Coming Attraction

Tate Modern's Turbine Hall

Ever since James Turrell took on a project set within the Roden meteor crater in Arizona, many artists have been supersizing their work, and a number of museums have followed their lead, building cavernous galleries. But Tate Modern's Turbine Hall in London, a seven-story-high and 509-foot-long section of a former power station, trumps all others. Within this daunting space, artists have been challenged to install some of the largest indoor site-specific works ever seen. In 2002 Anish Kapoor took up the hall with his spectacular Marsyas, a huge bloodred stretched-fabric sculpture. Perhaps knowing he couldn't go any bigger, Olafur Eliasson left the space empty, lined the ceiling with mirrors, and, with ingenious lighting, created the illusion of a giant sun—then catapulted to the top tier of the art world. The most recent heavy hitter was Bruce Nauman, who filled the hall solely with fragments of faintly sinister speech—but there was no actual piece to see. What's next? Maybe it's time for a cease-fire in this game of one-upmanship. That's unlikely, though, as artists have had a taste of what this colossal space can do for a reputation.

—DEYAN SUDJIC