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El Anatsui at Jack Shainman Gallery, installation view, 2010
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by Alexandra Anderson-Spivy

When I saw El Anatsui’s majestic, glittering tapestries for the first time, at Jack Shainman Gallery in 2007, they gave me a visual jolt that instantly vanquished the day’s gallery-going torpor. I stared. What were these amazing objects, so meticulously composed of gold, silver and colored metal, which draped so elegantly, so seductively on the walls and pooled on the floor? Where did they come from? Who had made them?