I am still reeling after experiencing one of the most beautiful and culturally relevant museum exhibitions I've seen in a very long time.
Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui is now on view at the Brooklyn Museum and is well worth a visit, even if you are not in New York.
El Anatsui (b. 1944) is a Ghanaian artist who is well known for his sculptural installations made using found materials such as aluminum cans, and the Brooklyn Museum exhibition boasts over 30 works.
The texture and painterly quality of the large-scale pieces is surprisingly reminiscent of Impressionism. I was particularly reminded of Pointillism in the way that the large tapestry is made up of beautiful smaller elements that aren't necessarily salient but become noticeable upon closer inspection.
The wall hangings are inspired by kente, a type of cloth created using an indigenous weaving process that results in a silk/cotton blend and is native to the Ashanti and Akan people of the Ivory Coast and Ghana.
Referencing uli and nsibidi symbolism and drawing styles, Anatsui's stunning works also called to mind the tableaux of religious altarpieces, adorned with gold leaf. However, the usage of found materials and nod to his Ghanaian heritage makes Anatsui's work more poignant than ever.
Boots: Miista Val Tex
Handbag: Cynthia Rowley (some similar options here)