Oct 24, 2011

REVIEW | El Anatsui | Blanton Musuem | Austin Texas

El Anatsui
El Anatsui, Sacred Moon, 2007

 My party was blown away by this show! I had taken two guests with me hoping they would provide a little feedback about their experience.  Katrina Sharatt and Barbara Marcuse accompanied me to the Blanton Museum.  Once all fees were paid, we walked towards the show spending about five minutes reading all the acknowledgements, which is standard practice to post on the wall outside the show. Upon walking in it was hard not to notice how well this show was curated. Every aspect of the space was well-represented, large wall reliefs were predominant in the space, which were eye catching from afar and were even more spectacular once you could get a close up. The wall reliefs were made of hand woven recycled bottle caps, Barbara was very taken back by this due to fact she had spent a majority of here 86 years as a fibers artist weaving yarn.  I made an effort to pull back and take the whole space in; the use of the floors as well as freestanding pieces balanced these great wall reliefs. There was a great balance between large pieces and small pieces, which assisted the viewer from being overwhelmed in the space. There was a natural flow to the room, which I credit the use of the floor instillation, which acted as a traffic director. You never get bored in the space; you are almost taken by he hand and guided through the space visually. The Blanton staff did a wonderful job with taking a great body of work and delivering a visually treat. They made great decision in the placement of every object of art. The artist has a diverse body of work that took shape in form in wood sculptures, abstract paintings, found object art, and drawings. I believe he has a wonderful gift and an understanding for texture, which is consistent in every piece of art but highlighted in his hand woven masterpieces. This is a must see show in my opinion, I was tickled by the fact that my guest later that night were at a dinner party telling all of there guest that they have to go see this show. I went to the show with a different mindset than I usually go into an art show, I had unintentionally taken mental notes about things that I would usually take for granted in an art show. I guess the first thing that I noticed was the acknowledgement statement prior to entering, I know it’s standard practice to have one but this one stuck with me and the good use of funds that went into this show. I guess the second thing that I usually just whiz by paying no attention to was the use of a video presentation for education purposes. I guess the last thing that I tip my hat to the Blanton staff for would be the fiscal smarts of placing the gift shop at the end show. Yes I bought a few postcards! It’s a must see!
-Mark Doyle           


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