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Abraham Cruzvillegas to undertake the first Hyundai Commission

2015.01.23 08:30:00 No. 3935
Abraham Cruzvillegas to undertake the first Hyundai Commission

Abraham Cruzvillegas to undertake the first Hyundai Commission


  • Mexican contemporary artist to undertake Hyundai Commission at Tate Modern’s
    iconic Turbine Hall
  • Hyundai Motor continues non-commercial commitment to the art community

Jan. 23, 2015 –  Tate Modern and Hyundai Motor today announced that Abraham Cruzvillegas will undertake the inaugural Hyundai Commission for the Turbine Hall. This will be the first in a new series of annual site-specific commissions by renowned international artists, and will open to the public on 13 October 2015.

Abraham Cruzvillegas is a Mexican artist best known for creating sculptural works from local found objects and materials. During the 1990s and 2000s, Cruzvillegas was among the key figures of a new wave of emerging conceptual artists in Mexico.

For the past few years, Cruzvillegas has created 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. Cruzvillegas associates autoconstrucción with the strong community spirit and the optimism that emerged as these neighbourhoods were built. His approach to sculpture continues the principles of autoconstrucción, recycling locally found objects and improvising ways to build his works. Cruzvillegas is also concerned with how community spirit and hope can be maintained in precarious economic and political conditions. He draws from a history of radical art practices from Soviet avant-garde figures such as Rodchenko and Malevich, to more recent artists such as Jimmie Durham and David Hammons. These ideas and references have led to projects staged in Glasgow, Paris, Oxford, Gwangju, Kassel and many other places.

The Hyundai Commission is a new series of site-specific installations by contemporary artists in Tate Modern’s iconic Turbine Hall. It is made possible by a unique long-term partnership between Tate and Hyundai Motor, confirmed until 2025 as part of the longest initial commitment from a corporate sponsor in Tate’s history.

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. The way artists have interpreted this vast industrial space has revolutionized 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.

Abraham Cruzvillegas was born in 1968 in Mexico City, where he continues to live and work, and studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). He is represented in several major museum collections, including Tate and MoMA, New York, and in recent years his work has been exhibited at Haus der Kunst, Munich (2014); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2013); Modern Art Oxford (2011) and The New Museum, New York (2011).

Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern said: “Over the last decade and a half, artists have surprised, enthralled and challenged Tate Modern’s visitors with evermore ambitious Turbine Hall installations. I am delighted that Abraham Cruzvillegas has accepted the first Hyundai Commission to make a new work for the Turbine Hall. His work reflects Tate’s deep interest in showing truly ground-breaking international art.”

Hyundai Motor said: “The Hyundai Commission signifies a beginning of cross-disciplinary collaboration enabled by the strong partnership and the shared vision to focus on global talents. We are privileged to start the Hyundai Commission and visualize our philosophy to contribute to the global art community.”

Hyundai Motor has also created a strong platform for Korean artists through the “MMCA Hyundai Motor Series”. A decade-long partnership with MMCA (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) in Seoul allows new possibilities for Korean artists featuring exhibition, publication, film and international seminar. Hyundai Motor will continue contributing to the global art scene with the belief that long-term, non-commercial commitment will enable sustainable development of the art community and deliver creative experiences in all areas of the world.

Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Hyundai Commission 2015
Turbine Hall, Tate Modern
13 October 2015 – 20 March 2016 (press view 12 October 2015)
Admission free

The Hyundai Commission: Abraham Cruzvillegas will be curated by Mark Godfrey, Curator, Tate Modern, with Hansi Momodu-Gordon, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern.


About Hyundai Motor Company

Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is committed to becoming a lifetime partner in automobiles and beyond. The company, which leads the Hyundai Motor Group, an innovative business structure capable of circulating resources from molten iron to finished cars, offers top-quality best-sellers such as Elantra, Sonata and Genesis. Hyundai Motor has eight manufacturing bases and seven design & technical centers worldwide and in 2014, sold 4.96 million vehicles globally. With almost 100,000 employees worldwide, Hyundai Motor continues to enhance its product line-up with localized models and strives to strengthen its leadership in clean technology, starting with the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen-powered vehicle, ix35 Fuel Cell. 

More information about Hyundai Motor and its products can be found at:  or

Further information about Hyundai Motor’s art initiative and its various activities is available at

Photo credit: Tate Photography

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