A New Book Explores the Innovative Sculptures of Abstract Artist El Anatsui

Artist based in Nigeria, Ghanaian-born El AnatsuiIt is well-known for its sprawling, metal sculptures that twist, fold, and drape across large surfaces in intricate, undulating patterns. A forthcoming book. El Anatsui: The Reinvention of SculptureThis biography traces his career and sculptural achievements, beginning with the 1970s terracotta pieces. He switched to wood in the following decade and experimented with scale, color, patterns, and layers.

These pieces inspired the creation of larger metal works. They are made by manually cutting, twisting or flattening aluminum pieces such as bottle caps, and then stitching them together with copper wire to create large, textile-like sculptures.

Published by Damiani, the new 360-page volume is the product of more than three decades of research and collaboration with the artist by scholars Okwui Enwezor and Chika Okeke-Agulu, who place Anatsui’s work in the historical context of post-independence Ghana and mid-20th century African modernism in art and writing.

Hundreds of color images examine the sculptures in detail, giving the reader an in-depth insight into the artist’s process, how transformation is central to his pieces, and how his approach evolved over time.

El Anatsui: Reimagining SculptureAvailable in the U.K., it can be bought from Damiani. It will be released in April in the U.S., and can be pre-ordered from Bookshop.

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