ART: Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui
by Lea Faminiano
World renowned contemporary Ghanian artist El Anatsui is currently showing his first solo exhibition in New York, Gravity and Grace, at the Brooklyn Museum. Consisting of twelve pieces made up of wall and floor sculptures, the monumental works are constructed with bottle caps from a distillery in Anatsui’s home of Nsukka, Nigeria, and other found objects such as printing plates and condensed milk tins – all objects with history that captivate Anatsui.
These works are gorgeous and clearly meticulously crafted, with the majority of them spanning from floor to ceiling – from far away, one would mistake the wall hangings for cloth, though they are made from metal. Because of the cloth-like nature of the pieces, the wall works take on new shapes with every installation, adapting to their environment – one work in particular is placed over what seems to be a wall vent, adding both movement and sound to the already visually stimulating piece.
Other pieces in the exhibition include sculptural wood pieces that also combine Anatsui’s Ghanian and Nigerian roots, as well as his Western experiences.
Gravity and Grace is on view at the Brooklyn Museum until August 4, 2013.