El Anatsui: Topology of Generosity
27 September — 26 November 2017
El Anatsui: Topology of Generosity, presented by Barakat Seoul, sheds light on the potential of change that a single artist can generate. El Anatsui’s most representative works are large-scale installations reminiscent of tapestries, created by processing and connecting with copper wire thousands of used caps discarded from the bottles of drinks consumed in Nigeria. He has achieved recognition among the international art circles with these works, receiving the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 Venice Biennale and having his works exhibited and collected in renowned galleries and museums around the globe.
In the exhibition space at Barakat Seoul, Anatsui’s works will be compared to topological objects, which by crumpling and folding, will transform the angular exhibition space. In these space viewers will be able to form personal relationships with the works, thus adding to the extension of meanings and the transformation of the spaces. Interpreting El Anatsui’s work through a topological spectrum, allows one to see past a modern understanding of ethnic and topographical classifications of Africa, demonstrating that multiple perspectives and diverse interpretations of his art are possible. His artistic world opens up horizons of thought, where disparate experiences are possible according to the locations and contexts in which the works are experienced. In tandem, the artist’s ethos, which sees life as continuously moving and changing, is reflected in his works.
Born in 1944 in the Republic of Ghana, El Anatsui is one of the most internationally renowned contemporary artists. He has achieved global recognition with experiments that reject the traditional conventions of sculpture, also voicing diverse social, political, and historical perspectives while working as an artist and an educator for the past 40 years. Anatsui has won critical acclaim by using a diverse range of easily accessible materials such as bottle caps and discarded objects. By transforming these materials through complex assemblages, the artist creates unique visual effects.
Anatsui's artworks are housed in a number of prestigious museums and institutions such as the British Museum, Pompidou Centre, Metropolitan Museum of Art, de Young Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Museum Kunstpalast, and Setagaya Art Museum. Moreover, they have been showcased at various international exhibitions including the 1990 and 2007 Venice Biennale and the 2012 Paris Triennale. Anatsui received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 Venice Biennale.