University of Iowa

Anonymous Creature

Anatsui art at Hancher Auditorium
Artist
Medium
found aluminum and copper wire
Status
Active
Date
2009
Description

In creating this work, Anatsui recycled refuse from a distillery in his hometown, piecing them together to form a monumental curtain patterned with rows upon rows of different brands of liquor bottle caps and labels. At first glance, this work may resemble a cast net, loose and airy. But this first impression evaporates leaving a weighty tension captured within the twists of copper wire and the creases in the metal. The wall-bounded surface is pushed and draped, changing every time the work is installed, which Anatsui encourages. He trusts chance, allowing the work to exist in its own terms and to continue to morph into its final form. His work combines narrative, concept and physicality into infinite arrangements, like a melody that never plays the same time.

With a career spanning nearly four decades, Anatsui's transformation and interrogation of material endures through his practice. He has exhibited his work around the world, including the Venice Biennale, the Paris Triennial, the Royal Academy of Art, London, the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, and the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington. His works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the British Museum London and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, among many others.