The many hands of El Anatsui
Here's where I admit I went to this exhibit just to see the bottle tops. I was unexpectedly drawn to linger, though, before several abstract, anthropomorphic sculptures. Adinsibuli Stood Tall is a rough-hewn and imposing yet welcoming figure whose torso, an old wooden mortar used for palm oil extraction, speaks to us in the vivid ideograms of three Nigerian languages. What's more, I was grateful for the brief and informative curator statements scattered throughout this not-to-be-missed exhibit, many of which serve to illuminate motifs and connect seemingly disparate pieces within El Anatsui's vast and engaging body of work.
[Originally published in March, 2013.]