Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art hangs El Anatsui Sculptural Tapestry

One of the largest and most complex tapestry-like sculptures ever created by Ghanian artist El Anatsui has been hung in Bloch Lobby at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

El Anatsui, Ghanaian (b. 1944). Dusasa I, 2007. Found aluminum and copper wire, approximate dimensions: 288 x 360 inches. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Purchase: acquired through the generosity of the William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee, 2008.2. Courtesy of the Artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY. Photograph by Robert Greenspan.

The 350-pound, 39-foot-wide, 26-foot-high Dusasa I debuted at the 2007 Venice Biennale and entered the museum’s collection in early 2008. The title comes from two Ewe words, du and sasa, meaning a fusion of disparate elements on a monumental scale.

To construct Dusasa I, Anatsui collected thousands of recycled aluminum liquor-bottle tops and the strips that wrap around the bottle necks. He and his assistants flattened and punched six tiny holes in each colorful aluminum strip and arranged them according to the artist’s pattern. Then, using fine copper wire, they tied the strips together to make long rows. Finally, using the same copper wire, they tied the rows together. The finished work of art resembles a magnificent, shimmering tapestry.

The Nelson-Atkins is located at 45th and Oak Streets, Kansas City, MO. Hours are Wednesday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Thursday/Friday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sunday, Noon–5 p.m.