El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You About Africa

El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You About Africa
  • Closed
October 2, 2010 to February 27, 2011
  • Level 4, Roloff Beny Gallery


The Institute for Contemporary Culture at the ROM hosts the world premiere of El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa, an extraordinary opportunity to see a new selection of work, spanning the entire career of this internationally renowned artist. The exhibition includes over 60 pieces of Anatsui's work including drawings, paintings, wood, ceramics and metal sculptures.

Best known for his monumental wall sculptures made from found objects, Ghanaian-born El Anatsui is recognized as one of the most original and compelling artists in the world today. Throughout his long career, Anatsui has transformed often-overlooked materials such as discarded metal and wood into important visual statements that embody global, local and personal histories, as well as traditional Ghanaian beliefs.

Anatsui's large and intricate sculptural tapestries reflect on the cultural, social and economic challenges of West Africa and the world at large, in particular issues of globalization, consumerism and waste. These works transform such overlooked objects as liquor-bottle caps into moving patterns of stunning visual impact.

After debuting in Toronto, the exhibition travels to the new Museum for African Art, which will link New York City's "Museum Mile" with Harlem.


About the Artist

El Anatsui was born in Ghana in 1944. He earned a bachelor's degree in sculpture and a postgraduate diploma in art education from the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. He is currently professor of sculpture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he has taught since 1975, bringing his creativity and insight to a new generation of African artists. In 2008, Anatsui received the Visionaries Artist Award from the Museum of Arts and Design, in New York City. He is also a laureate of the 2009 Prince Claus Award.

Anatsui's work has received international acclaim and been collected by major museums around the world. Anatsui has exhibited internationally at important biennial exhibitions and museums such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The British Museum, London, Centre Pompidou, Paris and Toronto's own Art Gallery of Ontario to name a few.

Authored by: Kait Sykes

Authored by: Kait Sykes