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 revolutionised public perceptions of contemporary art in the twenty-first century. The annual Hyundai Commission, now in its fifth year, gives artists an opportunity to create new work for this unique context.
In 2019 the Hyundai Commission will be undertaken by the American artist Kara Walker (b.1968), whose works have featured prominently in exhibitions around the world since the mid-1990s. Walker is renowned for her candid explorations of race, gender, sexuality and violence, from drawings, prints, murals, shadow puppets and projections to large-scale sculptural installations. She is perhaps best known for her use of black cut-paper silhouetted figures, often referencing the history of slavery and the antebellum South in the United States through provocative and elaborate installations.
Documenting the conception and creation of this latest commission, this publication includes intriguing images of work in process in the artist’s studio as well as striking photographs of the final installation. In an eloquent text, Walker also introduces a personal selection of the archival images and artworks that have influenced her during the genesis of this work. Essays by the project’s curator, Clara Kim, and specially commissioned new writing by the celebrated author Zadie Smith offer fresh and intriguing insights into Walker’s life and career leading up to this latest stunning installation.