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.
This week is the last week to see El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale, an exciting show of El Anatsui's work at the Haus der Kunst. It is the most comprehensive and detailed presentation of the artist's oeuvre so far. The exhibition will take visitors through five decades of El Anatsui's career, including his bottle-cap works, lesser known wood sculptures and wall reliefs from the mid-eighties to the late nineties, ceramic sculptures from the seventies, as well as drawings, prints, and sketchbooks. Three works have also been created especially for this exhibition, inspired by the museum's own architecture.
El Anatsui has spent his artistic career working to develop characteristics of classical and traditional African art into contemporary sculpture. His artwork explores the limits and possibilities of a variety of materials, including wood, ceramic, cement, metal, and paint. Through these material and technical processes, El Anatsui generates meaning For example, the bottle caps used in his recent works come from hard liquors introduced by European as currency – and thus a means of subjugation – during the era of transatlantic slavery and colonisation.
Until 28 July 2019. Haus der Kunst, Prinzregentenstraße 1, 80538 Munich, Germany