Iziko Museums of South Africa, in partnership with the Goodman Gallery and the Friends of the Iziko South African National Gallery, is proud to present an exhibition of El Anatsui – arguably one of the Continent’s most pre-eminent artists. Anatsui’s much anticipated first solo museum show on South African soil, entitled Meyina, opens at the Iziko South African National Gallery on 17 February 2018.
This globally acclaimed African artist was awarded the Venice Bienalle’s highest honour – the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2015. Over the past four decades, El Anatsui has created a vast body of work that has expanded the language of contemporary sculpture in Africa and internationally.
Through his art, Anatsui transforms simple materials into complex assemblages that create distinct visual impact. He typically uses discarded materials such as bottle caps and graters – creating sculptures that defy classification.
Meyina (meaning ‘I am going’ in Ewe), is curated by independent curator and the Director of CCA Lagos, Bisi Silva, presents a portrait of the artist by bringing together disparate fragments that form a whole. The large-scale sculptural installations, which read like intricate tapestries, are composed of thousands of crumpled pieces of metal sourced from local alcohol recycling stations, bound together with copper wire. The works engage with and comment on African history, post-colonial conditions, as well as the daily realities and experiences on the continent.
Meyina was first exhibited at the Prince Claus Gallery in Amsterdam, after which it was exhibited at Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, both in 2017.