An internationally renowned artist, El Anatsui received the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennial in 2015, a high honor for this African artist who first presented at the biennial in 1990. While remaining loyal to his roots, El Anatsui has traveled the world and gained international attention for his work in recycled materials. These emblematic bronze-toned tapestries are created using flattened bottle caps, linked by copper threads in a complex and meticulous assembly which blends tapestry, painting, and sculpture. Often monumental in size (as much as sixteen meters tall and fifty meters long for the façade of the Royal Academy in London in 2013), his complex, shimmering sculptures hide their material origins, while also gaining a metaphorical charge from their cultural and ecological implications.


Born in 1944 in Anyako, Ghana; Lives and works in Nsukka, Nigeria.



- El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale, Haus Der Kunst Munich, Munich Germany.

- El Anatsui: Meyina, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

- Proximately, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium.                                                                                                                                                                               
- Benchmarks: New Prints by El Anatsui, October Gallery, London, UK.
- Prints, Royal Academy, London, UK.
- El Anatsui, Barakat Gallery, Seoul, South Korea.

- El Anatsui, Prince Claus Fund Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands..
- El Anatsui: New Works, October Gallery, London, UK.
- Afrikas stjerne - Monumentale værker af El Anatsui, Trapholt Museum for Moderne Kunst, South Jutland, Denmark.
- El Anatsui: Five Decades, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia.

- El Anatsui, Domaine of Chaumont-sur-Loire, Chaumont-sur-Loire, France.
- El Anatsui: Five Decades, The School, Kinderhook, New York, USA.
- El Anatsui, Kunstbanken Hedmark Kunstsenter, Hamar, Norway.

- El Anatsui, Galerie Mnuchin, New York, USA.
- El Anatsui: Playing with Chance, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria.
- El Anatsui: New Worlds, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, USA.
- El Anatsui: Trains of Thoughts, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, USA.

- TSIATSIA – Searching for Connection, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK.
- El Anatsui: Pot of Wisdom, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, USA.

- Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui, Akron Art Museum, USA (puis au Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA; Des Moines Art Center, USA; Bass Museum of Art, Miami, USA; et Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, USA).

- Broken Bridge II, High Line, New York, USA.
- El Anatsui: Post of Wisdom, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, USA.
- Stitch in Time, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium.
- Chance Encounters: Seven Contemporary Artists from Africa, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, India.

- El Anatsui, Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, USA.

- El Anatsui, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, USA.
- El Anatsui: Gli, Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, USA.
- When I Last Wrote To You About Africa, traveling exhibition until 2012 (Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada;  Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Wellesley, USA; Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin, USA; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, USA; Denver Art Museum, USA; University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, USA; Museum for African Art, New York, USA).
- A Fateful Journey: Africa in the Works of El Anatsui, traveling exhibition until 2011 (National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japon; The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama, Japon; Tsuruoka Art Forum, Japon; The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japon).

- El Anatsui: Process and Project, BRIC Contemporary Art, New York, USA.
- El Anatsui, Belger Arts Center, Kansas City, USA.

- Zebra Crossing, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, USA.
- Earth Growing Roots, San Diego State University Art Gallery, San Diego, USA.

- El Anatsui: Nyekor, Spazio Rossana Orlandi, Milan, Italy.
- El Anatsui: Asi, David Krut Projects, New York, USA.

- Danudo: Recent Sculptures of El Anatsui, Skoto Gallery, New York, USA.

- El Anatsui: Gawu, traveling exhibition (Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Wales, UK; October Gallery, London, United Kingdom; Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, USA; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA).

- El Anatsui: Recent Works, October Gallery, London, UK.

- El Anatsui: As Sculpted History of Africa, October Gallery, London UK.

- Hakpa, French Cultural Center, Lagos, Nigeria.

- El Anatsui, October Gallery, London, UK.

- So Far: Drawings, Paintings, Prints 1963-1993, Italian Cultural Institute, Lagos, Nigeria.

