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El Anatsui


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El Anatsui: (born, 1944, Anyako, Ghana) taught at the Specialist Training College in Winneba, Ghana (1969-75), and the University of Nigeria in Nsukka (1975-2016). Widely regarded as the greatest living African artist, he received the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Biennale (2015), the Praemium Imperiale Award for Sculpture (2017), Lorenzo il Magnifico Lifetime Achievement Award (2017), and he is Honorary Academician, British Royal Academy of Arts (2014). His works are in the collections of Centre Pompidou; The British Museum; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Tate Modern; National Gallery of Modern Art, Lagos; Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf, among others. Okwui Enwezor (born, Awkuzu, Nigeria, 1963; died, Munich, Germany, 2019) was a critic, art historian, curator and founding publisher of Nka: Journal of Contemporary Africa Art. Acknowledged as one of the most influential curators of our time, he organized the biennales Johannesburg (1997), Seville (2006), Gwangju (2012), and Venice (2015); the La Triennale, Paris; and Documenta 11 (2002). His other groundbreaking exhibitions included The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994, and Postwar: Art between the Atlantic and the Pacific, 1945-1964. He co-organized El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale (Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2019), the artists largest ever survey, and is co-author of Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Damiani, 2009). He received the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism (College Art Association, 2006) Chika Okeke-Agulu (born, 1966, Umuahia, Nigeria), is an artist, critic, art historian, and professor of African and African Diaspora Art, Princeton University. He is co-editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and the author of several books, including Postcolonial Modernism: Art & Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria (Duke, 2015). With Enwezor, he co-organized El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale and co-authored Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Damiani, 2009). His many prizes include The Melville J. Herskovits Prize for the most important scholarly work in African studies (African Studies Association, 2016), and Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism (College Art Association, 2016)


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.--Kate Mothes "Colossal"

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