Exhibition: Benchmarks: New Prints by El Anatsui Dates: 6th April – 13th May 2017
October Gallery, London, is excited to announce the preview of a new body of print works by El Anatsui, Benchmarks, created in collaboration with Factum Arte,
an extraordinary studio based in Madrid renowned for its synergy of past, present and future techniques. Globally-renowned for his iconic hangings of aluminium bottle-tops, Anatsui’s artistic practice has always been rooted in the discovery of new media.
Having graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, the artist set about ‘forgetting everything (he) had been taught’ in the search for new modes of expression, and the materials needed to convey them.
Following the imperative that an artist should work ‘with whatever his environment throws up’, Anatsui created a wide variety of novel sculptural forms with materials that range from tropical hardwoods to cassava graters, driftwood, obituary printing plates and aluminium bottle-tops.
His interest is in the physical history of the materials themselves, the stories they contain
and the journeys that bring them into his hands. It was just such a remarkable journey
that first led the artist to work with bottle-tops when he happened upon several bags of
them lying discarded by a local liquor shop and found inscribed within a hidden history of trade in West Africa. At the age of 73, and after a fifty-year career, crowned with the
Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 56th Venice Biennale, Anatsui has found a
new source of inspiration in the residual marks and traces of his own art practice and has poured all his energies into exploring these newfound possibilities.
Venue: October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3AL
Telephone: 020 7242 7367
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12.30 – 5.30pm
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