New Art Center Acquisitions


By Vicki Ingham

Of the recent additions to the permanent collection at the Des Moines Art Center, my favorite is “Basin” (2012) by the Ghanaian-born artist El Anatsui. His ability to transform discarded aluminum bottle caps and other junked metals into a fluid net of silver and gold is nothing short of magical. Anatsui had a solo exhibit at the Art Center earlier this year; if you missed it, this is your chance to see why his works are so captivating.

I was also pleased to see that the Art Center’s collection of works by Isabel Bishop grew with the gift of three etchings from Melva Bucksbaum and Ray Learsey. In addition to being a gifted draftsman and an acute observer, especially of women in urban settings, Bishop (1902-1988) represents a cohort of early 20th-century female artists who deserve to be better known.

Other new acquisitions include works by Robert Rauschenberg and Kerry James Marshall and 40 19th- and 20th-century Japanese color woodblock prints.


El Anatsui, “Basin” (2012), found aluminum and copper wire, 134 × 160 inches.
El Anatsui, “Basin” (2012), found aluminum and copper wire, 134 × 160 inches.


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