Anicka Yi, whose cutting-edge sculptures, videos, and installations make frequent use of scents and organic matter, has been awarded Tate Modern’s Hyundai Commission, to create a monumental work that will appear in the London museum’s hangar-like Turbine Hall. Her work is scheduled to go on view in October and remain into January of next year.
Since it opened in 2000, Tate Modern has regularly commissioned works for its Turbine Hall—many of them taking up status as defining works of the respective artists’ regular careers. (The series was renamed after its sponsor, the Korean car company Hyundai Motors, in 2014.)
Ai Weiwei famously laid a bed of realistic-looking porcelain replicas of sunflower seeds on the hall’s floor in 2010, and Olafur Eliasson created the effects of mysterious weather conditions, including an ever-present sun and unexplained mist, in 2003. Doris Salcedo formed a crack that spanned the length of the hall in 2007, and Kara Walker debuted a controversial fountain paying homage to the terrors of the British slave trade in 2019. (Walker’s work remains on view through April 5.)
[Read a review of Kara Walker’s Fons Americanus, on view now at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.]
Details for Yi’s commission remain to be seen. Her past works have ranged widely in form, from perfumes to 3D videos, and they have dealt with the many ways that humans sense the world around them, sometimes with a feminist undercurrent. Many of her works have dealt specifically with smell. After she won the Guggenheim Museum’s $100,000 Hugo Boss Prize in 2016, she debuted work that pumped the scent of Asian-American women and carpenter ants into a gallery, and she has also isolated the smell of Gagosian gallery.
“Anicka Yi has developed a reputation for highly innovative work,” Frances Morris, director of Tate, said in a statement. “Her installations are unforgettable, using the latest scientific ideas and experimental materials in unexpected ways. The results not only engage the senses, but also tackle some of the big questions we face today about humanity’s relationship to nature and technology.”