- Old and New: Exhibition of Sculptures in Assorted Wood by El Anatsui, National Museum, Lagos, Nigeria.

- Venovize: Ceramic Sculpture by El Anatsui, Cornwall Colledge of Further & Higher Education, Redruth, UK.
- Pieces of Wood, Franco-German Auditorium, Lagos, Nigeria.

- Sculptures, Photographs, Drawings, Institut Goethe, Lagos, Nigeria.

- Wood Carvings, Cummington Community of Arts, Cummington, USA.

- Broken Pots: Sculpture by El Anatsui, Consulat britannique, Enugu, Nigeria and Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.

- Wooden Wall Plaques by El Anatsui, Asele Art Gallery, Nsukka, Nigeria.



- 1st Ghana Pavillion, 58th Venice Biennale, Italy.
- Saison d’art 2019, Domaine de Chaumont sur Loire, France.

- African Metropolis. An Imaginary City. MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Arts, Rome, Italy.
- Ceremonial Exhibition: Work by New Members and Recipients of Awards, American Academy of Arts and Letters. New York, USA.
- Second Life. Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden, Marrakech, Egypt.
- Carnegie International, 57th Edition 2018, Carnegie Museum of Art. Pittsburgh USA.
- Deviations, Musée Bargoin, Clermont-Ferrand, France.

- KIAF 2017, Art Seoul, Galerie RX, Seoul, South Korea.
- Afriques Capitales : Cape of Good Hope Here We Come, Lille 3000, Lille, France.
- 9th Season of Art, Chaumont-sur-Loire, France.
- Baku: Franz Ackerman, El Anatsui, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Richard Wilson. Gazeli Art House. London, UK.
- A Journey: El Anatsui, Anish Kapoor, Jannis Kounellis. Kewenig, Berlin, Germany.
- La Terra Inquieta/The Restless Earth, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan, Italy.

- African Artists as Innovators, Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Stanford, USA.
- The Woven Arc, Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, Hutchins Center Harvard
University, Cambridge, USA.
- Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design, Center de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelone,
- Marrakech Biennale 6: Not New Now, Marrakech, Morocco.
- Ugwu, Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, Chaumont-sur-Loire, France.
- El Anatsui, Hilla and Bernd Becher, Maya Lin: Of A Different Nature, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, USA.
- Summer Exhibition 2016, Royal Academy of Arts, London; UK.

- Us Is Them, The Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, USA.
Re:Purposed, The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, State Art Museum of Florida, Florida State
University, Sarasota, USA.
- Field, Road, Cloud: Art and Africa, Anna K. Meredith Gallery, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, USA.
- Embracing Space and Color: Art On & Off the Wall, Vero Beach Museum of Art, USA.
- Meet Me Halfway: Selections from the Anita Reiner Collection, Galerie Cristin Tierney, New York, USA.
- Piece Work, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, USA.
- Summer Exhibition 2015, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK.
- Atopolis: WIELS @ Mons 2015, Manège de Sury, Mons, Belgium.
- Standing and Hanging, Galerie Altman Siegel, San Francisco, USA.

- Mise En Scène, The School, Kinderhook, New-York, USA.
- The Art of Our Time: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collections, Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain.

- Boca Raton Museum of Art, USA.
- Chosen, 5 Beekman Street, New York, USA.
- Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., USA.
- Art and Textiles, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany.

- 1st Montevideo Biennial, Montevideo, Uruguay.
- Summer Exhibition 2012, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (Façade of the Burlington House).
- 18th Sydney Biennale, Australia.
- Paris Triennial 2012, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (organisé par Okwui Enwezor, Claire Staebler, Emilie Renard, Melanie Bouteloup and Abdellah Karroum).
- African Cosmos: Stellar Art, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA.
- Chance Encounters: Seven Contemporary Artists from Africa, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, India.

- Environment and Object in Recent African Art, Skidmore College Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA (traveling exhibition: Anderson Gallery, Virginia, Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA; Middlebury College Museum of Art, Middlebury, USA).
- Architectural Environments for Tomorrow: New Spatial Practices in Architecture and Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan.

- The World Belongs to You, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy (organized by Caroline Bourgeois).
- Hunters and Gatherers: The Art of Assemblage, Sotheby’s, New York, USA.
- ARS 11, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland.

- A Collective Diary, an African Contemporary Journey, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel.
- Who Knows Tomorrow, Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany.
- Human Rites, Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, USA.

- Extreme Frontiers, Urban Frontiers, Institut Valencia d'Art Modern, Valencia, Spain.
- Chance Encounters: Seven Contemporary Artists from Africa, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, India.
- Against Exclusion, Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia.
- Transavangarde, October Gallery, London, UK.

- Angaza Afrika, October Gallery, London, UK.
- World Histories, Des Moines Art Center, USA.
- Art Basel 39, Basel, Switzerland.
- Recycling: The Whole House, Kunstbanken Hedmark Kunstenter, Hadmar, Norway.
- Grandeur, 10th Sonsbeek International Sculpture Exhibition, Sonsbeek, Netherlands .
- Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA.
- The Poetics of Cloth: African Textiles/Recent Art, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York, USA.
- The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design without End, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.
- Prospect.1, New Orleans, USA.

- Uncomfortable Truths: The Shadow of Slave Trading on Contemporary Art and Design, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.
- From Courage to Freedom: El Anatsui/Hazoumé/Owusu-Ankoma, October Gallery, London, UK.
- Contemporary African Art from the Collection of William Jones, Aljira: A Center for Contemporary Living Masters, Guaranty Trust Bank, Lagos, Nigeria.
- Trans Cape: Contemporary African Art on the Move, Cape Town, South Africa.
- Still Life: Art Ecology & Politics of Change, Sharjah Biennial 8, United Arab Emirates.
- Artempo: Where Time Becomes Art, Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, Italy.
- Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind: Art in the Present Tense, 52nd Venice Biennale, Italy.
- Un/Fair Trade: The Art of Injustice, Neue Galerie, Graz, Austria.
- Art, Newark, USA.
- Tapping Currents: Contemporary African Art and the Diaspora, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, USA.
- BoysCraft, Haifa Museum of Art, Israel.

- The Black Panther Rank and File, Yerba Buena Center of Arts, San Francisco, USA.
- Dak'Art 2006, 7ème Biennale de l'Art Africain Contemporain, Dakar, Senegal.
- The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama, traveling exhibition in the USA and Japan.
- Body of Evidence, National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, USA.
- Altered, Stitched and Gathered, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York, USA.
- Poiesis, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, USA.
- Expanding Africa: New Art, New Directions, Newark Museum, Newark, USA.
- Afrique-Europe: Rêves Croisés, Ateliers des Tanneurs, Brussels, Belgium.
- Triennal de Luanda, Angola.
- Primitivism Revisited: After the End of an Idea, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, USA.

- Out There, Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, Norwich, UK.
- In the Making: Materials and Process, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
- AKA... of Age 2005, Maison de France, Lagos, Nigeria.

- Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent, traveling exhibition (Museum Kunstpalast, Centre Pompidou, Moderna Museet...).
- A Grain of Dust, A Drop of Water, 5th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea.
- Intelligence Now!, October Gallery, London, UK.

- Selected Works, Skoto Gallery, New York, USA.
- Hommage to Asele, National Museum, Lagon, Nigeria.
- Biennale of Ceramics in Contemporary Art, Villa Groppallo, Vado Liguire, Italy.
- Africa Informs, October Gallery, London, UK.
- Transfers, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium.

- International 2002, Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK.

