Black on Gold and Gold on Black, El Anatsui

2019

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A pair of new works have emerged from the ongoing collaborative project ‘Benchmarks’ between El Anatsui, the October Gallery and the intaglio print studio at Factum Arte. The Gold on Black takuhon has been exhibited at the October Gallery’s El Anatsui: Material Wonder (28th February - 6th April 2019). Black on Gold was displayed at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition where Anatsui is an Academician, from 10 June - 12 August 2019.

[R] Black on Gold © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

[L] Gold on Black © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

 

Black on Gold
Ink and gold leaf on Okamoto Gasenshi paper
132cm x 132cm
2019
Edition of 5

Gold on Black
Ink on Okamoto Gasenshi paper
132cm x 132cm
2019
Edition of 5

 

Printing directly from a tabletop from Anatsui’s studio in Lagos, these prints record the labour involved in his intricate metalworking. They demonstrate the metaphoric power of process and time: as bottle tops have been transformed into tapestries so plyboard sheets have been eroded into a terrain of marks from which an imprint can be taken.

The imprint is taken by a method called "Takuhon" which was developed in ancient Japan to take impressions from the stone carvings in shrines and requires only a simple tool made from silk and cotton. With this ‘tampo’, the dampened paper is pounded into the typography of a surface. The flexible Gasenshi fibres became like a skin that follows the grooves of the wood over which ink is then applied. The relief is retained as the paper dries, ensuring the inks and the 22-carat gold catches the light at different angles. The sculptural and material qualities of the hangings echo the paradoxical robustness and fragility that distinguishes El Anatsui’s oeuvre.

Applying the ink © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

Applying the ink © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

Constanza Dessain creates the emboss through hand pounding with the tampo © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

 

 

Detail of Black on Gold © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

Detail of Black on Gold © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

Detail of Black on Gold © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

Detail of Gold on Black © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

 


Factum Arte's team: Constanza Dessain, Eva María Segovia, David Carrillo Piñero

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