El Anatsui Exhibition at the Goodman Gallery
|address||:||Johannesburg, South Africa|
|time||:||from 0:00 till 0:00|
The work of El Anatsui, one of the most influential contemporary artists working today, will be featured at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg from 25 November to 20 December 2017. Meyina is the artist's first solo exhibition in South Africa.
Over the past four decades Anatsui has created a vast body of work that has expanded the language of contemporary sculpture in Africa and internationally. Meyina (meaning ‘I am going’ in Ewe), curated by independent curator and the Director of CCA Lagos Bisi Silva, presents a portrait of the artist by bringing together disparate fragments that form a whole. The works engage with and comment on African history, post-colonial conditions, as well as the daily realities and experiences on the continent.
Alongside these recently works constructed out of recycled materials, there will be a collection of archival objects on exhibit, which have been selected by Bisi Silva from Anatsui’s studio, study and library in Nsukka, Nigeria. These include sketchbooks, drawings, letters, exhibition planning and instruction documents; books Anatsui reads and is featured in; as well as brochures and exhibition publications to which he has contributed, especially those of Nigerian artists.
On a conceptual level, Meyina explores the notion of a limitless horizon, presenting an immersive space where possibilities become real. Paraphrasing Ghanaian author Koffi Amyidoho, Anatsui states: ‘When I am in the studio it is as if the sky bends down to have a word with the earth.’ Indeed, the works, which can grow to be massive in scale, are simultaneously luminous and weighty, meticulously fabricated, yet malleable.
El Anatsui was born in Ghana and has had a distinguished career in Nigeria since 1975 as a visual artist and educator. Anatsui experiments with local symbolic vocabularies, forms, artisanal processes and materials. His work is part of the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Centre Pompidou, Paris and the British Museum, London, amongst other public collections. El Anatsui is emeritus Professor of Sculpture at the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he taught for over thirty years. He has also received many accolades including most recently from such institutions as Harvard University and the University of Cape Town. In 2009 El Anatsui received the Prince Claus Award for “the outstanding aesthetic and intellectual qualities of his creations, for his innovative use of materials to highlight the dialogue between culture and nature, and for his dedicated and inspirational role in the development of the visual arts…”