One of the most distinctive artists working today, El Anatsui has developed a highly innovative approach to sculpture, embracing a wide range of forms and materials including wood, ceramics and found objects. Since the late 1990s he has experimented with liquor bottle tops, the product of a global industry built on colonial trade routes. Pushing the boundaries of sculpture in new and exciting ways, Anatsui’s metal hangings are monumental in scale and flexible in structure.
Embodying Anatsui’s idea of the ‘non-fixed form’, they fold easily in order to travel and appear differently with each separate installation. Interested in the changing histories of the objects he repurposes, Anatsui combines African aesthetic traditions with the global history of abstraction. Over several decades, his practice has explored the evolution of human civilisation, African decolonisation movements, histories of migration and life’s existential journeys.
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 annual Hyundai Commission gives artists an opportunity to create new work for this unique context.