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Old Used Torn Towel

Old Used Torn Towel

On View

Chazen : Gallery : 14

El Anatsui

El Anatsui burned, incised, carved, and painted native African hardwoods to create surface patterns reminiscent of kente cloth of his native Ghana. He intentionally leaves the arrangement of the 14 panels up to the owner as a reference to colonialism, when Africa was arbitrarily divided and reassembled according to European interests.
El Anatsui
(Ghanaian, active in Nigeria, b. 1944)
Old Used Torn Towel
ca. 2003
African hard woods, pigment
24 x 54 x 1 in. Overall
J. David and Laura Seefried Horsfall Endowment Fund purchase
Accession No.


  • Chazen Museum of Art. "Bulletin 2003-2007." Madison: Chazen Museum of Art, 2010. p. 37, no. 2
  • Sytsma, Janine. "The Sculpture of El Anatsui: Rupture and Renewal at the Chazen Museum of Art." Bulletin 2003-2007. Chazen Museum of Art (2010): 36-41. pp. 36-41, no. 2

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