- Jazz and Visual Improvisations, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New York, USA.
- News from the Front, October Gallery, London, UK.
- Africas: The Artist and the City, Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
- The Happy Face of Globalization, 1st Albissola Ceramics Biennale, Museo Civico d’Arte Contemporanea and Mueo della Ceramica Manlio Trucco, Albissola, Italy.
- Ebony Soliloquy: A Five Year Retrospective, Stella Jones Gallery, New Orleans, USA.
- Elf Village, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

- Encounters with the Contemporary, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA.
- El Tiempo de Africa, Centro Atlantico Arte Moderno, Las Palmas, Canary Islands and Consejeria de Cultura de Comunidad, Madrid, Spain.
- Messagers de la Terre, Rur’Art-Espace d’Art Contemporain de Lycée Agricole Xavier Bernard, Rouillé, France.

- New Colours from Old Worlds : Contemporary Art from West Africa, October Gallery, London, UK.
- Les Champs de la Sculpture, Champs Elysées, Paris, France.
- The Independent, 1st Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, Liverpool, UK.
- Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK.

- Riddle of the Spirits – Twelve African Artists, Skoto Gallery, New York, USA.
- By Hand and By Computer, Contemporary African Art Gallery, New York, USA.
- Osaka Triennale: Sculpture, Osaka, Japan.
- Triennale der Kleinplastik, Stuttgart, Germany.

- The Poetics of Line: Seven Artists of the Nsukka Group, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA.
- Free Form and Precision, Contemporary African Art Gallery, New York, USA.

- Africana, Sala 1, Rome, Italy.
- AKA ’96, Bona Gallery, Enugu, Nigeria.
- El Anatsui & Sol LeWitt, Skoto Gallery, New York, USA.
- Transforms, October Gallery, London, UK.
- West African Sculpture-East African Painting, Contemporary African Art Gallery, New York, USA.
- Tranvangarde: Cutting-edge Work from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, October Gallery, New York, USA.
- Container ’96-Art across Oceans, Langelinie, Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Images of Africa, Torpedohallen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Group Exhibition, Avant-Garde Gallery, Kaduna, Nigeria.

- Art in the Shadow, Nigerian Pavilion, Africus: 1st Johannesburg Biennale, Johannesburg, South Africa.
- Uli Art-Master Works, Skoto Gallery, New York, USA.
- Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK; Malmö Konsthall, Malmö, Sweden.
- An Inside Story: African Art of Our Time, traveling exhibition in Japan.
- Osaka Triennale: Sculpture, Osaka, Japan.
- Contemporary African Art, World Intellectual Property Organization Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.
- The Right to Hope, Johannesburg Art Gallery, since shown in Cairo, Amman, Gaza, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv.
- Configura 2, Erfurt, Germany.

- AKA ’94, Bona Gallery, Enugu; Didi Museum, Lagos, Nigeria.
- Arte/Sociedad/Reflexions, 5the Havana Biennial, Cuba.

- AKA ’93, Bona Gallery, Enugu; Didi Museum, Lagos, Nigeria.
- New Currents ’93: Avant-Garde Nigerian Art, Didi Museum, Lagos, Nigeria.
- Six African Artists, October Gallery, London, UK.

- AKA ’92, Bona Gallery, Enugu; Didi Museum, Lagos, Nigeria.
- Arte Amazonas, Modern Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- Klima Global, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Berlin; Ludwig Forum, Aix-la-Chapelle, Germany.

- Works by a Group of African Artists, The World Bank Art Society, Washington DC, USA.
- AKA ’91, Bona Gallery, Enugu; National Museum, Lagos, Nigeria.
- Sculptors Guild of Nigeria: Inaugural Exhibition, Murtala Mohammed Park, Enugu, Nigeria.
- El Desafio de Colonization, 4th Hanava Biennial, Cuba.
- Il Sud del Mondo: L’altra arte contemporanea, Galleria Civica d’Arte Contemporaneo, Marsala, Italy.

- Contemporary African Artists: Changing Tradition, Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum, Philadelphia; Chicago Public Library Center, Chicago, USA.
- AKA ’90, Hotel Presidential, Enugu; Goethe-Institute, Lagos, Nigeria.
- Dimensione Futuro: l’Artista e lo Spazio, 44th Venice Biennale, Italy.
- The Calabash 1st Art Exhibition, The Calabash, Lagos, Nigeria.

