Aluminium and copper wire

Overall dimensions (work laid out on the ground): 346 × 953 cm (136 1/4 × 375 3/16 in.)

Although works by El Anatsui are brimming with meaning, the artist refuses to impose them on the viewer, preferring to leave room for their own interpretations. “My native language, Ewe, is tonal. A written word can have different meanings when it is spoken. I like it when things stay partly ambiguous.”

El Anatsui prefers to put the emphasis on the origin of his materials and the creation of works such as Depletion. The sculpture, made from the aluminium tops of liquor bottles and woven copper wire, gives the impression of a tapestry or a mosaic. It transposes African traditions onto the modern world, applying artisanal methods – traditional Kente weaving – to recycled objects.

The sculpture Depletion (2009), part of the Pinault Collection, was presented at the Palazzo Grassi at the "Le Monde vous appartient" (“The World Belongs to You”) exhibition (2011 - 2012).
Brahim El Anatsui's other artwork