This past Saturday, El Anatsui's "Trains of Thought" exhibition opened at Jack Shainman's 524 W 24th St. Gallery in Chelsea, NYC. The works show the extent to which Anatsui keeps expanding on the language of semantic abstraction using the syntactical and lexical elements of folded, manipulated aluminum strips and plates, and copper wire. It is quite something seeing how he has, with the confidence that comes with mastery of a medium and technique, reintroduced the poetics of asymmetric negative and positive space--the fundamental design element associated with Igbo Uli drawing/mural and the Nsukka School's work--into his sculpture, and the result is compositionally stunning, because it challenges normative notions of pictorial order and balance. OK, this is a tease; I will be back to this subject, here or elsewhere. Soon.
*Except otherwise noted, all photos by Chika Okeke-Agulu
|Photo: Arinze Okeke-Agulu|
|Image courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery|
|Arinze Okeke-Agulu, El Anatsui, Joy Okeke-Agulu, Ugochukwu Smooth-Nzewi, Ngozi Okeke-Agulu|
|Nigerian artist Victoria Udondian (C), Jack Shainman (L)|
|Nzewi, Udondian and New York-based artist Donald Odita|
|Jack and El|