- AKA ’89, Hotel Presidential, Enugu; National Gallery of Art, Lagos, Nigeria.
- Zeitgenössische Nigerianische Kunst, Bonn, Bocholt and Mönchengladbach, Germany.

- AKA ’88, a.o. National Gallery of Art, Lagos, Nigeria.
- SSART Exhibition, ANA Gallery, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
- An Exhibition of Sculptures in Wood: Thoughts and Process, Italian Cultural Institute, Lagos, Nigeria.
- Walls and Gates, Avant Garde Gallery, Kaduna, Nigeria.

- AKA ’87, Hotel Presidential, Enugu; National Gallery of Crafts and Design, Lagos, Nigeria.

- Nigerian-German Prints, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Franco-German Auditorium, Lagos, Nigeria.
- AKA ’86, Inaugural exhibition of the AKA Circle of Exhibiting Artists, French Centre/Ministry of Education, Enugu; Goethe-Institute, Lagos, Nigeria.

- Four Contemporary Artists, Mintec Galleries, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

- Okiki 10th Anniversary Exhibition, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.

- Drawing on the World, Bilingham Art Gallery, Billingham; Middlesborough Art Gallery, Middlesborough; House of Commons Gallery, Westminster, London, UK.

- The Nsukka School, Art Gallery of the Rivers State Council for Arts and Culture, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
- Christian Arts in Nigeria, Holy Trinity Cathedral Hall, Onitsha, Nigeria.

- Dyed Fabric Wallhangings, Burnt-Scorched Wooden Wall Plaques, Institute of African Studies Gallery, University of Nigeria.

- Tekarts Expo 5, Accra Arts Center, Accra, Ghana.



Praemium Imperiale 2017, sculpture

Lion d’Or, Venice Biennale

Charles Wollaston Award, 245th Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK

Public’s Prize, 7th Triennial of Small-Scale Sculpture, Stuttgart, Germany

Bronze Prize, 9th Triennale of Sculpture, Osaka, Japan

"Kansai Telecasting Corporation" Award, Triennale of Sculpture, Osaka, Japan

Honorable Mention, 44th Venice Biennale, Italy



  • African Studies Gallery, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
  • Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio, USA
  • Ambassade du Ghana, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Asele Institute, Nimo, Nigeria
  • Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA
  • Centre Culturel français, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
  • Clarks International Art Collection, Somerset, UK
  • de Young Museum, San Francisco, USA
  • Denver Art Museum, Colorado, USA
  • Des Moines Art Center, USA
  • Diamond Bank of Nigeria, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire, France
  • Eden Project, Cornwall, UK
  • Fondation Bill et Melinda Gates, Seattle, USA
  • Fowler Museum, Université de Californie, Los Angeles, USA
  • Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, USA
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, USA
  • International Peoples’ College, Helsingor, Denmark
  • Iwalewa-Haus, Université de Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany
  • Jordan National Gallery of Arts, Amman, Jordan
  • Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA
  • Missoni, Milan, Italy
  • Musée Ariana, Geneva Switzerland
  • Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Museum of Art, Université de l’Iowa, Iowa City, USA
  • North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, USA
  • Osaka Foundation of Culture, Osaka, Japan
  • Royal Ontario Museum, Canada
  • Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA
  • Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, USA
  • Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, USA
  • Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
  • Tate Modern, London, UK
  • The British Museum, London, UK
  • The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC, USA
  • The Hammermill Collection, Hellebaek, Helsingor, Denmark
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
  • The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York, USA
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
  • The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
  • The National Gallery of Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria
  • The National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, USA
  • The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
  • The Newark Museum, USA
  • The World Bank Art Collection, Washington DC, USA
  • Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, USA
  • William Fisher Collection, Newark, USA
  • UNAIDS, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, USA