El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944) 'Used towel'  in 25 pieces.
Lot 49*
El Anatsui
(Ghanaian, born 1944)
'Used towel' in 25 pieces.
Sold for £ 176,500 (US$ 247,727) inc. premium

Lot Details
El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944) 'Used towel'  in 25 pieces. El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944) 'Used towel'  in 25 pieces. El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944) 'Used towel'  in 25 pieces. El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944) 'Used towel'  in 25 pieces.
El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944)
'Used towel'
signed and dated 'EL/ 99' (lower right piece 6); first piece inscribed with title and each numbered (verso)
carved, incised and painted wood
81 x 250cm (31 7/8 x 98 7/16in).
in 25 pieces.

Footnotes

  • El Anatsui began his artistic training at the College of Art, University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, where he was given a grounding in Western art traditions and practices. Wanting to connect with the arts of his own country, he began to visit the Kumasi National Cultural Centre on weekends. Here he was exposed to weavers, potters, cloth-printers and carvers, all working in indigenous methods.

    El Anatsui began to incorporate elements from these crafts into his own work, forging a distinctly Ghanaian aesthetic. Used Towel employs colours and symbols traditionally used for Asante Adinkra cloth.

    The age-old Adinkra patterns are counter-posed by modern construction techniques. The planks of wood have been cut with a chainsaw and blackened with an acetylene torch. For the artist, the tearing of the saw through wood functioned as "a metaphor for the way in which the western powers had carved up and brutally divided the African continent amongst themselves, ripping through and destroying both local history and culture".

    Bibliography
    L. Binder El Anatsui: When I last wrote to you about Africa, (Seattle, 2010).
    J. Picton, El Anatsui: A Sculpted History of Africa, (London, 1995), pp.34-36.
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  2. Eliza Sawyer
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