El Anatsui, Skylines?, 2008. Aluminium and copper wire, 300 x 825 cm. © El Anatsui. Private Collection. Courtesy the Artist and October Gallery, London. Photo © Jonathan Greet.
El Anatsui, In the World But Don't Know the World? (detail), 2009. Aluminium and copper wire, 1000 x 560 cm. © El Anatsui. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Kunstmuseum Bern. Courtesy the Artist and October Gallery, London. Photo © Jonathan Greet.
El Anatsui, Kindred Viewpoints, 2016. Aluminium and copper wire, 1680 x 2140 cm. Image courtesy Marrakech Biennale 6, NOT NEW NOW. Photo © Jens Martin.
Artist El Anatsui. Photo © Aliona Adrianova, 2019. Courtesy October Gallery, London.
About the Exhibition
El Anatsui will create the next annual Hyundai Commission for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. His new site-specific work will be open to the public from October 10, 2023 to April 14, 2024. Repurposing found materials into dazzling works of abstract art, Anatsui’s work explores themes that include the environment, consumption and trade.
Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui is curated by Osei Bonsu, Curator, International Art, Tate Modern and Dina Akhmadeeva, Assistant Curator, International Art, Tate Modern.
About the Artist
El Anatsui (b. 1944, Anyako, Ghana) is best-known for his cascading metallic sculptures constructed of thousands of recycled bottle-tops articulated with copper wire. Over a long-lasting and distinguished career as both artist and educator—serving as Professor of Sculpture and Departmental Head at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka—Anatsui has developed a highly experimental approach to sculpture, embracing a wide range of forms and materials including wood, ceramics and found objects. He has experimented with liquor bottle tops since the late 90s and continues to push the medium’s boundaries in novel ways, creating radical, transformative sculptures which assume new shapes with every installation. Interested in the changing histories of the objects he repurposes into shimmering sculptures, Anatsui fuses specific local aesthetic traditions with the global history of abstraction.
Anatsui has exhibited around the world including recent solo projects at La Conciergerie, Paris (2021); Triumphant Scale at Haus der Kunst, Munich (2019); Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha (2019); Kunstmuseum Bern (2020). In 2015, Anatsui was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia and he was recipient of the Charles Wollaston Award at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2013. In 2019, a major installation was exhibited at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, (Zeitz MOCCA), Cape Town, and his work was included in the inaugural Ghana Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Anatsui’s work is held in permanent collections around the world including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; The British Museum, London; the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
About the Program
The annual Hyundai Commission is a series of new, site-specific installations by international artists in Tate Modern’s iconic Turbine Hall, made possible by a unique partnership between Tate and Hyundai Motor. The Turbine Hall has hosted some of the world’s most memorable exhibitions and the way artists have interpreted this space has revolutionized public perceptions of contemporary art. The annual Hyundai Commission offers contemporary artists an opportunity to create new work for this unique context while bringing forward many of today’s most pressing questions.