Walker Art Center

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Future Perfect: The Walker’s One-Campus Vision

By Andrew Blauvelt March 30, 2015

In celebration of our 75th anniversary, we announce a new plan to unify the Walker and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden into a more welcoming and environmentally sustainable campus for the next generation. Key features of the 19-acre campus include a new entry pavilion for the Walker, reconstruction of the 26-year-old garden, the greening of Hennepin Avenue, the addition of hundreds of new trees, and more. More


A Culture Wars Chronicle

By Mia Lopez March 25, 2015

As identity politics made their way into galleries and museums in the ’80s and ’90s, social conservatives took note, lashing out at artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, Karen Finley, and Ron Athey for work that addressed sexuality, multiculturalism, and LGBT rights. Featuring many of these artists, the Walker found itself at the center of the conversation—and the controversies—that marked the Culture Wars. More

The Culture Wars time capsule is on view in Art at the Center: 75 Years of Walker Collections through May 10, 2015.


The Uncollectibles

By Andrew Blauvelt March 23, 2015

Some objects are too vast or ever-changing, too immovable or ephemeral to be collected or contained within a museum—from buildings and parks to digital apps and intangible ideas. These “uncollectibles” remain a source of interest for design curators like Andrew Blauvelt, who discusses these objects’ link to Minnesota By Design, a virtual collection that maps the state’s rich design landscape. More

Minnesota By Design is a virtual collection of more than 100 designs made around the state.


Ron Athey: Polemic of Blood

By Ron Athey March 19, 2015

Ever since a suicide attempt at age 15, death has been a constant companion for Ron Athey—even more so since 1985, the year he tested positive for HIV. Until it wasn’t. Healthy on the 30th anniversary of his diagnosis, the 53-year-old performance artist reflects on the “post-AIDS” body, the 1994 performance that put him at the center of the Culture Wars firestorm, and his homecoming after six years abroad. More

Ron Athey, who spoke at the Walker on March 26, 2015, contributes the fourth installment in our Artist Op-Eds series. Like others in this ongoing series, his essay is also available as a print-on-demand pamphlet.


Conceptual Commerce

March 17, 2015

Disappearing Snapchat images from a celebrated photographer. A voicemail performance by a ficticious punk band. A set of bespoke ringtones. Announcing Intangibles, an online catalogue of products that have no physical form. Partnering with an array of artists—including Alec Soth, Martine Syms, and Nico Muhly—the Walker Shop explores the ever-blurring lines between art, media, and commerce. More


Five Decades, Six Galaxies, and Counting

By Greg Tate March 12, 2015

Musical revolutions tend to have a spontaneous outlier quality about them, writes Greg Tate. Fifty years ago in Chicago, far from the Manhattan clubs that drew jazz luminaries like John Coltrane, Sun Ra, and Ornette Coleman, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians was born. Since then the group has carried “freedom swang” around the globe and, through a new wave of visionaries, into the future. More


Babes in Toyland’s Visceral Live Therapy

By Paul M. Davis March 11, 2015

“I said I’d never, ever do a reunion,” guitarist and singer Kat Bjelland told Rolling Stone recently. And yet this June, after a 14-year hiatus, her seminal punk band Babes in Toyland is returning to the city of its inception to play Rock the Garden 2015. Paul M. Davis looks at the obstacles the band overcame to get here and the “visceral live therapy”—in Bjelland’s words—the reunion represents.  More

Babes in Toyland plays Rock the Garden on Sunday, June 21, 2015. View the full schedule for this two-day festival.


The Moment of Enlightenment Is a Sound

March 5, 2015

Working as a filmmaker, visual artist, writer, actor, educator, musician, and inventor since the 1960s, Tony Conrad’s Long String Drone highlights his engagement with experimental music and can serve as a key to the elusive history of New York avant-garde sound. A look at Long String and its corollary musical form offers a sketch of a diverse artistic production that is both cohesive and expansive. More

Presented in commemoration of Tony Conrad’s 75th birthday, this essay is part of Art Expanded, 1958–1978, the just-launched second volume of The Living Collections Catalogue.

Art News from Elsewhere More


Via hyperallergic.com

Digital 1940’s Vancouver (External)

The iOS app version of Stan Douglas’s film Circa 1948 is less immersive than its original installation at Tribeca, but retains its noir mood, giving users a detailed, ghostly window into the lives of the denizens, both rich and poor, of 1940’s Vancouver.


