When I emailed a friend to ask for any tapestry-related exhibition suggests to see when I was in New York, her first choice was Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui at Brooklyn Museum. When I first looked the artist up online I wasn't really sure why she would suggest someone who make's large installations using found materials such as bottle caps and can lids - in other words, rubbish. But having visited the exhibition I now completely understand.
Born in Ghana, Anatsui now lives and works in Nigeria. The work in the exhibition is outstanding, beautiful, moving, mesmerising... you see where I'm going. The installations are so akin to textiles that you often don't realise their true materials until you look closely. The surfaces of the wall hangings undulate as if moving against the walls. Other installations rise up from the floor like waves. For those of you that won't make it to Brooklyn, here are some of my favourites:
Coming soon: the Tapestry and Reproduction session at the CAA conference.