Walker Art Center

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Homage to the 21st Century

By Bartholomew Ryan April 30, 2015

After a 1964 coup in Brazil, intense censorship scattered artists across the globe or forced them to adopt less public forms of art-making. One, Antônio Henrique Amaral, is best known for large paintings of bananas, a critique that the military dictatorship was turning Brazil into a banana republic. “They can’t censor bananas,” said Amaral, who passed away April 24 at age 79, in this final interview. More

Antônio Henrique Amaral’s Homenagem séc. XX/XXI (20th/21st-Century Tribute)(1967) is featured in International Pop on view April 11, 2015–August 29, 2015.


A Practical Magician of Modern Movies

By Scott Foundas April 28, 2015

A master of misdirection, director Christopher Nolan seems to methodically tell us what he’s doing, only to blindside us with his astonishing narrative reveals and reversals. Watch films like Memento, Batman Begins, and Inception with a concentrated gaze, and somehow he still manages to pull the rug out from under you—or, he leaves the rug in place but pulls out the room instead. More

Christopher Nolan speaks at a sold-out Walker Dialogue on May 5, followed by a nine-film retrospective May 7–24, 2015.


Truly Indie, thestand4rd Finds Fame Online

By Andrew Flanagan April 15, 2015

“The web is where the exceptional force the hands of the famed and established to recognize they’ve been pushing things forward, without their blessing or awareness,” writes Andrew Flanagan of thestand4rd, the St. Paul independent hip hop/R&B quartet that has thrust itself into the limelight—even attracting the attention of Kanye West—in the 11 months since uploading its first single on SoundCloud. More

thestand4rd opens Rock the Garden 2015, our two-day music festival, on Saturday, June 20.


Pop and the Traveling Image

By Charlotte Cotton April 10, 2015

“An early Pop artist was originally a Pop culture viewer,” says art historian Tomáš Pospiszyl. “Being a producer and a consumer was never so close.” Moderated by independent curator Charlotte Cotton, this discussion brings together key voices from Eastern Europe, Japan, and the UK to discuss the role of the traveling mass-produced image during the 20th century—and tell the story of international Pop.  More

International Pop in on view April 11–August 29, 2015.


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.

Art News from Elsewhere More

Via npr.org

Islamic Art Now (External)

The artists in LACMA’s Islamic Art Now are from a “world that was initially shaped by Islam, by an Arabic alphabet, but has evolved into something so much more and much more complex than standard views of either religion or violence. It’s about beauty as well.”


Via wnyc.org

White Space (External)

While Michelle Obama praised the art world for its beauty in her speech at the dedication for the Whitney, she also noted that art museums tend to keep masses at arm’s-length. Do art museums qualify as “white spaces”—places that minorities find intimidating?


Via wsj.com

Artists on the Margins (External)

Okwui Enwezor, curator of the 2015 Venice Biennale, has invited many artists from long-isolated and neglected communities to this year’s edition, hoping to free them from the sidelines. “Art isn’t just made by white people in Europe with great patrons. Sorry.”


Via cnn.com

Two Killed (External)

“The prohibition against illustrating the Prophet Mohammed began as an attempt to ward off idol worship… But in recent years, it has taken a deadly toll.” Two gunmen opened fire outside of a controversial Mohammed cartoon event in Texas Sunday night.


Via wired.com

Buying Ephemerality (External)

“How much should one charge for something destined to disappear? We pay for intangible or at least ephemeral experiences all the time. Movies, concerts, even meals are temporary experiences. What makes buying an Intangible feel so different?”


Via art21.org

Unmonumental (External)

“Objects, buildings, and people constantly crumble, to be replaced by something else. We don’t see it happening. We’re shocked by change, often after it happens.” Photographing street garbage, Joy Garnett captures fleeting, strange, and poignant still lifes—or deaths.

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

Graham Revisited

Camille LeFevre on the raw violence and emotional candor of Martha Graham’s dance, on view in the repertory and new works presented by the Martha Graham Dance Company recently in Minneapolis.  More

Wunderkammer Redux (Or, An Unnatural History)

Kate Casanova’s work across media sets out to make our habits of perceiving the boundaries between human-made environments and the so-called “natural world” a whole lot messier.  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

Tokyo Pop

Art historian Hiroko Ikegami leads a conversation with artists Ushio Shinohara and Keiichi Tanaami about their encounters with US Pop in Tokyo in the 1960s and their somewhat subversive, even sardonic response to it. They ask if we can speak of a “Tokyo Pop” and… More


Dialogue / Interview

Argentine Pop and Its Dematerialization

Argentine Pop and Its Dematerialization Panelists: Delia Cancela (artist, Buenos Aires), Eduardo Costa (artist, Buenos Aires), and María José Herrera (director, Museum of Art, Tigre, Argentina) Moderator: Bartholomew Ryan (co-curator, … More



Introduction to International Pop

Introduction to International Pop Speaker: Darsie Alexander (lead curator, International Pop) Curator Darsie Alexander welcomes the artists and scholars who will participate in the day’s discussions and introduces the audience to… More


Ongoing Series

Artist Op-Eds

A series of commissioned opinion pieces featuring provocative reactions to the headlines by artists Ron Athey, Ana Tijoux, Dread Scott, and others.

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.

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


Andrew Blauvelt

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