Nigerian artist El Anatsui’s spectacular and thought provoking works are currently on show at Jack Shainman Gallery in Chelsea. At first glance, the large form sculptures resemble airy and exquisitely beautiful works. On closer inspection, you are surprized to realize that these extraordinary pieces are meticulously cobbled together with recycled materials, all found and collected near the artist’s home in Nigeria.
Much of El Anatsui’s work is made using metal bottle caps, taken from discarded Nigerian liquor bottles and then woven together with copper wire. The finished works manage to reflect the culture of West Africa while making you think about the role of consumer waste around the world.
A leading contemporary artist, El Anatsui is known for the grand scale of his works. As well as the gallery show in Chelsea, the High Line also commissioned him to create a large piece that is currently on show on the Western Wall of the High Line (at 21st Street) which will be on view until summer of 2013.
To see the gallery show and the High Line piece is such a treat and easy too, as they are only a few short minutes away from each other.El Anatsui:Pot Of Wisdom. Jack Shainman Gallery. 513 West 20th Street. New York. 10011. Tel: 212 645 1701. Closes January 19th. El Antsui: Broken Bride II. Presented by High Line Art. The High Line. Western Wall between 21st & 22nd Streets. NY. 10011