris April 20–August 26, 2012. Photo by Erik Lasalle

El Anatsui 2
Drainpipe, 2010 tin and copper approximately 323 X 236 1/4 inches

El Anatsui 3
Installation View, Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui, Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio, June 17–October 7, 2012

Article by Layo Bright.


El Anatsui,

El Anatsui, Artist biography at the National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C.’. Retrieved 24 January 2010.



Choose your Reaction!

Massive Progress in your Business

Subscribe to get the free guide and learn step-by-step exactly what you need to achieve your goals.