Via latimes.com

OCMA Layoffs (External)

Celebrated curator Dan Cameron and four other staffers have been laid off at the Orange County Museum of Art in a major restructuring. With 14 remaining staffers, the museum’s director, Todd DeShields Smith, will serve as interim chief curator.


Via artnet.com

No NYC for Warhol (External)

Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum has announced that it’s abandoning plans for a New York expansion. The 10,000-square-foot development would have been built in lower Manhattan, near the apartment Warhol lived in when he first came to the city in 1949.


Via huffingtonpost.com

Pac-Maps (External)

For its April Fool’s Day prank, Google has added a function to its Maps: a Pac-Man version. Evade ghosts and grab cherries in the arty environs of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the Hirshhorn Sculpture Park, the Olympic Sculpture Park, or on your own street.


Via artnews.com

Here Hear (External)

This summer, artist Nick Cave will lead a series of public performances and events throughout the metropolitan area of Detroit. Working with local dance troupes and musicians, Cave hopes to give something back to the city that he says, “saved his life.”


Via blouinartinfo.com

Skin and Bones (External)

A “messy, wild, irreverent joy,” Trenton Doyle Hancock’s survey at the Studio Museum pulls viewers into the artist’s surreal imagination and traces the evolution of his alter ego, TorpedoBoy, from “aspirational self-portrait” to a now “more down-and-out” character.

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

Culture Wars & Culture Gaps

Lauren DeLand looks the facts and apocrypha surrounding a 1994 Ron Athey performance that galvanized the country’s conservative backlash against government funding for artists.  More

Via mnartists.org

In Heavy Rotation

Art historian Sheila Dickinson grapples with art, transformation, and ethics in action—inside the studio and out—by way of Chris Larson’s mind-bending work.  More



Lynda Benglis Discusses Adhesive Products

After beginning her career as a painter, Lynda Benglis began seeking a “more sensuous kind of surface.” Her nine-piece work Adhesive Products (1971)—commissioned for the Walker Art Center’s Edward Larabee Barnes–designed building—is… More



Chuck Close Discusses Big Self-Portrait (1967–1968)

“There’s no question, I had some attitude about the way I wanted to be perceived,” said Chuck Close in discussing his Big Self-Portrait (1967–1968) at the Walker in 1980. “Now it seems very funny… More



Valerie Cassel Oliver Discusses Radical Presence

Exhibition curator Valerie Cassel Oliver of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston discusses the development of Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary ArtMore

Walker Channel

Dialogue / Interview

Filmmakers in Conversation: David and Nathan Zellner with Scott Foundas

Following the September 19 screening of Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, filmmakers David Zellner and Nathan Zellner were joined by Variety chief film critic Scott Foundas for a discussion. After… More



Insights: Bart de Baets, Amsterdam

Amsterdam-based Bart de Baets is a fierce formalist, an unrelenting experimenter who has developed a unique typographic attitude that has influenced designers around the world. His work spans the entire cultural sector for… More



Insights: K-HOLE, New York

K-HOLE exists in multiple states at once: it is both a publication and a collective; it is both an artistic practice and a consulting firm; it is both critical and unapologetically earnest. Its five members come from backgrounds… More


Ongoing Series

Art (re)Collecting

In celebration of the Walker’s 75th anniversary, Martin Friedman—Walker director from 1961 to 1990—shares his reflections on encountering artists from Duchamp to Cage.

Artist Op-Eds

A series of commissioned opinion pieces featuring provocative reactions to the headlines by artists James Bridle, Liam Gillick, Metahaven, and others.

9 Artists

In 10 chapters, curator Bartholomew Ryan presents his keystone essay “If You Are Willing: The Army of the Individuals” from the 9 Artists catalogue.

Lowercase P

An election-year series on personal politics and the way artists contribute to the conversation on making a better society.

From the Archives



A Timeline of Design History

For nearly fifty years, the Walker’s Design Quarterly chronicled the changing terrains of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and product and graphic design. Featuring provocative thinkers—including Muriel Cooper… More


Ghost Building: Walker Galleries 1927

A ghostly image of T.B. Walker on the grand staircase of the 1927 Walker Galleries reminds us that before the brick-and-aluminum facility we know today there was another home for the Walker. More


Shall We Take It? The Walker’s Founding Question

The Walker was founded on a question. “Shall we take it?” In 1939 Minneapolis citizens were offered the chance to start a federally funded art center. The answer? Yes. But how did this offer come about, and what did it mean? More