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El Anutsui

Antique Rose Emporiums line up of little red wagons

The past year has been filled with doctor appointments and assorted medical tests; I’ve tried to pair them with something fun. After finishing up at the hospital, I ventured over to Rice University Gallery. Friday afternoon was an excellent time as the campus was mostly deserted and there were plenty of parking spots.

The gallery was easy to find and I had the docent’s sole attention. She had helped hang the work and had met the artist. There were just four pieces but they were absolutely immense. Made of tie wraps, bottle caps, and pieces of metal liquor bottles, they had a sensuous quality about them. Although most artists hate being asked ‘how long did it take’, I had to ask. There were thousands of tie wraps twisted into circlets and fastened together with bits of copper wire. Twenty people spent nearly two years constructing these pieces. The pieces were shipped folded up and not treated particularly carefully until hung up on huge rods.  The drape was incredible considering the nature of the material. The colors of the tie wraps and the liquor bottles were soft and undulating—so subtle. The whole effect was similar to walking into one of Monet’s water lily immense paintings.

Such mundane materials and so elegant—a trip well worth the effort.

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