“Benchmarks is a new display of limited edition prints in the Academicians’ Room as part of the RA’s Art Sales programme, this is the first in a new series of displays celebrating the work of one Royal Academician. El Anatsui has been awarded the prestigious Praemium Imperiale Award for Sculpture.The artist is world renowned for his monumental wall-hangings. Anatsui recently produced an exceptional new series of prints made in close collaboration with #OctoberGallery, London, and #FactumArte in Madrid.
These large-scale prints stem from the creation of Anatsui’s metallic tapestries: the deeply marked wooden worktops on which these works are created were 3D scanned, transferred onto aluminium plates and then printed through an etching press. Every print has a uniquely textured, reflective surface, slightly different from the others in the edition, as they are all hand-printed.
This is the first time that these extraordinary new works have been shown in a public institution. Alongside, there is a unique metal tapestry work titled Strained Roots.
Born in Ghana, El Anatsui moved to Nigeria in 1975, where he is based today. His work has been collected by major international museums, including the Metropolitan Museum, the Tate Modern, the Centre Pompidou and the Smithsonian Institution, among many others. In 2015, he was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale. Anatsui’s work was first displayed in Japan in the exhibition An Inside Story: African Art of
our Time, in 1995.
Christopher Le Brun, President of the Royal Academy of Arts, said, “El Anatusi Hon RA is
one of the leading international contemporary artists of our time and we are delighted that he has been awarded the Praemium Imperiale award for sculpture. It is a great moment for him and for the RA to be able to celebrate his work with this beautiful display Benchmarks in the Academicians’ Room.”
Image credit: El Anatsui, Gold Eclipse, 2016. Intaglio print with collage and chine-collé, 98.5 x 98.5 cm photo©Jonathan Greet, Courtesy October Gallery London & Factum Arte
For more information call: 020 7300 8090 or visit the website www.royalacademy.org.uk
Address: Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD
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