El Anatsui rare art tapestry, by Africa’s leading artist, appears in London sale
Ghanaian El Anatusui is one of the world’s best artists, and his ‘New World Map’ is up for auction
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Tuesday 24 January 2012
Western collectors are getting more excited by world art year-on-year. And this trend will no doubt continue at an upcoming sale of this El Anatsui art masterwork in London on May 23.
African El Anatsui is regarded by experts and collectors as one of the world's top contemporary artists. Born in Ghana in 1944, he is today based in Nigeria as Head of Sculpture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Wood, metal and clay are among the materials used by El Anatsui over the years. And the artist's influences are even wider than his materials, drawing on a broad spectrum of indigenous African cultures.
Anatsui's works are particularly inspired by the effects of 'external forces' on indigenous cultures. His art often draws links to people, events and current and historical issues.
'New World Map' is a great example of El Anatsui's recent works. Materials used in the piece include flattened bottle caps woven together into a shimmering tapestry.
The tapestry is based on traditional narrow-strip woven silk cloth made in Ghana, which remains a source of national pride for the country.
"We are delighted to offer this stunning work by the Ghanaian artist El Anatusui," said Giles Peppiatt, Director of Contemporary African Art at Bonhams.
"It speaks of Africa in its use of traditional patterning but is very much of the moment - a massive, hauntingly beautiful contemporary statement."
'New World Map' is estimated to bring £500,000-800,000 when it auctions in London.
Considering that the artist's other works hang in such prestigious institutions as the Pompidou and the Smithsonian, this work will surely attract plenty of interest on May 23.
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