El Anatsui’s record collection on display at Art Dubai

Art Dubai attendees with a passion for both art and music can catch a unique exhibition this week, artnet.com reports. Elfie Gallery, a Dubai art space specialising in contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora, will showcase over 70 records from the personal collection of renowned Ghanaian artist El Anatsui. 

This special exhibition, a first-time public display of the artist’s record collection, offers a glimpse into the musical influences that have shaped his work. The diverse selection spans genres and continents, featuring iconic artistes like Fela Kuti, Aretha Franklin, and Dizzy Gillespie, alongside figures like Antonis Kalogiannis and King Sunny Adé. 

The record collection will be displayed alongside early sketches by Anatsui that incorporate song lyrics and musical titles, further highlighting the connection between his artistic voice and musical inspiration. 

“It’s an honour to share this lesser-known side of El Anatsui with the public,” says Kwame Mintah, the gallery director. Anatsui, widely considered a pioneer of the contemporary Ghanaian art scene, is best known for his monumental sculptures created from flattened and woven bottle caps.

Fela Kuti & Africa 70, Open & Close, 1987 Courtesy Elfie Gallery

This exhibition coincides with the ongoing display of Anatsui’s towering sculpture “Beyond the Red Moon” at Tate Modern in London. 

Elfie Gallery will also present “Elastic Visions,” a guest-curated exhibition showcasing the diverse works of artists from the African diaspora, alongside the Anatsui collection. Art Dubai runs from March 1st to 3rd, 2024.


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