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They came. They saw. They organized.

Before he was globally celebrated for his works in found metal, El Anatsui first pursued sculptural forms in ceramics and found wood. He notes, “I look at textures of my work in process and I think about the texture and grain of Africa’s history; I look at the authentic colors of the different types of wood and they remind me of the real colors of history.”
The Ancestors Converged Again is a relatively rare example of figurative art in wood from this Ghanaian master. Using the expressive forms of the wood he gathered, Anatsui transforms scraps of wood into embodiments of once-distant, now-present spiritual and historical figures through minimal sculptural interventions and the process of ordering and re-ordering his sculptures.
One of the most conceptually innovative elements of El Anatsui’s sculptural practice is his openness—indeed, to some extent, his insistence upon—the idea that his sculptures may be reordered and reshaped each time they are installed. Art, he insists, must reflect life and, in so doing, it must evolve and change to reflect the circumstances in which it is being deployed. With that in mind, his Ancestors may be seen in Heroes to be thinking about their roles as vanguards for future collective action. Eyes wide, taking in the troubled current moment in which they have been called together, these ancestors confer—and plan their response.

Details

  • Title: The Ancestors Converged Again
  • Creator: El Anatsui
  • Date Created: 1995
  • Location Created: b. 1944, Anyako, Volta Region, Ghana, Works in Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria

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