Tate Britain Commissions 2008–2017

Launch Slideshow

Since 2008 Sotheby’s has supported the Tate Britain Commission, an annual exhibition that invites a leading contemporary artist to create a new large-scale work in response to the grand space of the Duveen Galleries at the heart of Tate Britain. This year’s commission is Forms in Space… by Light (in Time), a major new light installation by Cerith Wyn Evans. The sculpture is made from almost 2km of neon lighting, suspended from the ceiling and configured into straight lines, sweeping curves and spiralling forms.  Click ahead to find out more about this year’s installation and to see the previous major works that Sotheby’s has supported.

Cerith Wyn Evans
Forms in Space… by Light (in Time)

Tate Britain, 28 March–20 August

Tate Britain Commissions 2008–2017

  • © Cerith Wyn Evans. Photo: Jay Fenwick
    Cerith Wyn Evans,
    Forms in Space… by Light (in Time), 2017.
    The intricate structure of Evans' ' drawing in space ' comprises seemingly endless points of intersection, playing with the viewer's perspective. It can be viewed as a celestial map, encouraging visitors to orientate themselves within an environment full of potential meanings and connections.

  • © Pablo Bronstein Photo: Brothertonlock
    Pablo Bronstein,
    Historical Dances in an Antique Setting, 2016.
    Inspired by the Baroque surroundings of Tate Britain's  Duveen galleries, Pablo Bronstein created a continuous live dance performance that mixed the past and the present.

  • © Christina Mackie. Photo: Lucy Dawkins, Tate Photography
    Christina Mackie,
    the filters, 2015.
    Mackie filled half of the exhibition space with 12-metre-high dipped silk nets suspended above pans of semi-crystalised dye to create an ethereal installation. The solidity of the building and sculpture contrasted with the fluidity of paint, while the nets were kept in a permanent state of flux by the changing light and colour in the galleries. 

  • © Phyllida Barlow. Photo: J Fernandes, Tate Photography
    Phyllida Barlow,
    dock, 2014.
    This 2014 work was, at the time, the artist's largest and most ambitious piece in London to date, inspired by Tate Britain’s location beside the River Thames. Barlow uses familiar objects from her surroundings to create tactile and seemingly unstable pieces that contrast with the permanence and traditions of monumental sculpture.

  • ©Simon Starling. Photo: Tate Photography
    Simon Starling,
    Phantom Ride, 2013.
    Visitors were invited to take a ‘rollercoaster ride on invisible rails’ through histories and memories of Tate Britain’s famous Duveen galleries in this 2013 work . Huge projection screens revealed significant artworks and events that previously occupied the space like ghostly apparitions.

  • ©Patrick Keller. Photo: Samuel Drake, Tate Photography
    Patrick Keller,
    The Robinson Institute, 2012
    The commission returned after a one-year break with Keller's 2012 work that considered the origins of the economic crisis. The piece used images of landmarks and locations in the English landscape to illustrate the development of capitalism.

  • ©Fiona Banner. Photo: Tate Photography
    Fiona Banner,
    Harrier and Jaguar, 2010.
    Banner used recently decommissioned fighter planes to represent the ‘opposite of language’ and brought body and machine into close proximity to explore the tension between the intellectual perception of the fighter plane and physical experience of the object.

  • ©Tate Photo: Sam Drake/Tate Photography
    Eva Rothschild,
    Cold Corners, 2009.
    The Dublin-born artist filled the space with a work that stretched over 70 metres, disrupting the grandeur of the galleries with its chaotic presence.

  • ©Martin Creed. Photo: Hugo Glendinning.
    Martin Creed,
    Work No. 850, 2008.
    Creed's work celebrated physicality and the human spirit by encouraging a runner to sprint as fast as they could through the gallery space every 30 seconds.



We use our own and third party cookies to enable you to navigate around our Site, use its features and engage on social media, and to allow us to perform analytics, remember your preferences, provide services that you have requested and produce content and advertisements tailored to your interests, both on our Site as well as others. For more information, or to learn how to change your cookie or marketing preferences, please see our updated Privacy Policy & Cookie Policy.

By continuing to use our Site, you consent to our use of cookies and to the practices described in our updated Privacy Policy.