Anya Gallaccio (b. 1963, Scotland; lives and works in London and San Diego, CA) creates site-specific installations, often using organic materials as her medium. Past projects have included arranging a ton of oranges on a floor, placing a 32-ton block of ice in a boiler room, and painting a wall with chocolate. Due to the nature of these materials, her works undergo natural processes of transformation and decay, often with unpredictable results. Referencing the art historical genre of landscape painting, Gallaccio’s work is heavily influenced by her own environment. In 2008, she moved from London to southern California, resulting in a shift in materials as she responded to the landscape of the western United States. Since then, she has become more focused on geological history and uses local rock species like limestone, sandstone, and granite as materials. Her work references the minimalist structure of artists like Carl Andre and Donald Judd as well as following artists such as Robert Smithson in the tradition of Land Art. As part of the generation of Young British Artists, Gallaccio was included in the now legendary 1988 exhibition, Freeze, curated by Damien Hirst at the London Docklands.
Gallaccio attended Kingston Polytechnic and Goldsmiths College at the University of London. Solo exhibitions of her work have been organized at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland (2019); Thomas Dane Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2017); Silas Marder Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY (2015); Lehmann Maupin, New York, NY (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA (2015); Artpace, San Antonio, TX (2013); Camden Art Centre, London, United Kingdom (2008); SculptureCenter, New York, NY (2006); Tate Britain, London, United Kingdom (2003); and Serpentine Gallery, London, United Kingdom (1997). Select group exhibitions featuring her work include the 21st Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (2018); Poor Art | Arte Povera: Italian Influences, British Responses, Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London, United Kingdom (2017); Plant Culture, Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester, United Kingdom (2016); Flora, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom (2016); Making & Unmaking: An exhibition curated by Duro Olowu, Camden Arts Centre, London, United Kingdom (2016); Phantoms in the Dirt, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, IL (2014); Stroke, Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, Scotland (2014); Something About a Tree, FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY (2013); Green Acres: Artists Farming, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH (2012); Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain, Whitechapel Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2011); Turner Prize: A Retrospective, Tate Britain, London, traveled to Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia, and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2007); Rose c’est la vie- On Flowers in Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2004); The Greenhouse Effect, Serpentine Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2000); Material Culture: The Object in British Art of the 1980s and ’90s, Hayward Gallery, London, United Kingdom (1997).
Gallaccio’s work is featured in numerous international public and private collections, including Arts Council, London, United Kingdom; The British Council Collection, London, United Kingdom; Houghton Hall, Norfolk, United Kingdom; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia; Paisley Museum and Art Gallery, Scotland, United Kingdom; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; South London Gallery, London, United Kingdom; Tate Britain, London, United Kingdom; Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, United Kingdom; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands; and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, United Kingdom.
She has received permanent public work commissions from Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island, United Kingdom (2018), Austin Contemporary, TX (2017), and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, United Kingdom (2016). In 2003, Gallaccio was shortlisted for the Turner Prize.
Artist portrait by Lisa Stonehouse