Walker Art Center

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Spaceship Earth: Tomás Saraceno on Aerocene

By Paul Schmelzer February 3, 2016

“When I look up, I see an Open Source Space Agency; I see Aerocene­—the opportunity to ‘de- and re-engineer the hydrocarbon and intellectual property infrastructures that envelop our world,’ and to reinvent existing methods of flying in ways that do not harm the Earth.” Tomás Saraceno writes about the influence of Buckminster Fuller’s “Spaceship Earth” metaphor on his series of air-fueled sculptures.  More

The blog series Counter Currents invites contemporary artists, writers, and collectives—including Experimental Jetset, Geoff Manaugh, and Dread Scott—to reflect on the influence of the artists on view in Hippie Modernism.

Germinal’s Brave New World

By Kate Bredeson January 25, 2016

What does human communication mean in an age when so many of our interactions are mediated through technology? And how do the ways we connect dictate how we live together? In Halory Goerger and Antoine Defoort’s Germinal, four people work to create a new society from the rubble, writing—as theater scholar Kate Bredeson puts it—“a love letter to the ephemeral beauty of theater and human life.” More

Concluding Out There 2016, Halory Goerger and Antoine Defoort’s Germinal will be presented January 28–30, 2016.

Announcing 16 New Works for the Garden

By Olga Viso January 21, 2016

Katharina Fritsch’s giant blue rooster. Commissions by Nairy Baghramian, Theaster Gates, Mark Manders, Philippe Parreno, and others. Sculptures by Sam Durant, Kcho, and Liz Larner. When the renovated Minneapolis Sculpture Garden opens in 2017, visitors will see the return of old favorites plus the arrival of 16 new works. Here’s a first look at the art and artists that’ll animate the new 19-acre campus. More

Curation, Care, and Andrea Büttner’s Moss Garden

January 20, 2016

“Caretaking is where the word ‘curating’ comes from. Curare means to take care—to care for something outside one’s self.” German artist Andrea Büttner, Walker Artistic Director Fionn Meade, and Walker Lead Technician Peter Hannah discuss the meaning, maintenance, and cultivation of a delicate moss garden within the galleries of Andrea Büttner, the artist’s first US solo exhibition. More

Andrea Büttner is on view November 21, 2015 to April 10, 2016.

Filming the Female Face in Todd Haynes’s Carol

By Samuel Catlin January 19, 2016

Men’s faces rarely make the cut in Todd Haynes’s new film, Carol (2015), writes Samuel Catlin, who notes how this “minimalism of the frame” allows the film’s female characters—not the men in their lives—to tell their story. “A visual work in ethos as well as form,” the Academy Award–nominated film resists patriarchal Hollywood standards in both its storyline and visual elements. More

Video of Todd Haynes’s November 2015 Walker Dialogue is now online.

Rabih Mroué on Riding on a Cloud

By Cis Bierinckx January 18, 2016

In Rabih Mroue’s Riding on a Cloud, what at first seems to be a biography of his brother, Yasser—who in 1987 survived a sniper’s bullet in Beirut—expands to first tell a family story then a more universal tale. Discussing the work with Belgian curator Cis Bierinckx, the Berlin-based artist and director discusses the piece’s relationship to fact, fiction, absence, biography, and language. More

Rabih Mroué’s Riding on a Cloud will be performed January 21–23 as part of Out There 2016.

Taste as a Political Matter

By Coco Fusco January 13, 2016

Exploring NYC’s “nocturnal underworld” at age 24, Coco Fusco stumbled upon her “first encounter with a full-on feminist art intervention”: a show at the Palladium curated by the Guerrilla Girls. “This was an activist approach that I could connect with, as it spoke truth to power playfully, with wit and style,” she writes in honor of the Girls’ 30th anniversary—and one that influenced how she makes art today. More

Launching with a Jan. 21 kick-off celebration, the Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover features events in the Twin Cities and Rochester through March 2016, including the Walker’s presentation of the 88-poster Portfolio Compleat in the exhibition Art at the Center.

