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Dusasa II

El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born Anyako, 1944)

Date:
2007
Medium:
Found aluminum, copper wire, and plastic disks
Dimensions:
236 x 288 x 2 in. (599.4 x 731.5 x 5.1 cm, 361.6lb.)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Raymond and Beverly Sackler 21st Century Art Fund; Stephen and Nan Swid and Roy R. and Marie S. Neuberger Foundation Inc. Gifts; and Arthur Lejwa Fund, in honor of Jean Arp, 2008
Accession Number:
2008.121
Rights and Reproduction:
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY
  • Description

    El Anatsui, who was born in Ghana and now works in Nigeria, is widely considered today's foremost contemporary African sculptor. Anatsui's wall-hanging sculptures are assembled from found materials-typically thousands of discarded aluminum caps and seals from liquor bottles, which he flattens, shapes, perforates, and painstakingly assembles with copper wire. Although he considers himself a sculptor, the artist meticulously orchestrates his materials like a painter working with oil on canvas or the director of a tapestry workshop. His work is anchored firmly in his traditional culture (Ghanaian kente cloth), Western art (mosaic, tapestry, chain-mail armor, the paintings of Gustav Klimt), and contemporary life (the consumption of alcohol, the detritus of consumerism). According to the artist, the title, Dusasa, can be translated as a "communal patchwork made by a team of townspeople," analogous to the artist's team of assistants.

  • References

    Anne L. Strauss in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2008–2010." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 68 (Fall 2010), p. 82, ill. (color).

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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