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Tate Modern and Hyundai Motor Announce El Anatsui as Next Hyundai Commission Artist

*Featured photo: El Anatsui, Three sightings, 2021 Aluminium and copper wire, 280 x 807 cm © El Anatsui Courtesy the Artist and October Gallery, London Photo © Jonathan Greet

Tate Modern and Hyundai Motor announce that El Anatsui will create the next annual Hyundai Commission. One of the most distinctive artists working today, El Anatsui is best-known for his cascading metallic sculptures constructed of thousands of recycled bottle-tops articulated with copper wire. Repurposing found materials into dazzling works of abstract art, Anatsui’s work explores themes that include the environment, consumption and trade. His site-specific work for the Turbine Hall will be open to the public from 10 October 2023 – 14 April 2024.

El Anatsui, Kindred Viewpoints, 2016 Aluminium and copper wire, 1680 x 2140 cm Image courtesy Marrakech Biennale 6, NOT NEW NOW Photo © Jens Martin

Anatsui was born in Anyako, Ghana in 1944 and has spent most of his career in Nigeria. 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. In 2015, Anatsui was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia and his work is held in major collections around the world.

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

Frances Morris, direttore della Tate Modern, ha dichiarato: El Anatsui è responsabile di alcune delle sculture più uniche e indimenticabili degli ultimi tempi e siamo lieti che si occupi della Turbine Hall quest’autunno per l’annuale Hyundai Commission. L’apprezzatissimo Ink Splash II 2012 di Anatsui, presente nella collezione della Tate, incanta i visitatori ovunque venga esposto e non vediamo l’ora di constatare come questo inventivo artista si approccerà a uno spazio come la Turbine Hall”.

DooEun Choi, direttore artistico di Hyundai Motor Company, ha dichiarato: “Le opere di El Anatsui si distinguono per la sua dedizione all’esplorazione del potenziale trasformativo dell’arte e per la sua attenzione alle storie. Non vediamo l’ora di vedere come El Anatsui trasformerà la Turbine Hall della Tate Modern per l’ottava Commissione Hyundai”.

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

Since Tate Modern opened in 2000, the Turbine Hall has hosted some of the world’s most memorable and acclaimed works of contemporary art, reaching an audience of millions each year. The way artists have interpreted this vast industrial space has revolutionised public perceptions of contemporary art in the twenty-first century. The annual Hyundai Commission gives artists an opportunity to create new work for this unique context. The commissions are made possible by the long-term partnership between Tate and Hyundai Motor, confirmed until 2026 as part of the longest initial commitment from a corporate partner in Tate’s history.

Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui is curated by Osei Bonsu, Curator, International Art, and Dina Akhmadeeva, Assistant Curator, International Art, Tate Modern and will be accompanied by a new book from Tate Publishing.

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La Tate Modern e Hyundai Motor annunciano El Anatsui come prossimo artista della Commissione Hyundai

*Foto in evidenza: El Anatsui, Three sightings, 2021 Aluminium and copper wire, 280 x 807 cm © El Anatsui Courtesy the Artist and October Gallery, London Photo © Jonathan Greet

La Tate Modern e Hyundai Motor annunciano che El Anatsui è incaricato di creare la prossima opera annuale della Hyundai Commission. El Anatsui, uno degli artisti più singolari oggi in attività, è noto soprattutto per le sue sculture metalliche a cascata costruite con migliaia di tappi di bottiglia riciclati e articolati con fili di rame. Trasformando materiali trovati in opere d’arte astratta, il lavoro di Anatsui esplora temi quali l’ambiente, il consumo e il commercio. La sua opera site-specific per la Turbine Hall sarà aperta al pubblico dal 10 ottobre 2023 al 14 aprile 2024.

El Anatsui, Kindred Viewpoints, 2016 Aluminium and copper wire, 1680 x 2140 cm Image courtesy Marrakech Biennale 6, NOT NEW NOW Photo © Jens Martin

Anatsui è nato a Anyako, in Ghana, nel 1944 e ha trascorso la maggior parte della sua carriera in Nigeria. Nel corso di una lunga e illustre carriera sia come artista che come educatore – è stato professore di scultura e capo dipartimento presso l’Università della Nigeria, Nsukka – Anatsui ha sviluppato un approccio altamente sperimentale alla scultura, abbracciando una vasta gamma di forme e materiali, tra cui legno, ceramica e oggetti trovati. Dalla fine degli anni ’90 sperimenta con i tappi delle bottiglie di liquore e continua a spingere i confini del mezzo in modi nuovi, creando sculture radicali e trasformative che assumono nuove forme a ogni installazione. Interessato alle storie mutevoli degli oggetti che riutilizza in sculture scintillanti, Anatsui fonde specifiche tradizioni estetiche locali con la storia globale dell’astrazione. Nel 2015 Anatsui è stato premiato con il Leone d’oro alla carriera alla 56a Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Biennale di Venezia e le sue opere sono conservate in importanti collezioni di tutto il mondo.

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

Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern, said: El Anatsui is responsible for some of the most unique and unforgettable sculptures in recent times and we are delighted that he will tackle the Turbine Hall this autumn for the annual Hyundai Commission. Anatsui’s much-loved Ink Splash II 2012 in Tate’s collection enchants visitors wherever it’s shown, and we can’t wait to see how this inventive artist will approach a space like the Turbine Hall.”

DooEun Choi, Art Director of Hyundai Motor Company said: “El Anatsui’s works are distinguished by his dedication to exploring the transformative potential of art and his attention to histories. We look forward to seeing how El Anatsui transforms the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern for the eighth Hyundai Commission.”

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

Dall’apertura della Tate Modern nel 2000, la Turbine Hall ha ospitato alcune delle opere d’arte contemporanea più celebri e acclamate al mondo, raggiungendo ogni anno un pubblico di milioni di persone. Il modo in cui gli artisti hanno interpretato questo vasto spazio industriale ha rivoluzionato la percezione pubblica dell’arte contemporanea nel XXI secolo. L’annuale Commissione Hyundai offre agli artisti l’opportunità di creare nuove opere per questo contesto unico. Le commissioni sono rese possibili dalla partnership a lungo termine tra la Tate e Hyundai Motor, confermata fino al 2026 come parte del più lungo impegno iniziale da parte di un partner aziendale nella storia della Tate.

La mostra Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui è curata da Osei Bonsu, Curatore, Arte Internazionale, e Dina Akhmadeeva, Assistente Curatore, Arte Internazionale, Tate Modern e sarà accompagnata da un nuovo libro della Tate Publishing.