The refined metallic textures typical of the work of El Anatsui, a Ghanaian artist born in 1944, demonstrate the extraordinary relationship between creativity and the historical roots of one of the most authentically African artists in contemporary art. Through the use of recycled materials, such as crown bottle tops, crushed, flattened and stitched together, El Anatsui creates evocative large-scale wall hangings, inspired by the richness of Kente textiles and precious Nyekor ceremonial robes.
These shimmering weaves come to life through their final shaping by the artist, who adapts the shape and arrangement of the work according to the support and display arrangements. Therefore, not only the visual perception, but also the compositional outcome of the works varies. He thus transforms waste objects into sumptuous “textiles”, recalling the resplendent richness of byzantine mosaics and Klimt’s pictorial surfaces.