Globally-celebrated Ghanaian Sculptor, Prof. El Anatsui, has been honoured with the most internationally-prestigious award in art – the Japan’s Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award, according to a statement by The Japan Art Association at the famous Juilliard School.
The 73-year-old Prof. Anatsui, who is Emeritus Professor in Sculpture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), received his award on 18 October, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan, from His Imperial Highness, Prince Hitachi, the younger brother of the Emperor of Japan, and the patron of The Japan Art Association.
The multi-award winning sculptor has also been honoured with the Lorenzo il Magnifico Lifetime Achievement Award by the 2017 Florence Biennale. It was presented to him at a ceremony in the Italian city of Florence – the culture capital of Europe – on 6 October, 2017.
The Japan Art Association described Prof. Anatsui’s work as “complex which defies traditional categories. He is known for the malleable sculptures he creates from discarded metal, such as cassava graters and liquor bottle tops… His transformation of these found materials enhance them with a certain dignity, and something he values. His long-held opinion is that ‘art is something that grows from the environment, it is not something you have to create”.
Prof. Anatsui has also been given yet another Lifetime Achievement Award; this time by the Philadelphia- based Brandywine Workshop and Archives.
In a communique issued by the organisation’s president said that the sculptor’s “art and impact represent the highest values for which the Award was established.”
The sculptures of El Anatsui’s can be found in the collections of the world’s major museums and galleries.