Monday, February 4, 2019, marked the birthday of the Nigerian-based Ghanaian artist, Emeritus Prof. El Anatsui. In appreciation of his contributions to visual arts in the world, a series of events were held in his honour.
A group of sculpture lecturers from the University of Nigeria’s Department of Fine and Applied Arts held an exhibition which opened on February 2 to commemorate Anatusi’s birthday. The exhibition titled “Igwebuike (Strength in Unity), features artists Chijioke Onuora, Eva Obodo, Uche Onyishi and more. Other events at the same venue also commemorated the life and work of the septuagenarian.
At about the same time in Lagos, a solo exhibition titled “Icing on Burnt Cake- a Tribute to El Anatsui at 75” opened at Thought Pyramid, Ikoyi, Lagos. This was an exhibition of works by Erasmus Onyishi, a former student of Prof. El Anatsui, that was hauntingly reminiscent of El’s earlier wood panel work.