Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Dusasa II

El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born Anyako, 1944)
Found aluminum, copper wire, and plastic disks
236 x 288 x 2 in. (599.4 x 731.5 x 5.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Raymond and Beverly Sackler 21st Century Art Fund; Stephen and Nan Swid and Roy R. and Marie S. Neuberger Foundation Inc. Gifts; and Arthur Lejwa Fund, in honor of Jean Arp, 2008
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY
Not on view
El Anatsui, who was born in Ghana and now works in Nigeria, is widely considered today's foremost contemporary African sculptor. Anatsui's wall-hanging sculptures are assembled from found materials-typically thousands of discarded aluminum caps and seals from liquor bottles, which he flattens, shapes, perforates, and painstakingly assembles with copper wire. Although he considers himself a sculptor, the artist meticulously orchestrates his materials like a painter working with oil on canvas or the director of a tapestry workshop. His work is anchored firmly in his traditional culture (Ghanaian kente cloth), Western art (mosaic, tapestry, chain-mail armor, the paintings of Gustav Klimt), and contemporary life (the consumption of alcohol, the detritus of consumerism). According to the artist, the title, Dusasa, can be translated as a "communal patchwork made by a team of townspeople," analogous to the artist's team of assistants.
[Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, 2007–8; sold to MMA]

Venice. Biennale. Arsenale and Italian Pavilion. "52nd International Art Exhibition. Think With the Senses, Feel with the Mind: Art in the Present Tense," June 10–November 21, 2007, unnumbered cat. (p. 386; lent by the artist).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Modern Design: Selections from the Collection," May 30–October 5, 2008, no catalogue.

Barbara Pollack. "The New Razzle–Dazzle." ARTnews 107 (June 2008), pp. 118–19, ill.

Anne L. Strauss in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2008–2010." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 68 (Fall 2010), p. 82, ill. (color).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 2012, p. 435, ill. (color).

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