This thoughtful one-person exhibition by the art historian Yukiya Kawaguchi, in the ethnographic museum in Osaka, lands at the intersection of art and ethnology, Africa and internationalism. The exhibition is masterfully curated and beautifully installed, but the premise stated in the title and implied in the show’s institutional context overemphasizes the African and ethnographic sources of Anatsui’s art. Rather misrepresenting both Africa and Anatsui, it seems to place the artist in the wrong Africa: the dusty village of ethnic traditions. Anatsui grew up in a small town and was shaped by an international formal education and a Christian church. Africa has always had areas of cosmopolitan learning, and occluding this one stunts the image of Africa. Where Anatsui is concerned, we should neglect neither his African origins nor his education, love of books, and years of looking at many kinds of art.

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