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 Post subject: Keen for Kente
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:49 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
I've always been attracted to Kente cloth, and art made from 'objets trouve'/found objects, so I was especially pleased to discover the work of El Anatsui, first in the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida, and then this summer at the Sackler Museum's African gallery at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. He is an African artist (originally from Ghana; in Nigeria since 1975) who uses the tops and foil from liquor bottles to compose elaborate, large 'cloths' which incorporate allusions to the strip-woven cloths called 'kente'. The huge works drape almost like cloth and each one can appear different depending on how it is hung; often El Anatsui is present at the hanging so as to direct the appearance. His work "addresses global ideas about the environment, consumerism, and the social history and memory of the 'stuff' of our lives, while his use of recycled materials also recognizes that human creativity and ingenuity are employed in creating something from available resources, including items that are discarded.... his 'cloth' works celebrate the woven and stamped textile traditions that remain vibrant in Ghana and Nigeria today."

Unfortunately, the show closed on 2 September, but there is a catalog, and one of his works is on permanent display elsewhere in the museum. The second photo shows the piece in the Harn Museum (in Gainesville, Fla.), which is on permanent display.

Here's info from the Smithsonian:

Mail-ElAnatsui-1.jpg [ 73.2 KiB | Viewed 3396 times ]
Mail-ElAnatsui-2.jpg [ 78.17 KiB | Viewed 3396 times ]

Susan Stem
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