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“YouTube speaks a tale of catness thoroughly at odds with feline history,” writes curator Sasha Archibald. For her contribution to the book, Cat Is Art Spelled Wrong, she looks to art, literature, and pop culture to show how the cat’s status as “cute icon extraordinaire” is recent, supplanting its early role as a symbol of “magical metamorphosis, potent danger, sexual provocation, and impervious autonomy.” More
A year to the day after Scaffold Room concluded its world premiere at the Walker, its creator, Ralph Lemon, returns for a “memory refraction” related to the work. A performance installation in the galleries, Scaffold Room fueled this conversation on curating performance between Lemon, Walker curator Philip Bither, and Sarah Michelson, whose work tournamento premiered Sept. 24 on the Walker stage. More
As Gilles Deleuze put it, to exhaust is not to be tired; it is the will to begin again. In Pope.L’s performances—which have found the artist crawling the streets of Manhattan in a black suit or consuming pages of the Wall Street Journal—the willingness to reformulate our experiences of subjectivity and collectivity is about exhausting limitations in order to know what indeed is possible. More
Pope.L speaks September 29, 2015 at the invitational curatorial convening, New Circuits: Curating Contemporary Performance.
More than 200 works have entered the Walker’s collection during its 75th-anniversary year, through generous gifts, purchases out of Walker shows, and acquisitions made for the renovated Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Standout examples include a work by Harlem Renaissance painter Beauford Delaney, installations by Danh Vo and Akram Zaatari, a Liz Larner sculpture, and a recent self-portrait by Chuck Close. More
“The person who got me trapped in all of this was John Coltrane.” By this artist Jack Whitten refers to his 50-year exploration of the possibilities of paint. Falling into the art historical narrative of Abstract Expressionists like de Kooning and Rothko and African American artists Bearden and Lawrence, Whitten counts the “philosophy of jazz” as a deep influence on the development of his distinct style. More
Jack Whitten: Five Decades of Painting, on view September 13, 2015–January 24, 2016.
“The question in all my old pieces is what’s a dance, what could it be? Is making art a self-congratulatory, redundant practice, or if there’s a real pursuit of the nature of the beast to ground level, knowing there is no ground?” Back at the Walker 10 years after performing Daylight (For Minneapolis), Sarah Michelson discusses her return to the theater after years of creating works for museums. More
Commissioned by the Walker, the world premiere of Sarah Michelson’s tournamento takes place September 24–27, 2015.
Thirty years ago, a band of anonymous women artists in gorilla masks began raising hell about discrimination, sexism, and racism in the art world and beyond. In celebration of the activist art collective’s anniversary, we present our favorite posters from the Girls’ Compleat Portfolio, which will be exhibited during the just-announced Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover in early 2016. More
“We sometimes think that we’re not so much influenced by traditional music (which is kind of analogous to the language we just happen to speak), so much as by the other non-traditional music we’ve been listening to all these years”—from Arvo Pärt to Bob Dylan to Irish sean-nós singer Darach Ó Catháin. The Gloaming’s Iarla Ó Lionáird discusses sound, silence, and his Irish supergroup’s creative process. More
The Gloaming performs in the McGuire Theater October 9, 2015.
MoMA PS1 joins a handful of NYC institutions that are resisting the trend of rising entrance fees, announcing that admission will be free to New Yorkers for one year. “[The museum] has many exhibitions that should be seen by everybody from all five boroughs.”
25 years after the reunification of Germany, artists and activists are fighting to keep the Berlin Wall standing. The East Side Gallery, a mile-long-stretch of paintings on the historic barrier, is threatened by the construction of luxury apartment towers.
Based on work from Alec Soth’s four photobooks, Gathered Leaves is the first UK retrospective for the Minneapolis photographer. “This thoughtful retrospective is conclusive proof that he is the most important visual chronicler of the US at work today.”
“It’s just like [when] you know a snake exists but when you see it, you feel such a chill,” says Ai Weiwei upon discovering hidden listening devices—likely a “professional job”—hidden in the walls of his Beijing studio and living room.
Filmmaker Chantal Akerman, who at 25 made her masterwork Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles, has died at 65. Rainer Werner Fassbinder has called her “arguably the most important European director of her generation.”
“I don’t know if anyone was expecting a nine-minute slow-build weird freakout John Cage–style video to get 70,000 views in like four days”: CERN physicist James Beacham on the band Deerhoof playing in front of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.
Musician, poet, and bike advocate Ben Weaver reflects on the stories we tell ourselves and others about what it is we do, outside the safe confines of security and certainty, when we pursue the life of an artist. More
After the Hand in Glove conference, Emily Gastineau asks: For white-led organizations, how does your consumption of resources, your cultural voice impede someone else’s sovereignty? More
“As an abstract painter, I work with things that I cannot see,” says Jack Whitten. “Google has mapped the whole earth. We have maps of Mars. We don’t have a map of the soul, and that intrigues me.” Here the painter discusses Soul Map… More
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
“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
Avant Garden, the Walker’s celebrated gala event, moves indoors for a one-of-a-kind party experience on Saturday, September 12, 2015. Proceeds from Avant Garden support the Walker’s award-winning artistic and educational programming. More
For 50 years, Jack Whitten has explored the possibilities of paint, the role of the artist, and the allure of material essence in his innovative studio process. With compositions that are abstract and elegiac, Whitten foregrounds… More
Six artists have each been commissioned to create a new work that will premiere online. These works respond to the inspirations, inquiry, and influence of three key artists in the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection: Derek Jarman, Bruce Conner, and Marcel Broodthaers.
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.
A series of commissioned opinion pieces featuring provocative reactions to the headlines by artists Ron Athey, Ana Tijoux, Dread Scott, and others.
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.
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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
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
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