Works in the Collection
El Anatsui was born in the agricultural and fishing region of Volta, Ghana in 1944. He was the youngest of 32 siblings and exhibited his individuality early on with his interest in art. He attended the College of Art at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana and graduated with bachelor’s degree in 1968. He earned a postgraduate degree in art education and began lecturing at the University of Education, Winneba. In 1975, he accepted a teaching position at the University of Nigeria, a position he would keep for the next 35 years.
Anatsui’s work ranges in materials from wood and metal to the recycled metal and wire installations he is best known for today. His work has been exhibited extensively around the world in such venues as the Brooklyn Museum, the National Museum of African Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Venice Biennale. In 2005, he was awarded the Visionaries Artist Award from the Museum of Arts and Design, and in 2015, was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement the highest honor given at the Venice Biennale.
El Anatsui is represented by October Gallery in London and Jack Shainman Gallery in New York. His work can be found in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Des Moines Art Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Centre Pompidou, and the British Museum, among many others.