The Art Angle Podcast: How Kennedy Yanko Welded Her Way to Art Stardom

The artist's largest sculpture to date is on view now at Art Basel in Switzerland.

Kennedy Yanko with her sculpture at Art Basel Unlimited, 2022. Photo: Xandra M. Linsin. Courtesy of the artist.

Welcome to the Art Angle, a podcast from Artnet News that delves into the places where the art world meets the real world, bringing each week’s biggest story down to earth. Join us every week for an in-depth look at what matters most in museums, the art market, and much more, with input from our own writers and editors, as well as artists, curators, and other top experts in the field.

Kennedy Yanko is not afraid to take up space. This week, the Brooklyn-based sculptor unveiled her largest work yet at Art Basel: a 20-foot-tall hanging sculpture titled By Means Other Than the Known Senses. The title describes how Yanko often creates her work through exploration and a whole lot of intuition.

The apricot, green, and gray work is a tornado of cascading metal forms. At first blush, it’s impossible to tell just how much it weighs since it’s suspended in the air. As it turns out, it weighs a lot. It’s created from a monumental shipping container that Yanko scrunched, reformed, and selectively covered in paint. The final sculpture looks so alive, it almost seems like it’s breathing.

Yanko’s star has been steadily rising over the past few years. Last year, she became the first sculptor to earn a coveted residency at the Rubell Museum in Miami. Now she’s unveiling her work at Art Basel’s Unlimited, the section of the world’s most prestigious art fair dedicated to large-scale projects.

Ahead of the event, which runs through Sunday, Artnet News’s executive editor Julia Halperin spoke to the sculptor from her hotel room in Switzerland. Enjoy the conversation.

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