el anatsui’s trash


“Gawu” is an optically and emotionally stunning show drawing from the recyclia oeuvre produced by El Anatsui over the last decade (and distinct from the also gorgeous chain-sawed wood sculptures for which he first drew Art World attention). Substantially reconfigured from the version mounted throughout the U.K. in 2004, the “Fowler Gawu” (a Ghanaian Ewe-language neologism meaning “metal cloak”) adds work dated as recently as 2007. In addition to the five enormous and intricate signature bottle-cap-mosaic textiles, the show includes a monolithic architectural intervention assembled out of already once-recycled sheets of rusty scrap metal laced with perforations that allow them to function as root graters (Crumbling Wall, 2000), a giant Oldenburgian Wastepaper Bag (2003) patched together from crumpled single-use aluminum printing plates bearing ghostly imprints of obituaries, hospital bills and other funerary ephemera, and an installation of soft geometric cones made from discarded evaporated-milk-tin lids (Peak Project, 1999).

more from the LA Weekly here.