Walker Art Center

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Simplicity of Movement, Directness of Address

By Gwyneth Shanks March 22, 2017

“Hers was a dance practice that sought to reveal itself; her simple never lacked.” With a 1973 letter between dancemaker Trisha Brown and curator Suzanne Weil as her guide, Gwyneth Shanks reflects on the legacy and passing of a choreographer with deep Walker ties. While rigorous, Brown’s work—from Accumulation (1971) to her performance drawings of 2008—”was always marked by a directness of address.” More

Imagining the Future Before Us

By Hrag Vartanian March 17, 2017

How do we create art that challenges capitalism? How do we shed light on those overlooked by society? Why do we make art in a culture that can be antagonistic towards it? In the forward to Sharon Louden’s new book, The Artist as Culture Producer, Hyperallergic co-founder Hrag Vartanian addresses “the renaissance taking place in the art world around the evolving relationship of artists to society.” More

Sharon Louden will be joined by Hrag Vartanian, artists Tia-Simone Gardner and Graci Horne, and Mn Artists editor Susannah Schouweiler at a March 22, 2017 discussion/book launch for The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life.

Camera as Body

By Victoria Brooks March 13, 2017

“We understand how to make live dance, but what are these other bodies [the cameras and their operators] in the space going to be doing, and how are they going to render the choreography?” Charles Atlas, Rashaun Mitchell, and Silas Riener’s Tesseract merges live dance with 3-D video, the corporeal with the digital. Here they discuss the relationship between cameras and the movement they capture. More

Tesseract, by Rashaun Mitchell, Silas Riener, and Charles Atlas, will be performed March 16–18, 2017.

Visions of a New New World

By Postcommodity March 6, 2017

Why does the term “native” lose meaning south of the border? And why are some white people calling themselves “nativists”? The indigenous art collective Postcommodity (Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, and Kade L. Twist) melds poetry and prose in a powerful reflection on native self-determination, ethnic and national identity, and the year 2043—when whites are expected to become a minority in the US. More

Join Postcommodity March 11, 2017 for a free artist talk launching their contribution to Walker’s Artist Op-Eds series.

Strengthening our Cultural Defense

By Olga Viso February 28, 2017

In times when the values of a creative and inclusive society are being decidedly challenged, it is evermore important for arts organizations to affirm their values and promises to the communities they serve. On Arts Advocacy Day, director Olga Viso asserts the Walker’s mission to support an open and inclusive culture grounded in the principles of free expression and concern for the common good. More

The Six Sides of Merce Cunningham

February 22, 2017

Over seven decades, Merce Cunningham reshaped dance into a new kind of art form. Through an embrace of technology, a fascination with the creative potential of chance, and a dedication to cross-disciplinary collaboration, he became the 20th century’s most influential choreographer. Here we look at the many sides of Cunningham: dance maker, collaborator, chance-taker, innovator, film producer, and teacher. More

Merce Cunnigham: Common Time is on view Feb. 8–July 30, 2017.

Zigzagging Between Public and Private

February 17, 2017

Tom Burr’s Zog (a series of setbacks) takes its name and inspiration from a feature of Minneapolis’s Philip Johnson–designed IDS Center, the building’s zigzagging glass profile. Burr’s aim: to examine dualities of inside and outside, playing the architect’s hard-edged corporate facades against his softer domestic architecture and personal story—“a mid-century homosexual who lived in a glass house.” More

Tom Burr’s sculpture Zog (a series of setbacks) is on view through May 21, 2017, in the exhibition Question the Wall Itself.

Native Youth Give Voice to Big Bear’s New Work

By Taylor Payer February 1, 2017

Visitors taking in the new mural by Frank Big Bear in the Target Project Space in December were greeted by some of the art world’s newest educators—members of the Little Earth Arts Collective, a cohort of Native youth who participated in a 10-week program aimed at helping them see the arts as a viable career path and teaching valuable job skills such as organization and public speaking. More

Frank Big Bear’s The Walker Collage, Multiverse #10 is on view for one year in the Target Project Space, adjacent Esker Grove restaurant.

Art News from Elsewhere More

Via washingtonpost.com

The Conservative Case (External)

“I’m for cutting waste and killing worthless programs. I’m not for cutting and killing the hope and help that come from creativity.” Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee voices support for the NEA, urging his “president and friend” to reconsider fatal budget cuts.