Counter Currents: Josh MacPhee on the Diggers

By Paul Schmelzer January 12, 2016

Groupon, Uber, and bank-funded bike-share programs, writes Josh MacPhee, “have taken the Diggers’ belief that human beings relating to, and depending on, each other creates unique forms of value and surplus and moved it firmly from the realm of quality to quantity.” Here he reflects on the ’60s community-action group, his work as an artist-archivist today, and his coming of age in the ’90s anarchist scene. More

This essay launches Counter Currents, a blog series that invites contemporary artists, writers, and collectives—including Are.na, Fritz Haeg, and LUST—to reflect on the influence of the artists on view in Hippie Modernism.

Art News from Elsewhere More

Via contemporaryand.com

Black Criticism (External)

“Criticism becomes another way of responding to the times, historicizing and documenting, and asking tough questions of our society.” Taylor Renee and Jessica Lynne, founders of ARTS.BLACK, discuss the importance of advancing black perspectives in art criticism.

Via artsy.net

Vibrant Soul (External)

“All of the post-mortem canonization has nothing to do with how she lived or how she was treated during her life.” Coco Fusco unpacks the fascination with Ana Mendieta, reflecting on what she sees to be the artist’s most valuable contributions to art and politics.

Via poetryfoundation.org

The 27th Letter (External)

“In the alphabet recited by nineteenth-century schoolchildren, it followed Z. And per se and, they would say, and per se and.” From Mairead Small Staid, an homage to the ampersand: its origins, use, and meaning, in everything from poetry to graphic design.

Via theintercept.com

Anarchist Snapshots (External)

Opening next week, Laura Poitras’s Whitney show, Astro Noise, will feature classified images collected as part of the UK/US spy program “Anarchist.” Leaked by Edward Snowden, they “offer a rare glimpse at the closely guarded secret of Israel’s drone fleet.”

Via art21.org

The F-Word (External)

“How does the Guerrilla Girls’ process-led practice of a collective, statistic-driven, and advertising-orientated aesthetic work within a post-Feminist context? Well, it’s complicated”: Megan Johnston on the Guerrilla Girls’ 30th anniversary.

Via suntimes.com

KJM: Mastry (External)

Interested in “the historical absence, or ‘invisibility’ of the black figure in the tradition of painting,” Kerry James Marshall will be the subject of a major retrospective—his first—that opens in Chicago this spring before traveling to NY and LA.

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

Caught in a Bad Romance

Christina Schmid looks into the quiet tension in the corners of Andrea Büttner’s work, between humility and humiliation, mistaken identities, dutiful daughters, and weird little sisters.  More

Via mnartists.org

Sex, Death and David Bowie

Tracy K. Smith’s poems function as a kind of confessional for humankind, resounding at once with the echoes of our worst deeds and our collective striving to forgive them, fueled by a hunger for faith and moral clarity.  More



On Curation, Care, and Andrea Büttner’s Moss Garden

“Caretaking is where the word ‘curating’ comes from. Curare means to take care—to care for something outside one’s self.” German artist Andrea Büttner, Walker Artistic Director Fionn Meade, and Walker… More


Jack Whitten on Mapping the Soul

“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


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

Walker Channel

Dialogue / Interview

Todd Haynes and Christine Vachon with Scott Foundas

Filmmakers Todd Haynes and Christine Vachon join Scott Foundas of Amazon Studios for the 60th Walker Dialogue. Illuminated by film clips, the talk explores the creative process, influences from the… More


Andrea Büttner

The Walker presents the first US solo exhibition of the work of German artist Andrea Büttner (b. 1972), including a newly commissioned installation. Büttner’s work often creates connections between art history and social or ethical issues, with a particular… More


Lars Bang Larsen: Turning on the Modern, or Against It?

The art and culture of the 1960s had high aesthetic and political stakes, but less well known is the decade’s ambiguous and conflicted relation to modernism. Independent curator and art historian… More


Ongoing Series

Superscript Reader

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.

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.

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

Charlotte Cotton

Pop and the Traveling Image

With the Walker’s International Pop now on view at the Dallas Museum of Art we revisit this discussion on the role of the traveling mass-produced image during the 20th century. More

Andrew Blauvelt

A Timeline of Design History

For nearly fifty years, Design Quarterly chronicled the changing terrains of architecture, urban planning, and design. Here’s a selection of our favorite issues, featuring the likes of Muriel Cooper, Martin Filler, and Armin Hofmann. 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