For decades, Tate Modern has hosted art installations by artist-innovators like Louise Bourgeois, Olafur Eliasson and Anish Kapoor as part of its long-standing Turbine Hall commission program. Now, the London institution is launching a brand new commission, as announced today (September 29), focused exclusively on supporting international contemporary artists.
Named the Infinities Commission, the initiative will see a selected artist unveil a major “innovative and future-facing project” each spring, according to Tate Modern. Three additional artists will receive £10,000 ($12,200) in research and development funding annually, and all recipients will discuss their projects at a public “show and tell” featuring keynote speeches from experts in contemporary art.
In line with Tate Modern’s focus on the contemporary, the commission will center on artists experimenting with mediums, tools and technology. Today’s artists are “working in highly inventive ways, freely crossing a variety of disciplines to create speculative, disruptive, or immersive projects that sit outside conventional artistic categories,” said Catherine Wood, Tate Modern’s director of programs, in a statement. “The Infinities Commission will give that kind of innovative work a home at Tate Modern and allow a broader public to experience it.”
For the inaugural debut of the commission, recipients of the spring show and funding will be chosen by a selection panel including Legacy Russell, the executive director of New York’s experimental art institution the Kitchen, and Andrea Lissoni, artistic director of Munich’s Haus der Kunst. German multi-media artist Anne Imhof, Senegalese and French critic Oulimata Gueye and British musician Brian Eno will also make up the panel, which is chaired by Wood.
The first commissioned artist will be chosen next summer, with the unveiling of their work and the “show and tell” program scheduled for the spring of 2025. Shows will take place in the Tanks, which consist of three former oil wells converted into performance and installation spaces by Tate Modern in 2012, and be curated by Rosalie Doubal, Tate Modern’s senior curator of international art.
Tate Modern’s history of experimental art commissions
Infinities Commissions builds on the London art gallery’s history of commissioning works from influential contemporary artists. From 2000 to 2012, Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall annually displayed the Unilever Series, which notably presented Ai Weiwei’s renowned Sunflower Seeds installation in 2010 for the first time. A portion of the work, which contained 100 million individually crafted porcelain sunflower seeds, was later acquired by the institution for its permanent collection.
After the Unilever commission partnership ended, the gallery partnered with Hyundai in 2015 for a new commission series at Turbine Hall, which continues to host site-specific works by artists and collectives like Kara Walker and Superflex. The upcoming edition—an installation from El Anatsui, a Ghanaian multimedia artist known for his bottle-cap tapestries—will premier this October.