Via hyperallergic.com

False Plea (External)

“I cannot rightly protect a painting at the expense of human beings.” A letter signed by “Dana Schutz” urging the curators of the Whitney Biennial to remove her controversial painting of Emmett Till’s corpse from the show is a hoax, Ben Sutton reports.

Via startribune.com

“Wild Days” (External)

“Her choreography was all about bodies recoiling and rebounding. She gave us the resilient human body.” Former Walker curator John Killacky remembers his time as managing director of Trisha Brown’s company, citing her as a key figure in “rewriting post-modernism.”

Via artnews.com

Let’s Fight (External)

“Anyone who sees the value of the arts and culture needs to fight for the restoration of [the NEA, the NEH, and other] agencies. We have six months. Let’s start now.” New York City arts commissioner Tom Finkelpearl argues passionately for arts funding.

Via mic.com

Diversity in Directing (External)

Ava DuVernay, whose “commitment to hiring female directors is a badly needed intervention in Hollywood,” has hired all-female directors for season two of Queen Sugar, including award-winning filmmakers—and queer women of color—Cheryl Dunye and Aurora Guerrero.

Via hyperallergic.com

Biennial of Violence (External)

Hrag Vartanian critiques the 2017 Whitney Biennial, citing successes and failures of artworks by Jordon Wolfson, Dana Schutz, Henry Taylor, and Postcommodity that examine violence—“its portrayal and circulation, and the systems of oppression that support it.”

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

An Exquisite Preeminence of the Body

In the exhibition Merce Cunningham: Common Time, artistic disciplines effortlessly traverse conventional boundaries, in much the same ways the influential choreographer did with his many collaborative partners. More

Via mnartists.org

The Believing Game

Filmmaker Kevin Obsatz on art experiments, the freedom in making “unmarketable” work, exercises in belief, and practicing porousness in an impermeable age. More



Zigzagging Between Public and Private: Tom Burr on Philip Johnson, Sexuality and Architecture

Tom Burr’s sculpture Zog (a series of setbacks), on view in the exhibition Question the Wall Itself, takes its name and inspiration from a feature of Minneapolis’s… More


Ericka Beckman’s You The Better

Visiting a casino in the early 1980s, Ericka Beckman was struck by the “use of human value” on display: white gamblers in elevated seats placing bets on a jai-alai game played by Mexicans in a pit below. In a new interview Beckman… More


Faye Driscoll’s Thank You For Coming: Attendance

“I think that when you feel connected and you are not distracted, there is a greater possibility that you will feel joy.” As we present Thank You For Coming: Play, the second part of choreographer/director Faye Driscoll’s trilogy of… More

Walker Channel

Artist Talk

Artist Talk + Op-Ed Launch: Postcommodity

In 2015, the art collective Postcommodity installed 26 ten-foot balloons—giant replicas of the commercial “scare-eye” bird deterrents used by farmers and gardeners—at the US/Mexico border. Extending away from the border fence for… More


The Six Sides of Merce Cunningham

Choreographer Merce Cunningham took chances. Over a seven decade career, his explorations reshaped dance into a new kind of art form, deeply influencing visual art, film, and music along the way. Through experimental collaborations… More


Merce Cunningham: Common Time

Renowned as both choreographer and dancer, Merce Cunningham (American, 1919–2009) revolutionized dance through his partnerships with leading artists who created costumes, lighting, films, music, and décor and whose independent… 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.

Superscript Reader

Five artists have been commissioned to create a new work that will premiere online. These works respond to the inspirations, inquiry, and influence of key artists in the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection: Derek Jarman, Bruce Conner, and Marcel Broodthaers.

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.

Superscript Reader

An editorial supplement to Superscript: Arts Journalism and Criticism in a Digital Age, an international conference held at the Walker Art Center May 28–30, 2015.

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

Chance Conversations

In conjunction with the exhibition Merce Cunningham: Common Time (Feb. 8–Jul. 30, 2017), we revisit this 1981 Walker interview between Cunningham and frequent collaborator, John Cage, on their approaches to chance operations. More

By Jack Whitten

Art in Times of Unspeakable Violence

In celebration of Jack Whitten being honored with a National Medal of Arts on September 22, 2016, we revisit the painter’s 2015 Artist Op-Ed, a powerful personal essay on the potential for art in times of violence and injustice. More

Growing the Garden

As we anticipate the June 2017 opening of the renovated Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, we revisit a 1988 Design Quarterly account of the birth of this iconic art park by former director Martin Friedman, who passed away May 9, 2016.  More