Art Market

Tate Modern picked Kara Walker to create the next Turbine Hall commission.

Wallace Ludel
Mar 11, 2019 4:07PM

Kara Walker, Slavery! Slavery! Presenting a GRAND and LIFELIKE Panoramic Journey into Picturesque Southern Slavery or “Life at ‘Ol’ Virginny’s Hole’ (sketches from Plantation Life)” See the Peculiar Institution as never before! All cut from black paper by the able hand of Kara Elizabeth Walker, an Emancipated Negress and leader in her Cause, 1997, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Photo by Joshua White, © Kara Walker.

Curators at the Tate Modern have selected U.S. artist Kara Walker for the next commission in the museum’s Turbine Hall. Walker is most widely known for her silhouette installations that forthrightly face the United States’s relationship to race and the legacy of injustice left behind by slavery. The artist is no stranger to such large-scale projects; in 2014 she was commissioned by Creative Time to create an installation in Brooklyn’s defunct Domino Sugar Factory, where she went on to use 80 tons of sugar to create a massive sphinx-like figure titled A Subtlety, and last year she created a steam-powered musical sculpture titled The Katastwóf Karavan as part of the fourth edition of Prospect, the New Orleans triennial.

Kara Walker, At the behest of Creative Time Kara E. Walker has confected: A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant, 2014, a project of Creative Time. Photo by Jason Wyche, © Kara Walker.

In a statement, Tate Modern Director Frances Morris said:

Kara Walker fearlessly tackles some of the most complex issues we face today. Her work addresses history and identity with a powerful directness, but also with great understanding, nuance, and wit. Seeing her respond to the industrial scale of the Turbine Hall—and the wider context of London and British history—is a hugely exciting proposition.

Past artists who have been commissioned to show in the Tate’s 85-foot tall and 500-foot long Turbine Hall include Ai Weiwei, Louise Bourgeois, and, most recently, Tania Bruguera. Walker’s installation will open to the public on October 2, 2019, and will run until April 5, 2020.

Kara Walker. Photo by Ari Marcopoulos.

Wallace Ludel
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