Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
24 Mar 2022 - 14 May 2022
Goodman Gallery presents Freedom, El Anatsui’s first major solo exhibition at Goodman Gallery Cape Town. With a career spanning five decades, El Anatsui is one of the most important contemporary artists — awarded the prestigious Praemium Imperiale alongside Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat in 2017, as well as the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, the Venice Biennale’s highest honour, in 2015.
Anatsui is best known for his ability to meticulously transform simple materials into complex assemblages that create distinctive visual impact. Freedom follows El Anatsui’s comprehensive survey at the Haus der Kunst; El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale (2019), which travelled from Munich to Doha and Bern as well as his museum solo exhibition, Meyina (2018), at the Iziko National Gallery in Cape Town.
Bringing together a new body of work, the exhibition reflects Anatsui’s focus on scale, continuing his method of using materials ubiquitous and relevant to his environment. The exhibition title is a nod to Anatsui’s monumental tapestry of the same.
Through this exhibition, ideas of play that form the foundation of his practice are revealed in how he approaches cumbersome materials with weightlessness and his ability to consider the socio-political while transforming them into personal meaning. The exhibition speaks to transience, contingencies and possibilities that impact notions of freedom.