El Anatsui: Gravity & Grace

(detail) El Anatsui, Conspirators, 1997, wooden relief with paint, 24 x 55 3/4 x
(detail) El Anatsui, Conspirators, 1997, wooden relief with paint, 24 x 55 3/4 x 7/8 inches (courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery)

Jonathan Beer reviews the exhibition Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, on view through August 4, 2013.

Beer writes that Anatsui's wood paintings "are the true gems of the exhibition. Cut, carved, and painted, the parallel vertical strips of wood can be arranged in infinite variations, embodying Mr. Anatsui’s concept of ‘nonfixed form.’ In works like ‘Conspirators’ we see El Anatsui the man, not El Anatsui the wizard. Each gouge and creative decision is witnessed and can be connected with; here creation and not production reigns. To produce them en masse would destroy their slow unraveling and short circuit their transcendence."

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Art-Rated