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Black Block

El Anatsui

Contemporary Art

Close inspection of El Anatsui’s glistening and cascading work reveals an elaborate surface constructed from liquor bottle tops joined together by copper wire. Anatsui incorporates these discarded aluminum caps, sourced from a liquor distillery in Nigeria, into the global history of abstraction. The monumental and unfixed form references both individual and collective bodies—from the lips that might grace the alcohol bottle to the hands of now-hundreds of studio assistants who work together to manipulate and weave the metal caps.
MEDIUM Aluminum and copper wire
DATES 2010
DIMENSIONS two pieces, each: 207 x 133 1/2 in., 67 lb. (525.8 x 339.1 cm, 30.39kg)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
CREDIT LINE Bequest of William K. Jacobs, Jr., by exchange
PROVENANCE April 18, 2013, purchased from Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, NY by the Brooklyn Museum.
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MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944). Black Block, 2010. Aluminum and copper wire, two pieces, each: 207 x 133 1/2 in., 67 lb. (525.8 x 339.1 cm, 30.39kg). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of William K. Jacobs, Jr., by exchange, 2013.7a-b. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, DIG_E_2013_Anatsui_Gravity_and_Grace_032_PS4_2013.7a-b.jpg)
IMAGE installation, DIG_E_2013_Anatsui_Gravity_and_Grace_032_PS4_2013.7a-b.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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