El Anatsui
Sacred Moon
Aluminum and copper wire
Photo courtesy: Jack Shainman Gallery



El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa

February 2–April 28, 2013

When I Last Wrote to You about Africa, a major retrospective of internationally renowned artist El Anatsui organized by the Museum for African Art, includes approximately sixty works drawn from public and private collections worldwide. The Ghanaian-born El Anatsui, who lives and works in Nigeria, is widely known for monumental wall sculptures made from discarded bottle tops, and is recognized as one of the most original and compelling artists of his generation. The exhibition spans four decades and encompasses work in wood, ceramic, and metal, as well as drawings, prints and paintings. In his most recent metal wall sculptures, Anatsui assembles thousands of west African liquor-bottle tops into moving patterns of stunning visual impact, transforming this simple material into large shimmering forms. When I Last Wrote to You about Africa presents the largest compilation of Anatsui's works ever assembled, including massive wall pieces and large-scale floor installations. The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue published with the assistance of The Getty Foundation.

El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa is organized by the Museum for African Art, New York, and has been supported, in part, by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.


Lead support for UMMA's installation is provided by the University of Michigan Health System, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and School of Art and Design's Penny Stamps Speaker Series; the University of Michigan Credit Union; and the James L. and Vivian A. Curtis Endowment Fund. Additional generous support is provided by the African Studies Center, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, Department of the History of Art, Institute for the Humanities, Museum Studies Program, and School of Natural Resources and Environment.