Meet Anthea Hamilton, the Cheekiest 2016 Turner Prize Nominee

Anthea Hamilton

Thursday’s announcement of this year’s Turner Prize nominees came with quite the surprise: a massive, unapologetic butt, thanks to 37-year-old contender Anthea Hamilton. A major part of her first solo exhibit in the U.S., “Lichen! Libido! Chastity!” at New York’s SculptureCenter, the derrière in question follows quite in the tradition of the Prize’s past daring exhibitions: think Tracey Emin‘s honest bedroom depression scene, and one of Damien Hirst’s formaldehyde-leaking sharks. A multimedia artist with a knack for pop culture-inspired sculptures, Hamilton is definitely making a name for herself: Jonathan Anderson tapped her for Loewe‘s part in Art Basel Miami last December, and just this month, she rolled into Frieze with a bright green car and an army of mimes. Tour her recent work through her fans on Instagram, here.


This on-trend behind was the centerpiece of Hamilton’s show “Lichen! Libido! Chastity!” at the SculptureCenter last year, modeled after a plan for the doorway of a Manhattan skyscraper by the Italian designer Gaetano Pesce.

“Project for door (After Gaetano Pesce)” at “Lichen! Libido! Chastity!” at SculptureCenter, New York, 2015. Photo by @evan_and_hell.


For her part in Frieze Projects, the installation series of the massive art fair on Randall’s Island earlier this month, Hamilton employed an army of mimes who roved through the tents with a car called Kar-A-Sutra, a tribute to another Italian designer, Mario Bellini.

View of “Kar-A-Sutra” for Frieze Projects, 2016. Photo by @ateliermliving.


Hamilton was one of the four British artists Jonathan Anderson tapped last December for the Loewe Foundation’s first exhibit in the brand’s Miami store, and contribution to Art Basel Miami. For her part, she pitched in a few pairs of her signature legs.

“Chance Encounters,” curated by Jonathan Anderson at the Loewe Foundation, Miami, 2015. Photo by @jw_anderson.


“Brick Suit,” 2010 in “Lichen! Libido! Chastity!” at SculptureCenter, New York, 2015.

Photo by @dmarquee.


For a group show of eight women artists up fittingly called “8 Femmes,” up this month at Office Baroque gallery in Brussels, Hamilton manufactured boots out of walnut and alabaster.

“Wavy Alabaster Boot” and “Wavy Walnut Boot,” 2015 at “8 Femmes,” Office Baroque, 2016. Photo by @officebaroque.


Detail of “Lichen! Libido! Chastity!” at SculptureCenter, New York, 2015.

Photo by @gallerygurls.


Hamilton’s video works are just as inventive: she turned “Venice: Exploring Disco” into a moving, groovy disco collage.

“Manarch (Pasta),” 2016, a still from “Venice: Exploring Disco,” 2015. Photo by @countereditions.


Hamilton could likely easily find as much success with a sensual line of furniture: this seat, inspired by the desire-driven film “A Room with a View,” is about as inventive of a chair as it gets.

“Leg Chair (Room with a View),” 2009, in “Glaze” at Galerie Valentin, 2012. Photo by @nicolemariawinkler.


For Lisa Cooley Gallery in 2013, Hamilton sat down with British illustrator Julie Verhoeven for another series of sensual seats – this time, with snacks and citrusy prints included.

“Fruity Seating,” part of the group show “Antibody” at Lisa Cooley Gallery, 2013. Photo by @kilometreparisbyalexandrasenes.


Cigarette pipes at “Lichen! Libido! Chastity!” at SculptureCenter, New York, 2015.

Photo by @annijurgenson.


All the chairs, of course, need a table, though this one isn’t the most amenable to seating.

“Volcano Table,” 2014. Photo by @lookingatpainting.


Hamilton’s sculpture has had no trouble making itself at Edinburgh’s Inverleith House this year, which also hosts a royal botanic garden.

Installation view of Inverleith House, Edinburgh, 2016. Photo by @bilginsenemcagla.


Hamilton’s rice cakes might have been deemed one of the best deals at this year’s Armory Show, but don’t get too close: they’re made of crushed glass particles.

“Rice Cakes,” 2015, at “Lichen! Libido! Chastity!” at SculptureCenter, New York. Photo by @graceindiaschofield.