El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944) 'Farmer's Dream' 120 x 50 x 40cm (47 1/4 x 19 11/16 x 15 3/4in).

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Lot 20*
El Anatsui
(Ghanaian, born 1944)
'Farmer's Dream' 120 x 50 x 40cm (47 1/4 x 19 11/16 x 15 3/4in).

£ 50,000 - 80,000
US$ 64,000 - 100,000
Amended
El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944)
'Farmer's Dream'
initialled and dated 'EL/ 91' (lower right)
carved and painted wood
120 x 50 x 40cm (47 1/4 x 19 11/16 x 15 3/4in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Purchased from Nimbus Gallery, Lagos, in 1992.
    Private collection.

    Exhibited
    Lagos, Nimbus Gallery, 1991-1992.


    This sculpture was constructed from the trunk of an Iron wood tree. This tree is indigenous to Nigeria and has long been a valuable agricultural resource. Traditionally, the trunks were used to extract palm oil. Villagers would scour the forests for trees of sufficient circumference. Once felled and hollowed, the trunk's smooth interior functioned as a mortar in which palm kernels could be ground. The hardness of the wood meant that it could withstand the pounding of the extraction process; the same trunk could be reused for multiple harvests. However, the trunk would eventually crack, weakened by the acidic oil released by the crushed palm kernels. No longer useful to the farmers, the trunk would be discarded.

    El Anatsui came across one such trunk whilst on a walk near his studio. He was struck by the beauty of the worn wood and its warm patina. Although it had ceased to be useful as a tool, the artist saw its aesthetic potential. He took the trunk back to his studio, where he incised and painted it. What had been a piece of detritus, was reborn as a work of fine art.

Saleroom notices

  • We are grateful to the artist for supplying the correct title "TALAKAWA" for this work and also additional information in regard to the provenance of this lot. Provenance: The collection of the late Chief Torch Taire; Purchased from Nimbus Gallery, Lagos, in 1992; A private collection. Exhibited: The National Gallery, Lagos, Old and New: An Exhibition of Sculpture in Assorted Wood, 1991, no. 43.
Contacts
El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944) 'Farmer's Dream' 120 x 50 x 40cm (47 1/4 x 19 11/16 x 15 3/4in).
El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944) 'Farmer's Dream' 120 x 50 x 40cm (47 1/4 x 19 11/16 x 15 3/4in).
El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944) 'Farmer's Dream' 120 x 50 x 40cm (47 1/4 x 19 11/16 x 15 3/4in).
El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944) 'Farmer's Dream' 120 x 50 x 40cm (47 1/4 x 19 11/16 x 15 3/4in).
El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944) 'Farmer's Dream' 120 x 50 x 40cm (47 1/4 x 19 11/16 x 15 3/4in).
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