The sculptor El Anatsui is the first living artist to exhibit at the Clark Museum in Williamstown, Mass. Originally from Ghana, he’s been active in Nigeria for much of his career. A museum guard said the artist is an affable and articulate man who visited the galleries during the show’s planning stage. He leaves the installation design up to curators.
Shaping found metal components and sewing them together with wire is extremely labor intensive. Pieces are assembled into squares like quilts, then arranged on the floor to design the large piece. El Anatsui had 2 assistants doing construction prior to an international show in 2004; now he has 20.
The artwork looks great contrasted with the architectural jewel of the Stone Center, Clark’s new building at the top of a wooded hill. Bright natural light fills sleek minimalist rooms. The brief exhibition catalog was sold out but is available on the museum website. With this exhibition, the Clark jumps directly from the 19th to the 21st century.
Closes October 16, 2011.
(For JW — don’t miss this show.)
Here’s my friend Jeanne’s review of the Clark Institute and Mass MoCA.