El Anatsui, King Of Trash Art, Explores His Minimalist Side

November 21, 2014 3:19 PM

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El Anatsui, King Of Trash Art, Explores His Minimalist Side

In 1990, a man named El Anatsui was among the first batch of sub-Saharan Africans ever to present at the Venice Bienniale, the grand ball of the art world. By 2007, the Ghanaian artist was the beau of the very same ball, having transformed the end of the Bienniale's main hall, the Arsenale, into a corridor of disorienting light, beamed off the sort of ingenious piece that would become his calling card: a suspended sheet woven of flattened liquor bottle caps.

The New York Times declared him a "global star," one of a few African artists on which every critic in the Western world felt compelled to make some kind of judgment. In Anatsui's case, the reviews tended to be as glittery as the work -- witness the blitz surrounding his sweeping retrospective last ...

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