El Anatsui Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

El Anatsui is the recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia – All the World’s Futures.
The decision was made by the Board of Directors of la Biennale chaired by Paolo Baratta, upon recommendation of the Curator of the 56th International Art Exhibition Okwui Enwezor, acknowledging that with the following motivations:
“Born in 1944 in Anyako, Ghana, and based at the university town Nsukka in Nigeria since 1975, El Anatsuiis perhaps the most significant living African artist working on the continent today. The award for which I am recommending him is an important honor to an artist who has contributed immensely to the recognition of contemporary African artists in the global arena. It is also a worthy recognition of the originality of Anatsui’s artistic vision, his long-term commitment to formal innovation, and his assertion through his work of the place of Africa’s artistic and cultural traditions in international contemporary art.  The Golden Lion Award acknowledges not just his recent successes internationally, but also his artistic influence amongst two generations of artists working in West Africa. It is also an acknowledgment of the sustained, crucial work he has done as an artist, mentor and teacher for the past forty-five years.
A graduate of the sculpture program of the acclaimed Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Anatsui’s career direction was determined not so much by the still neo-colonial 1960s curriculum of the art school as by his identification with the progressive cultural politics championed by Ghanaian and African cultural nationalists of the independence era. Working with everyday objects on which he imbued philosophical and idiomatic signs, Anatsui’s earliest work consisted of round wood reliefs inspired by trays used by Kumasi traders for displaying their wares. On these trays he carved adinkra motifs and other designs and in the process was attracted to the dynamic relationship between the rich symbolism and graphic power of adinkra signs. Once aware of this possibility of simultaneous evocation of significant form and idea in adinkra, Anatsui, who in 1975 joined the faculty of the Fine and Applied Arts Department at the University of Nigeria, expanded his field of artistic resources to other West African design and sign systems, and syllabaries, including Igbo Uli, Efik Nsibidi, Bamun and Vai scripts. In time, he became a leading member of the famed Nsukka School presented at the important art exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in 1997. Today, Anatsui remains committed to the development of new artistic forms from African sources as well as from materials available in his local environment.”
The acknowledgment will be awarded to El Anatsui on Saturday May 9th 2015 at Ca’ Giustinian, the historic headquarters of la Biennale di Venezia, during the awards ceremony and inauguration of the 56th Exhibition. The 56th International Art Exhibition will open to the public at 10:00 am on that same day.
Biographical note
El Anatsui. An alumnus of the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, El Anatsui (b. 1944) is one of the most exciting international contemporary artists of our time. Throughout a distinguished forty-year career as both sculptor and teacher – he was Professor of Sculpture and Departmental Head at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka – El Anatsui has addressed a vast range of social, political and historical concerns, and embraced an equally diverse range of media and processes. His sculptures have been collected by major international museums, from the British Museum, London to the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the de Young Museum, San Francisco, USA; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York;  Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi; Osaka Foundation of Culture, Osaka; Museum of Modern Art, New York and many other prestigious institutions besides.
His installations have provoked wide international attention in recent years, with institutions and audiences fascinated by these sumptuous, mesmerising works made from thousands of aluminium bottle tops. During the Venice Biennale, in 2007, he transformed the facade of the Palazzo Fortuny by draping it in a shimmering wall sculpture. In 2010, two major touring shows of his work opened on opposite sides of the world: El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You About Africa at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada (organised by the Museum for African Art, New York) and A Fateful Journey: Africa in the Works of El Anatsui at the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan. As part of the 2012 Paris Triennale, he transformed the entire facade of Le Palais Galleria, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris with his striking work, Broken Bridge. In 2013, the Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA, exhibited the touring solo exhibition, Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui and the Royal Academy of Arts, London, presented the artist with the prestigious Charles Wollaston Award for his work, TSIATSIA – searching for connection, 2013, which covered the entire facade of the RA building. In 2014, he was made an Honorary Royal Academician as well as elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Chalewote street art festival [2011- 2015]

Chalewote street art festival [2011- 2015]

The CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival is an alternative platform that brings art, music, dance and performance out onto the streets of James Town in Accra. The festival targets exchanges between scores of local and international artists and patrons who create and appreciate art together. It also serves as a ground for experimentation and many artists find their voice here. The Foundation for Contemporary Art – Ghana is the visual coordinator of the festival.
Since 2011, CHALE WOTE has included street painting, graffiti murals, photography, theater, spoken word, interactive art installations, live street performances, extreme sports, film shows, a fashion parade, a music block party, recyclable design workshops and much more.

