Iris, 2012

Unique Artwork

Mixed material Recycled material

Aluminium and copper wire

CM H 300 W 310

IN H 118.11 W 122.05

Signed by artist

Iris, 2012

The exhibition held at October Gallery in March 2015, focus on a range of intricate metal sculptures. 

El Anatsui’s sculptural experiments with media and form have challenged the definition of sculpture itself. In particular, his metal wall-hangings have received international acclaim. Throughout a distinguished forty-year career as both an artist and teacher, El Anatsui has addressed a wide range of social, political and historical concerns and embraced an equally diverse range of media and processes. In 2013, one of his largest metal wall-hangings to utilize his bottle-top technique, TSIATSIA – searching for connection, adorned the façade of Burlington House. Created to coincide with the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2013, this remarkable work won the prestigious Charles Wollaston Award.


El Anatsui

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...

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October Gallery

October Gallery was founded in London in 1979 and established itself as a pioneer in showcasing contemporary art from around the globe.

The gallery is especially known for showing contemporary art from Africa and has been instrumental in bringing to international attention many of Africa’s leading artists, including El Anatsui, Romuald Hazoumè, Nnenna Okore and Rachid Koraïchi.

Institutions such as the British Museum, London, UK; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, the Zeitz Collection of Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, UAE have all collected works from October Gallery.

October Gallery
24 Old Gloucester Street
London WC1N 3AL
United Kingdom

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Curated by October Gallery

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