Photos from El Anatsui’s “Triumphant Scale” at Haus der Kunst

El Anatsui, "Gravity and Grace", 2010, aluminum and copper wire, 190 x 441 inches (482 x 1120cm). Collection of the artist, Nsukka, Nigeria, courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
El Anatsui, “Gravity and Grace”, 2010 (aluminum and copper wire, 190 x 441 inches /482 x 1120cm). Installation view Haus der Kunst. Photo: Maximilian Geuter

On March 8, 2019, Haus der Kunst opened Triumphant Scale, the largest survey of works by El Anatsui – the first ever in Europe – one of Africa’s most renowned living artists. Curated by Okwui Enwezor, Chika Okeke-Agulu and Damian Lentini (assistant curator), the exhibition occupies the entire East Wing of the museum and comprises major works spanning five decades of the artist’s practice including his famous bottle-cap tapestry and lesser-known works such as wood sculptures, wall reliefs, drawings, prints, and sketches. 

Highlights at the exhibition include site-specific installations inspired by the museum’s monumental architecture. Anatsui created three works specifically for Triumphant Scale: “Logoligi Logarithm”, “Rising Sea”, and “Second Wave” which is installed on the building’s façade. “Second Wave” is Anatsui’s largest work till date. It is about 110 meters long with 22 panels, all connected by bridge elements. Commenting on the title of the work, Enwezor pointed out that the artist was referencing the permanent wave of the Eisbach – an artificial stream that runs through the biggest park in Munich, which is where the museum is located.

The exhibition reveals a tireless preoccupation with the question of how a contemporary sculptural concept can be developed from the rich plastic innovations of classical and traditional African art.

See some of the magnificent works on view at the exhibition.

El Anatsui, "Second Wave", 2019, installation on the facade of the Haus der Kunst. Photo: Jens Weber, Munich
El Anatsui, “Second Wave”, 2019. Installation view Haus der Kunst facade. Photo: Jens Weber, Munich

El Anatsui "In the World But Do not Know the World", 2019, installation view, Haus der Kunst. Photo: Maximilian Geuter
El Anatsui, “In the World But Do not Know the World”, 2019. Installation view Haus der Kunst. Photo: Maximilian Geuter

El Anatsui, "Gbeze", 1979, ceramic, manganese, © El Anatsui. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
El Anatsui, “Gbeze”, 1979 (ceramic, manganese). © El Anatsui. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

El Anatsui, "Drawing 6", undated, graphite on paper, 20.5 x 24.9 inches (52.1 x 63.2 cm). Collection of the artist, Nsukka, Nigeria. Copyright El Anatsui. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
El Anatsui, “Drawing 6”, undated (graphite on paper, 20.5 x 24.9 inches/52.1 x 63.2 cm). Collection of the artist, Nsukka, Nigeria.  Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

El Anatsui, "The Beginning and the End", 2019 (detail), Installation view Haus der Kunst. Photo: Maximilian Geuter
El Anatsui,  “The Beginning and the End”, 2019. Installation view Haus der Kunst. Photo: Maximilian Geuter

El Anatsui, "Earth-Moon Connexions", 1993, wood, tempera, 35.4 x 33.2 x 1.2 inches (90 x 84.4 x 3 cm). Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC
El Anatsui, “Earth-Moon Connexions”, 1993, (wood, tempera, 35.4 x 33.2 x 1.2 inches/90 x 84.4 x 3 cm). Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC

El Anatsui, "Rising Sea", 2019, installation view Haus der Kunst. Photo: Maximilian Geuter
El Anatsui, “Rising Sea”, 2019. Installation view Haus der Kunst. Photo: Maximilian Geuter

Triumphant Scale is on view until July 28, 2019. 

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