Hyundai Artlab

Hyundai Commission: Abraham Cruzvillegas

Hyundai Commission at Tate Modern

Hyundai Commission: Abraham Cruzvillegas: Empty Lot

October 13 2015 – April 3 2016, Tate Modern

About the Exhibition

For the inaugural Hyundai Commission, Abraham Cruzvillegas unveiled Empty Lot, a large sculpture provoking questions about the city and nature, as well as wider ideas of chance, change and hope. Two stepped triangular platforms extended across Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall inviting visitors to wander through the supporting scaffolding and explore underneath the platforms or to the wider view of the work from above on the Turbine Hall bridge. The platforms held a geometric grid of 240 wooden planters filled with over 23 tons of soil collected from parks and gardens all across London from Peckham Rye to Regent’s park. Abraham Cruzvillegas often creates sculptural works from local objects – often found, and some bought. Using materials found in skips and building sites around Tate, Cruzvillegas further constructed lampposts which for the duration of the project lit the soil. In the middle of London, Hyundai Commission: Abraham Cruzvillegas: Empty Lot was a space where nothing was planted or produced but where change could happen.

Abraham Cruzvillegas (born in Mexico City, in 1968) is known for creating sculptural works from local found objects and materials. During the 1990s and 2000s, he was among the figures of a new wave of emerging conceptual artists in Mexico and for the past few years has presented a body of work under the title autoconstrucción or ‘self-construction’, a term which usually refers to the way Mexicans of his parents' generation arriving in the capital from rural areas in the 1960s, built their own houses in stages, improvising with whatever materials they could source. His work is represented in museum collections including Tate, and MoMA, New York and in recent years, his work has appeared in major exhibitions at The Contemporary Austin (2019), Kunsthaus Zurich (2018), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (2017), Haus der Kunst, Munich (2014) and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2013).

Hyundai Commission: Abraham Cruzvillegas was curated by Mark Godfrey, Senior Curator, Tate Modern, with Fiontán Moran, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern.