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Maker: El Anatsui
born 1944, Ghana (active in Nigeria)
Earth-Moon Connexions
Date: 1995
Medium: Wood, paint
Dimensions: H x W x D: 90 x 84.4 x 3 cm (35 7/16 x 33 1/4 x 1 3/16 in.)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds provided by the Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program
Geography: Ghana
Geography: Nigeria
Object Number: 96-17-1
Search Terms:
Exhibited: Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts

Shimmering dots, lines, and concentrated areas of color suggest the movement and phases of the moon over the landscape and its connection to the seasonal calendars that regulate agricultural labor and the timing of rituals and other activities. The work evokes astronomy’s grid-like plotting that fixes stars, moons, and planets within particular galaxies in deep space.

Nine board sections. Surface covered with incised and blackened grid pattern. Two large blackened grid and slash areas. Incised slash lines and scattered squares painted red, white, blue, and green.

Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 4, 2017-ongoing



African Cosmos: Stellar Arts, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., June 20-December 9, 2012; Newark Museum, February 26-August 11, 2013; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, August 23-November 30, 2014; Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, Atlanta, January 31-June 21, 2015 (exhibited at NMAfA and Carlos Museum)



Poetics of Line: Seven Artists of the Nsukka Group, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., October 22, 1997-April 26, 1998


Kreamer, Christine Mullen. 2012. African Cosmos: Stellar Arts. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution; New York: Monacelli Press, p. 314, no. 17.14.


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