Renowned Ghanaian Sculptor, El Anatsui, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts degree by the prestigious Harvard University in the US at its 365th Commencement ceremony for 2016.
Prof. Anatsui, who taught at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), is Emeritus Professor at the UNN, according to Mrs. Therese Nweke, Head of Media and Communications at the
Anatsui Art Initiative (AAI) in Lagos, Nigeria.
In a statement, Harvard described the Professor of Sculpture as: “a pre-eminent West African artist, widely recognised for sculptures and shimmering, tapestry-like wall hangings made from found objects”.
The University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa also awarded El Anatsui an Honorary Doctorate degree in Fine Arts at its 2016 graduation ceremonies on 14 June.
The university described Prof. Anatsui as: “the most significant living African artist”, whose work “has had an important epistemic contribution in the training of artists nationally, in particular in South African universities, and (whose) life’s work bears testament to the kind of scholarship UCT invites”.
Prof. Anatsui majored in Sculpture at the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, and also did his postgraduate work in Art Education there. He has lived and worked in Nigeria since 1975 and has influenced a generation of African artists. As well as being an art educator, El Anatsui is a prolific sculptor whose work can be accessed in scores of private and public collections, globally and continentally, including the permanent collections of 55 major international museums, 25 of which are in the US.
He is globally acknowledged as “Africa’s most recognised contemporary artist”, and is the subject of numerous art books, biographies, dissertations, films, reviews and articles.
El Anatsui has received numerous awards and prizes from various countries, including Japan, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain and the US.