El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale, the largest ever survey mounted of the work of the acclaimed artist El Anatsui – born in 1944 in Ghana and perhaps Africa’s most prominent living artist – opened today at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, a member of Qatar Foundation.
As the exhibition title suggests, the survey, curated by the late Okwui Enwezor, poet, art critic, art historian and curator and Chika Okeke-Agulu, Professor of Art History at the Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University, focuses on the triumphant and monumental quality of Anatsui’s sculptures. The exhibition encompasses every medium in the artist’s prodigious 50-year career, including the signature bottle-cap series developed over the last two decades, wood sculptures and wall reliefs spanning the mid-1970’s to the late 1990’s; ceramic sculptures of the late 1970’s, as well as drawings, prints and books.
The exhibition is spread across ten separate gallery spaces in Mathaf. Amongst the works is Logoligi Logarithm, a specially created installation for the gallery’s performance space. Structurally related to his 2010 work Gli (Wall), in this complex site-specific work, the diaphanous form is achieved through the stitching patterns developed by Anatsui and his assistants using thin bottle cap seals.
Abdellah Karroum, Mathaf Director, said: “I am proud that Mathaf is hosting this important exhibition, the first major show in the Middle East for El Anatsui. This exhibition also stands for the close working relationship we have enjoyed with Okwui Enwezor over many years. We are grateful for the immense legacy he has left us as an art historian and curator. We look forward to welcoming audiences in Doha for what we believe will be a boundary breaking exhibition for the region and a fitting celebration of a great artist.”
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