Spotlight Artist: Africa - El Anatsui

River Crossing 2007 Aluminum and copper wire 103 × 141 inches © El Anatsui Art Code: "Create as much as you consume." Synopsis El Anatsui was born in Anyanko, Ghana in 1944. Many of Anatsui’s sculptures are mutable in form, conceived to be so free and flexible that they can be shaped in any way and altered in appearance for each installation. Working with wood, clay, metal, and—most recently—the discarded metal caps of liquor bottles, Anatsui breaks with sculpture’s traditional adherence to forms of fixed shape while visually referencing the history of abstraction in African and European art. The colorful and densely patterned fields of the works assembled from discarded liquor-bottle caps a

Spotlight Artwork: Justinian and His Attendants - Byzantine Art

Mosaic from the north wall of the apse, Church of San VitaleRavenna, Italy, ca. 547 Art Code: "There is value in the work." Synopsis One of the most famous images of political authority from the Middle Ages is the mosaic of the Emperor Justinian and his court in the sanctuary of the church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. This image is an integral part of a much larger mosaic program in the chancel (the space around the altar). A major theme of this mosaic program is the authority of the emperor in the Christian plan of history. The mosaic program can also be seen to give visual testament to the two major ambitions of Justinian's reign: as heir to the tradition of Roman Emperors, Justinian s

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