October Gallery, now in its 40th year, presents an exhibition of works celebrating the force and creative vision of El Anatsui, an artist who has had a tremendous impact on the international artistic landscape. El Anatsui: Material Wonder will feature metal wall sculptures accompanied by a series of prints made in collaboration with Factum Arte, Madrid.
El Anatsui is undoubtedly one of the most influential artists of the present time. Throughout his long career, El Anatsui has focused his many interests to examine a wide range of subjects. He has also explored an extraordinary range of media from cement, ceramics and tropical hardwoods in his early years, to corrugated iron, cassava graters, milk-tin lids and aluminium bottle-tops in his later installations. Today, he is best known for these mesmerising works composed of many thousands of aluminium bottle tops laboriously sewn together.
The metal wall sculptures will also be accompanied by a series of prints made in collaboration with Factum Arte, Madrid. El Anatsui has always been fascinated by the physical history of the materials he uses and the journeys they undergo. The basic materials for his ‘fabrics’ are made by a team of assistants, who cut and pierce the aluminium strips on tables and smaller wooden ‘flats.’ After years of repetitive pricking and piercing, these wooden worktops present a scored landscape of textured relief. Using Factum Arte’s cutting-edge, 3-D scanning and plate-making technologies, these scarred surfaces are translated into printing plates. Given Factum Arte’s expertise in traditional printmaking, the resulting prints encapsulate the hidden histories of the making of the aluminium works. The very fabrication process itself is thereby ‘recycled’ into a major new series of prints by El Anatsui.
28 February - 6 April 2019.