The Jack Shainman Gallery  is celebrating The School’s first anniversary with Five Decades, a retrospective solo presentation by El Anatsui, the 56th International Biennale di Venezia’ Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement recipient, and one of the most captivating artist in history.


Five Decades showcases works spanning throughout Anatsui’s career of 50 years. A collection of paintings, wood, clay, and his most praised and genius works in metal are on display throughout The School.


Wood was a major part of Anatsui’s works during the 1980s and 90s. These works were influenced by trays used as a display platform for Kumasi merchants. Anatsui carved Adinkra patterns along with bright color paints on found wood pieces. The symbolism and powerful meaning of the Adinkra signs were a major inspiration during these times for the artist.


Anatsui’s recent works and his most monumental till this day, combined the aesthetics of his earliest pieces of clay and wood. Discarded aluminum is the artist’s main source of material which is mostly gained from liquor bottles caps from a distillery in Nsukka, a town in Nigeria where the artist works and resides.


The results of all these combined elements are grandiose colorful wall installations that change their shapes with each site. Your eyes will go on a wanderlust trip cruising through the in and outs of each of these marvelous and intricate masterpieces. A true example of how everything surrounding us is capable of becoming beautiful components of something much more complex.

El Anatsui,They Saw Us Through Puffs of Smoke

Five Decades will be on display at The School in Kinderhook, NY till September 26, 2015


The School is open on Saturdays from 11 am to 5 pm. For more information and to plan your visit please contact the gallery at

Photos By Angely Martinez



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