El Anatsui's work is about as trashy as it comes. For years, the African artist and professor worked in a variety of mediums, but it was only a decade ago that he gained international acclaim for his intricate sculptures comprised of, as he's put it, "whatever the environment throws up." Anatsui, who was born in Ghana and resides in Nigeria, began constructing his creations after finding a bag of discarded liquor bottle tops in the countryside. He manipulated the metal, joining it with copper wire to create enormous, pliable, patterned sheets, which will be on view at his "El Anatsui: New Installation" show at Rice Gallery. The shimmering sheets bear a resemblance to Ghanaian kente cloth, a tribal fabric his father and brothers once wove. Opening reception and artist talk 5 to 7 p.m. January 28. Additional artist talk at noon, January 29. Regular viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Through March 14. 6100 Main. For information, call 713-348-6069 or visit www.ricegallery.org. Free.
Mondays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 28. Continues through March 14, 2010