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El Anatsui at The Palazzo Fortuny

Posted on: Monday, August 20, 2007

Fresh and Fading Memories (2007), El Anatsui, Palazzo Fortuny, Recycled metal and copper wire

The Palazzo Fortuny in Venice is currently hosting the eclectic exhibit, Artempo: Where Time Meets Art. The art critic Roberta Smith recently wrote an intriguing review in The New York Times in which she describes how the medley of wunderkammer objects poetically installed in the palazzo's grand rooms effectively blurs the lines between art and nature.

Though many of the images in the exhibit's online virtual tour are sumptuous in their homage to crumbling Venetian interiors and the faded narrative of objects in situ, I was particularly smitten by the fabric-like mixed media work of El Anatsui, a contemporary artist from Ghana.

The above images are details of 'Fresh and Fading Memories' (2007), El Anatsui, Palazzo Fortuny, Recycled metal and copper wire

Fading Cloth (2005), El Anatsui, Aluminum and copper wire (October Gallery, UK)

El Anatsui is master at melding traditional African handicraft techniques with cutting edge themes in contemporary art. His skillful assemblage of recycled materials not only demonstrates the current erosion and distressed state of the human condition but also the renewal that is possible through a dazzling synthesis and interweaving of valuable resources with frayed cultural threads.

Waste Paper Bins (2004), El Anatsui, Handmade paper (October Gallery, UK)


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