Walker Art Center

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A Universal Latin American Theater

By Analola Santana January 20, 2015

Mariano Pensotti’s genre-bending Cineastas is a play that exists outside of the contemporary expectations of Latin American theater. Instead of “Amazonian sensuality” and magical realism, Pensotti presents us with “a hybrid moment that moves between the theatrical event, performance installation, and literary narration”—a moment that takes equal influence from Roberto Bolaño and Wim Wenders.  More

Mariano Pensotti’s Cineastas will be performed January 22–24 as part of Out There 2015.


Construction Zone as Pinball Game

By Isla Leaver-Yap January 15, 2015

Fascinated by how “industrial sites reveal the process of construction,” Ericka Beckman trained her lens on the building site for the Walker expansion 12 years ago. Her resulting film, Frame-UP, cast the space as a giant pinball game, with animated balls bouncing past workers and across I-beams. Ten years later, she revisits the film, discussing its game-like elements, toy-store score, and gender politics. More

Ericka Beckman’s Frame UP (2005), a Walker commission, is on view in the Walker Lecture Room through March 29, 2015, and on New York’s High Line through March 11, 2015.


Like Brothers, Lovers, Proto-Humans

January 9, 2015

“Sometimes they are like brothers, playfully and slightly cruelly competing with each other. And sometimes they seem like violent, crazed proto-humans or baboons in a zoo, duking it out without an awareness of social taboos like some neolithic fight club.” Film/performance artist Miwa Matreyek wrestles with the changing dynamics between Pieter Ampe and Guilherme Garrido in Still Standing YouMore

CAMPO/Pieter Ampe and Guilherme Garrido present Still Standing You January 15–17 as part of Out There 2015. Miwa Matreyek performs This World Made Itself on January 29, 2015.


The Political Provocations of Keith Haring

By John R. Killacky January 7, 2015

Keith Haring’s activism, delivered in his trademark effervescent candy-colored pop aesthetic, is alive and well in works featured in Keith Haring: The Political Line, now on view in San Francisco. Reviewing the exhibition catalogue, former Walker performing arts curator John Killacky examines Haring’s provocations, from guerrilla postings of agitprop collages to works commenting on AIDS, crack, and racism. More

Keith Haring: The Political Line (Prestel, 2014) is available for purchase in the Walker Shop.


The Unadorned Archetype

By Sarah Benson January 6, 2015

“I’ve always felt there’s an urgency when people step out on stage,” Richard Maxwell tells Soho Rep’s Sarah Benson. “That’s part of why I feel cautious about making things dramatic. It’s already a dramatic situation!” Their chat ranges from archetypes in Maxwell’s new play The Evening—from “the hooker with a heart of gold” to the aging prizefighter—and the difference between a person and a character. More

Out There 2015 begins January 8–10 with the world premiere of Richard Maxwell’s The Evening, a Walker commission.


2014: The Year According to…

December 23, 2014

Nineteen artists and curators from around the globe commemorate the year that was. Contributors include: Andreas Angelidakis, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Devrim Bayar, Alejandro Cesarco, Jeff Chang, LaTasha Diggs, Sam Green, Grant Hart, Eric Hu, Eyvind Kang, Kalup Linzy, Tiffany Malakooti, Miwa Matreyek, Rima Mokaiesh, Shahryar Nashat, Nicolas Nova, The Office of Culture and Design, David Reinfurt, and Omar Sosa. More


Indeterminate Adventures with Cage

By Martin Friedman December 10, 2014

During his four-decade relationship with the Walker, composer John Cage visited Minneapolis numerous times. As Walker director emeritus Martin Friedman recalls, these visits often veered toward the unexpected—fitting for an artist closely associated with the musical concept of Indeterminacy—from a late-night reading of James Joyce with Tony Smith to Sunday-morning mushroom hunting in a church yard. More

This essay is part of Art (re)Collecting, a series of previously unpublished writings by Martin Friedman, the Walker’s iconic director from 1961 to 1990.


Collecting Forward: 10 Well-Timed Acquisitions

By Joan Rothfuss and Olga Viso December 2, 2014

With an eye toward the future, and across disciplines and geography, the Walker’s collecting practices have long sought to support artists early in their careers. Looking at works in Art at the Center: 75 Years of Walker Collections, the exhibition’s curators tell the stories behind well-timed purchases of favorite works by artists including Chuck Close, Maya Deren, Cindy Sherman, and Za Wou-Ki. More

Art at the Center: 75 Years of Walker Collections, on view October 16, 2014–September 11, 2016.

Art News from Elsewhere More


Via colorlines.com

Before Selma (External)

Before Ava DuVernay signed on to direct Selma, she founded the American Film Festival Releasing Movement to help connect black audiences with black films: “It’s about the preservation, protection and projection of the black cinematic image.”


Via telegraph.co.uk

Doll People (External)

After decades of photographing dolls, Laurie Simmons is now shooting real people—only with dollish eyes painted on their eyelids. “This interruption,” she acknowledges, “is so subtle people miss it at first.”


Via theartnewspaper.com

Putin’s Decree (External)

Vladmir Putin’s recent presidential decree, “Foundations of State Cultural Policy,” gives the culture ministry “the authority to refuse funding for future arts projects that do not adhere to the official government ideology,” writes Sophia Kishkovsky.


Via artnet.com

Prize Share (External)

Theaster Gates has won the UK’s Artes Mundi prize, but rather than keep the £40,000 in winnings for himself, he’s sharing it with his competitors, nine artists including Omer Fast, Sharon Lockhart, Renzo Martens, and Karen Mirza & Brad Butler.


Via bbc.com

Autoconstructing Tate (External)

Following the likes of Ai Weiwei and Olafur Eliasson, autoconstrucción artist Abraham Cruzvillegas is the next figure tasked with filling Tate Modern’s vast Turbine Hall. His installation will be on view October 2015 through March 2016.


Via theguardian.com

Perverse Empires (External)

“Danh Vo’s art troubles me,” writes Adrian Searle. “Amid the exhibition’s reaches of elegant emptiness at the Marian Goodman gallery in London are little islands of delicacy and violence, histories, blasphemies.”

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

Disasters Align

Red76’s Sam Gould makes the case for a rangier sort of socially-engaged art, one that forgoes easy categories like “social practice” in favor of articulating a field of practice that embraces more disruptive, unabashedly irrational work and interaction.  More

Via mnartists.org

Building a House for the Twilight of the Gods

Weird buildings are all around us: megachurches, museums, sports stadiums, and temples of commerce. What cultural myths do we encode in the architecture of these landmarks-by-design?  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



Obliterating the Frame: Steve McQueen on Art and Film

“I never tried to do anything to make my films friendly.” From his start in Britain’s video art scene in the 1990s to his first feature film in 2008 to the Oscar-nominated 12 Years a Slave, Steve… More

Walker Channel


Liz Deschenes: Gallery 7

Since the early 1990s, Liz Deschenes has produced a singular body of work that has advanced photography’s material potential and critical scope. Making use of the medium’s most elemental aspects, she has recently worked without a camera to produce mirrored… More



Midwest? The Past, Present, and Future of Minnesota’s Identity

A conversation about Minnesota’s historical identity as a member of the Midwest—a nether region lying somewhere between the East and West coasts and spanning a broad latitudinal range. Should… More



History of Contact Improvisation in the Twin Cities

History of Contact Improvisation in the Twin Cities with Patrick Scully and Jane Shockley, and special guests Ric Watson, Kristin Van Loon, Linda Shapiro, Jeff Bartlett, Olive Bieringa, and Otto… 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, Liz Deschenes, 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