 

Global Crit Clinics – [2012-2014 ]

Global Crit Clinics – [2012-2014 ]

The Global Crit Clinics serve international communities where emerging fine artists have limited access to rigorous idea-based dialogue. They are rooted in the Fine Arts pedagogical studio critique and affectionately known as the “10-Day MFA”. These 2-week intensives are site-responsive and adaptable to the framework of their individual locations. They bring together faculty from arts institutions and universities across the world to facilitate critical dialogues. Alongside several days of group critique, individual studio visits, and portfolio reviews, the clinic presents curated screenings, thematic roundtable discussions, and workshops focused on areas of professional development, such as: Portfolio Development; Graduate Study; Writing for Artists; Global Opportunities and Social Networking. The FCA-Ghana collaborated with Kianga Ford (lead facilitator) and former Assistant Professor of New Genres in the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York and Shane Aslan Selzer(Co- Facilitator) an artist and writer.

 

ASIKO[2013]

ASIKO[2013]

“The Archive: Static, Embodied, Practiced’’
3rd International Art Programme
May 6 – June 9, 2013

After two very successful programmes which took place in Lagos on Independence and the Ambivalence of Promise 2010 and History/Materiality in 2012, for the first time the initiative moved to another West African country, Ghana- Accra. This 3rd International Art Programme dubbed “The Archive: Static, Embodied, Practiced’’ was held in Accra from May 6 – June 9, 2013 with the Foundation for Contemporary Art- Ghana as the lead coordinating organization. This is an international programme with leading art institutions as collaborating partners:
•Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos [Nigeria] •Nubuke Foundation [Ghana] •Dei Centre for the Study of Contemporary African Art [Ghana] •Clark Art Institute [Massachusetts – USA] •Parsons the New School for Design [New York – USA]

Using the format of part art Laboratory, part Residency and part informal Art Academy, over the course of 35 intensive days the programme focuses partially on technique and primarily on methodology, critical thinking, and the implementation of conceptual ideas.

In 2013, this part Residency, part Art Laboratory and part Informal Art Academy brought together 12 emerging artists and 4 emerging curators from 9 different African countries namely: Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Angola, Senegal, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa to be guided and mentored by 20 facilitators consisting of art lecturers, established guest artists and curators from Nigeria, Ghana, Netherlands, Brazil, UK and the USA.

Other partnering institutions included:
□ College of Art – KNUST [Kumasi-Ghana],
□ Public Records and Archives Administration Department of Ghana,
□ W. E. B. Dubois Centre for Pan- African Studies [Accra – Ghana],
□ Military Museum [Kumasi –Ghana]

 

Art in Public Spaces

Art in Public Spaces

Art in Public Spaces is a development from Art in the Garden, which offered artists a chance to present thought-provoking conceptual pieces. The public spaces also provided space for voluminous works such as installation pieces and huge sculptural works which one may never encounter in any of the galleries. This project is to create a platform for direct interaction between the public and artists whilst increasing the interest and appreciation of art by the Ghanaian community. Physical interaction within an urban context helps to break down barriers that restrict many from gaining a natural artistic perspective.

 

Mural(Akumajay Community Park, JamesTown, Accra)-2010

Busua Community, Busua-Western Region)-2009

Meet the Artist

Meet the Artist

‘Meet the Artist’ provides a platform for a critical discourse on issues relating to visual art and culture through presentations, lectures and discussions. It engages with artists, curators, writers, art critics and theorists to share their works with fellow artists, art enthusiasts and the public with the aim of encouraging debate and increasing dialogue on contemporary visual art and culture in Ghana. Open to local and visiting artists, curators, writers, art critics and theorists to enable discussion and debate. The sharing of ideas and getting to know what we are about as individuals or artists is very important for our growth and improvement.

Mr.Seth Dei-2010

 

Bisi Silva-2009

 

Nii Ahene-La-2009

 

Nii Noi Nortey-2009

 

Larry Otoo-2009

 

Prof Kearsten Colvin-Woodruf, Cathie Josylin-2008

 

Ibn Pitts Pouri-2007

 

Michele Farmer-2006

 

 

Tapped Talents

Tapped Talents

The importance of art in the development of children cannot be played down upon however it is a sad realisation that in most basic level education in Ghana art is almost non-existent. This project focuses on engaging children and the youth in workshops to help develop their creative skills placing special emphasis on children who may not have access to art lessons by virtue of their social status.

 

Jackson Park, Koforidua-2010

Osu Children’s Home- 2009

 

Book discussions | Film Screening

Book discussions | Film Screening

The FCA has a well-stocked art reference library of books and films that over the years have proven to be a great source of inspiration and reference for research for our members and affiliates. Non-members are more than welcome to join us for a chat and a drink. Book groups and film nights act as a stimulus for further discussion; accentuating seldom thought opinions, these events allow for the promulgation of ideas and opinions amongst artists.

Book discussions