African Textiles Today, 2012
Author: Christopher Spring
Size: 2270 x 240 mm
Publisher: British Museum
African Textiles Today, 2012
A fascinating book that explores the rich variety of textile traditions throughout Africa. Illustrations display the best of the craft and why it continues to influence photographers and contemporary artists in Africa and throughout the world. Creating and trading numerous types of cloth have been vital elements in African life and culture for at least two millennia, linking different parts of the continent with each other and the rest of the world.
African Textiles Today shows how ideas, techniques, materials and markets have adapted and flourished, and how the dynamic traditions in African textiles have provided inspiration for the continent's foremost contemporary artists and photographers. Enlarged details show the finest examples of textile arts, most selected from the superb collections of the British Museum.
The front cover shows a detail of the sculpture Woman's Cloth by El Anatsui. The piece was inspired by the Kente cloth tradition and was produced in Nigera, 2002.
Author: Christopher Spring was curator of the African collections at the British Museum. He is the author of numerous books on African art and culture, including African Arms and Armour, North African Textiles and African Art in Detail.
El Anatsui (b. 1944, Ghana) is an internationally acclaimed artist who transforms simple materials into complex assemblages that create distinctive visual impact. He uses resources typically discarded such as liquor bottle caps and cassava graters to create sculpture that defies categorization. His use of these materials reflects his interest in reuse, transformation, and an intrinsic desire to connect to his continent while transcending the limitations of place. His work can interrogate the history of colonialism and draw connections between consumption, waste, and the environment, but at the core is his unique formal language that distinguishes his practice. Anatsui is well-known for large scale sculpture composed of thousands of folded and crumpled pieces of metal sourced from local alcohol recycling stations and bound together with copper wire. These intricate works, which can grow to be massive in scale, are both luminous and weighty, meticulously fabricated yet malleable. He leaves the installations open and encourages the works to take different forms every time they are installed.
In 2015, Anatsui was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, the Venice Biennale’s highest honor. Anatsui’s solo exhibition Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui, was organized by the Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio (2012), and traveled to the Brooklyn Museum, New York and the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa (2013); then to the Bass Museum of Art in Miami, Florida (2014); and concluded at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, California (2015). In 2019, El...Read more
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