Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui was awarded the Venice Biennale‘s highest honor last month, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. Recommended for the award by this year’s Venice Biennale curator Okwui Enwezor, El Anatsui’s 40 year long career is marked by numerous international solo museum and gallery exhibitions that have garnered his work a significant following.
The president of the administrative council of the Venice Biennale, Paolo Baratta explained the significance of selecting El Anatsui’s for this award, “The Golden Lion rewards not only his recent international success, but also his artistic influence on two generations of artists in West Africa.”
Today, El Anatsui’s monumental sculptures and wall reliefs are part of major museum collections, including the British Museum in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, among others.
It is timely that El Anatsui’s representing gallery, Jack Shainman Gallery, is hosting a retrospective exhibition of the artists work titled “El Anatsui: Five Decades” at The School in Kinderhook, New York, during the Frieze New York this month.