By Susan Mullin Vogel
Prestel Publishing, $60.00, 176 pages, 5 stars
Those readers who visit art exhibits have likely had come across the monumental artworks of Ghanaian artist, El Anatsui who exhibited in many major museums, galleries and institutions throughout the world. Susan Mullin Vogel researched his life and art in fine details and presented her work in El Anatsui, a beautiful, large-format coffee table-style art book. She divides the book into two parts: the artist’s life and his art. Within each part she subdivides her work into chapters according to logical subjects. Photographic reproductions of Anatsui’s artwork are first-class, many full-page, some double-page spreads, plus many smaller images to fill in details and explain. This Ghanaian artist uses found material principally from recycling centers, such as tops of metal cans, bottle caps but also printer’s plates, paperbacks and so on to create enormous pieces. He originally started with clay but progressed to wood and stone as well. This book is about half text and half illustrations. The text incorporates frequent quotes from the artist (printed in bold) but also from his students and others. This is high-end production ends with many pages of notes, Anatsui’s chronology, and extensive exhibition history, and bibliography.
Reviewed by George Erdosh