El Anatsui

El Anatsui El Anatsui


Senior Lecturer - Head of Sculpture - Fine and Applied Arts, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (1982 - )

Lecturer - Fine and Applied Arts, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (1975 - 1982)

Lecturer - Art Education Department, University of Education, Winneba (1969 - 1975)


Art Exhibition

Africa Remix [Group exhibition, museum kunst palast, Düsseldorf, 2004] 

Subsequently at Hayward Gallery, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (both 2005); and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2006)

Africa Informs - Selected Works by Artists from Africa [Group exhibition, The October Gallery, 23 Oct 2003]

El Anatsui: Gawu [Solo exhibition, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, 2003]

Transferts [Group exhibition, Palais des Beaux-Arts, 2003]

Liverpool Biennale [Group exhibition, 2002]

Encounters with the Contemporary [Group exhibition, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Jan 2001] 

Concluded in January 02

Africas: the Artist and the City [Group exhibition, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, 2001]

A Sculpted History of Africa [Solo exhibition, October Gallery, 1998]

The Poetics of Line [Group exhibition, National Museum of African Art, Oct 1997]

Hakpa [Solo exhibition, Centre Culturel Français, 1997]

Container 96: Art Across Oceans [Group exhibition, 1996]

Contemporary African Art Gallery [Joint exhibition, 1996] 

With Tesfaye Tessema

Skoto Gallery [Joint exhibition, 1996] 

With Sol LeWitt

An Inside Story, African Art of our Time [Group exhibition, 1995]

El Anatsui [Solo exhibition, October Gallery, 1995]

Johannesburg Biennale [Group exhibition, 1995]

Osaka Triennale [Group exhibition, 1995]

Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa [Group exhibition, Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1995]

Uli Art: Master Works [Group exhibition, Skoto Gallery, 1995]

Havana Biennale [Group exhibition, 1994]

New Currents 93: Avant-Garde Nigerian Art [Group exhibition, Didi Museum, 1993]

Six African Artists [Group exhibition, October Gallery, London, 1993]

Old and New [Solo exhibition, National Museum, 1991]

Contemporary African Artists: A Changing Tradition [Group exhibition, Studio Museum, 1990] 

Touring exhibition concluded in 1992

Five Contemporary African Artists [Group exhibition, Venice Biennale, 1990]

Thoughts and Processes [Joint exhibition, Italian Cultural Institute, 1988] 

With Ndubisi Onah

Venovize [Solo exhibition, Faculty of Arts and Design, Cornwall College, 1987]

Aka'86 [Group exhibition, 1986] 

Participated in 7 Akas over a decade

Sculptures, Photographs, Drawings [Solo exhibition, Goethe Institut, 1982]

Wood Carvings [Solo exhibition, Community of Arts, 1980]

Broken Pots: Sculpture by El Anatsui [Solo exhibition, British Council and Institute of African Studies, UNN, 1979]

The Nsukka School [Group exhibition, Art Gallery of the Rivers State Council for Arts and Culture, 1979]

Wooden Wall Plaques [Solo exhibition, Asele Art Gallery, 1976]

Tekarts Expo 5 [Group exhibition, Art Centre, 1974]

Art Work

Ancient Wall [Sculpture, 1999] 


Akwa's Surviving Children [Installation, 1996] 


Erosion [Installation, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1995] 

Wood and tempera

On Their Fateful Journey Nowhere [Installation, Setagaya Art Museum, 1995] 


Tapper [Sculpture, 1995] 

Mixed media

The Ancestors Converged Again [Sculpture, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1995] 

Wood and tempera

Mammoth Crowd Series I [Sculpture, 1993] 


Visa Queue [Installation, 1992] 


Devotees [Installation, 1987] 


Offering to the Weather [Performance, 1984]

Chambers of Memory [Sculpture, 1977] 

Ceramic manganese

El Anatsui (born 1944) is a Ghanaian sculptor active for much of his career in Nigeria.

Anatsui was born in Anyako, and trained at the College of Art, University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi, in central Ghana. He began teaching at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1975, and has become affiliated with the Nsukka group.

Anatsui's preferred media are clay and wood, which he uses to create objects based on traditional Ghanaian beliefs and other subjects. He has cut wood with chainsaws and blackened it with acetylene torches; more recently, he has turned to installation art. Some of his works resemble woven cloths such as kente cloth. Anatsui also incorporates uli and nsibidi into his works alongside Ghanaian motifs.

El Anatsui has exhibited his work around the world, including at the Clark Art Institute (2011), Rice University Art Gallery, Houston (2010); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2008–09); National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C. (2008); Venice Biennale (2007); Hayward Gallery (2005); Liverpool Biennial (2002); the National Museum of African Art (2001); the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (2001); the 8th Osaka Sculpture Triennale (1995); the 5th Gwangju Biennale (2004); and the Venice Biennale (1990).

A retrospective of his work, subtitled When I Last Wrote to You About Africa opened at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada, in October 2010. It will be touring North America for the next 3 years.

A major exhibition of recent works, entitled "Gravity & Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui," will have its New York premier at the Brooklyn Museum in February 2013. Organized by the Akron Art Museum (exhibition: 2012), the exhibition will later be on view at the Des Moines Art Center (2013–14) and the Bass Museum of Art in Miami (2014).

Most Watched Videos

Most Read News

Best Of The Web


Recent Comments

Most Popular Posts

News - Articles
Ghana Articles News
Go Up!