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El Anatsui Installation dazzles at Tate Modern's Turbine Hall


Tate Modern welcomes a monumental installation masterpiece by Ghanian sculptor and, one of the most acclaimed artists in African history, El Anatsui. Best known for his metallic sculptures constructed from thousands of recycled bottle tops, this massive cascading work fuses local aesthetic traditions with the global history of abstraction as well as political, social and environmental concerns around consumption, national identity and trade.


 Anatsui's Behind the Red Moon in the Turbine Hall Photo © Tate (Lucy Green)
Anatsui's Behind the Red Moon in the Turbine Hall Photo © Tate (Lucy Green)


Since the late 1990s the Ghanaian sculptor 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.


\An installation view of Behind the Red Moon, El Anatsui's Hyundai Commission in the Turbine Hall Photo © Tate (Joe Humphrys)
An installation view of Behind the Red Moon, El Anatsui's Hyundai Commission in the Turbine Hall Photo © Tate (Joe Humphrys)

Anatsui who was included in the 2023 Time 100 list of the world's most influential people is well-known for his large-scale sculptures composed of thousands of folded and crumpled pieces of aluminium bottle caps sourced from local alcohol recycling stations and bound together with copper wire.


His pieces have been exhibited around the world, including the Venice Biennale, where he won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2015, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the British Museum in London. His work is also in the collections of many prestigious institutions, such as The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The British Museum, the Vatican Museum, and the National Museum of African Art in Washington D.C.


The Turbine Hall installation was curated by Osei Bonsu, Curator, International Art, and Dina Akhmadeeva, Assistant Curator, International Art, Tate Modern.

 

About Artist


Throughout a long-lasting and distinguished career as both sculptor and teacher - he was Professor of Sculpture and Departmental Head at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka – El Anatsui has addressed a vast range of social, political and historical concerns, and embraced an equally diverse range of media and processes. His sculptures have been collected by major international museums, such as the British Museum, London; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the De Young Museum, San Francisco; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi; Osaka Foundation of Culture, Osaka; Museum of Modern Art, New York and many other prestigious institutions. October Gallery first exhibited his work in 1993.


Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon, Tate Modern, London, 10 October-14 April 2024

El Anatsui: TimeSpace, October Gallery, London, 11 October-13 January 2024

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El Anatsui Installation dazzles at Tate Modern's Turbine Hall

October 10, 2023

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