Turning Trash Into Beauty at the Akron Art Museum

Posted on October 09, 2012 by casepops | 0 Comments

Turning trash into beauty, El Anatsui has created art that is as painstakingly detailed as it is beautiful.

This Akron Art Museum exhibit absolutely 'wowed' us after visiting last weekend. Talk about attention to detail! El Anatsui, an artist from Ghana, has filled the museum with more than twelve different large-scale art installations that are as beautiful from a distance as they are when viewed up close.

The beauty is in the attention to detail with which he approached the work and in the fact that his medium was primarily trash. The trash is not simply used arbitrarily, but, instead El Anatsui incorporates recycled bottle caps from his home town in a truly meaningful way.

For the artist, given liquor’s key history in the slave trade, these works reference relationships between Europe, Africa and the United States. Not only does Anatsui’s alchemical transformation of discarded materials raise pressing issues of global consumerism, but it highlights the blurring of geographic identities.

Words don't really do the exhibit justice. So, please take a look at these pictures and try to imagine standing beneath the huge pieces! As a company, Casepops is inspired by art like this. We love it, and think that the amount of genuine ingenuity and creativity El Anatsui has put into this work is just astounding.

[caption id="attachment_1634" align="aligncenter" width="800"]El Anatsui Artist via Casepops El Anatsui's exhibit was amazing to see in person in the Akron Art Museum.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1635" align="aligncenter" width="670"] Each wall hanging is carefully pieced together.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1644" align="aligncenter" width="670"] Recycled bottle caps are sewn together to create a giant curtain.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1642" align="aligncenter" width="670"]Hanging the art in Akron Art Museum It took an entire team of people to hang each installation[/caption]

Dzesi II, 2006
Installation at Akron Art Museum
© El Anatsui

Adinkra Sasa, 2003
Aluminum and copper wire; 192 x 216 inches
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Guido Roberto Vitale
Photo: Noel Brown. Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © El Anatsui

Gli (Wall), 2010
Aluminum and copper wire; Dimensions variable
Installation at Rice University Art Gallery
Photo © Nash Baker. Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © El Anatsui

Bleeding Takari, 2008
Aluminum and copper wire; 61 x 89 1/2 inches
Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Gift of Donald L. Bryant, Jr. and Jerry Speyer, 201.2008
Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © El Anatsui

Earth's Skin, 2009
Installation at Akron Art Museum. © El Anatsui

Fresh and Fading Memories, 2007
Aluminum and copper wire; 358 x 236 inches
Installation view, Artempo: Where Time Becomes Art, Palazzo Fortuny, 52nd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, June 10–November 21, 2007, Private collection. Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © El Anatsui



Posted in Africa, Akron Art Museum, art, design, Design, El Anatsui, Ghana, Nigeria, Trash

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