Doha

El Anatsui, Black Block, 2010, aluminum, copper wire, 17' 2 3⁄4“ × 11' 1⁄2”.

El Anatsui, Black Block, 2010, aluminum, copper wire, 17' 2 3⁄4“ × 11' 1⁄2”.

El Anatsui

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

El Anatsui is the decolonial artist par excellence, known for rejecting Western modes and materials in favor of sustainability and indigeneity. It is with no small irony, then, that he should end up showing in Qatar, a country known for precisely the opposite. Organized by Okwui Enwezor and Chika Okeke-Agulu, this major exhibition debuted at Munich’s Haus der Kunst last year and will travel to Bern, Switzerland, and to Bilbao, Spain. Despite Enwezor’s posthumous credit as curator of the next Sharjah Biennial, “El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale” bears the romance of being the curator’s last completed show.

El Anatsui is best known for his monumental bottle-cap, wire, and liquor-label sculptures, which formed the heart of the exhibition. Perhaps in Europe the same works would invoke the centrality of both liquor and cloth in the transatlantic slave trade. In Doha, they suggested nothing so much

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