Boca Raton Museum of Art
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Boca Museum Acquires Long-Term Loan of Works by Celebrated Artist, El Anatsui
Published Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Boca Raton, FL - The Boca Museum of Art is pleased to announce the acquisition of a long-term loan of works by one of Africa’s most heralded contemporary artists, El Anatsui.

El Anatsui’s art is inspired by the culture and aesthetics of his native Africa and various Western art forms. Having studied both traditions, he seamlessly blends the two using conventions of abstract painting with techniques employed by African weavers of Ghanian Kente cloth, known for its colorful and intricate strips of fabric. Using the detritus of consumer society, Anatsui creates complex assemblages that transcend their humble origins.

Anatsui’s two works on display at the Boca Museum of Art, Anonymous Creature and Awakened, are lent by the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Made of recycled aluminum laced together by copper wire, the works resemble tapestries elegantly draped on their walls. Each work has thousands of tiny parts. To create the works, Anatsui employs young people who are studying for their college entrance exams to fold and crush the found metal, weaving it into blocks of colors and patterns he specifies. Anatsui then carefully configures the pieces into the form he desires.

Having enjoyed fame in Africa since the 1970s for his wood and ceramic sculptures and bas-reliefs, Anatsui emerged on the global stage with monumental glittering curtains composed of discarded bottle caps at the Venice Biennale in 2007. His work is now included in many major international collections including the Metropolitan Museum, Centre Pompidou, and the British Museum.

Anatsui began working with recycled metal in 1998 when he happened upon a trash bag filled with twist-off liquor bottle caps. He realized he had found a medium that was made locally, abundant, socially significant, light, and portable, allowing him to increase the scale of his work exponentially. “Art is a reflection on life,” said Anatsui of his work. “Life isn’t something we can cut and fix. It’s always in a state of flux.”

Boca Museum of Art
The Boca Museum of Art is one of the leading cultural institutions in South Florida, achieving international recognition as a world-class visual arts institution for its dynamic, changing exhibitions from acclaimed artists and distinguished permanent collection. The Museum’s many public programs include artist presentations, family activities, art films, the Annual Art Festival, and more than 100 classes per week at its studio Art School. Museum Auxiliaries include The Artists’ Guild, Friends Auxiliary, and Collectors’ Forum. For more information call 561.392.2500 or visit

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