El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944) Riga Sequence  in 15 pieces.

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Lot 26
El Anatsui
(Ghanaian, born 1944)
Riga Sequence in 15 pieces.

Sold for £ 40,000 (US$ 50,558) inc. premium

Africa Now

28 Feb 2018, 17:00 GMT

London, New Bond Street

El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944)
Riga Sequence
signed and dated 'EL/ 95' (lower right of plank 14)
painted and incised wooden planks
56 x 158cm (22 1/16 x 62 3/16in).
in 15 pieces.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    A private collection, Lagos.


    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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