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Poe’s Last Ride: An Action Opera

By Sam Segal January 27, 2015

Sparked by the story of Edgar Allan Poe’s last days, spent lost and confused aboard a train, playwright Thaddeus Phillips and his team began research. “We discovered something very different from what we’d been taught—a witty, funny, and inquisitive writer who explored almost everything and intuited the creation of the universe.” Here he discusses Poe, an epic journey, and the “action opera” it inspired. More

Out There 2015 concludes with Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental’s RED-EYE to HAVRE de GRACE from January 29–31, 2015.


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.


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 nytimes.com

Collections Connectivity (External)

“Sooner or later, all museum websites will be interconnected, so that any museum might take advantage of scholarship produced by any other,” writes Ken Johnson, who chronicles efforts to get art online and contextualized through rich content.


Via npr.org

Truly “Public” Media (External)

Producing a radio piece, Chenjerai Kumanyika found himself “pretending to be a public radio host”—that is, trying to sound “more white.” Which prompted a question: Who is the public in “public media” anyway?


Via newyorker.com

Film Fail (External)

“[F]emale filmmakers of this generation have to build their careers on the basis of a virtual heritage of their own creation,” writes Richard Brody, “because the industry—and critics—failed the generations that preceded them.”


Via theguardian.com

Visualizing Deportation (External)

Interested in making visible “places and processes that would otherwise remain invisible,” James Bridle’s new film recreates through 3D modeling technology “unphotographable” facilities used in the UK’s detention and deportation program.


Via joycefdn.org

Joyce & Community (External)

Four community-building partnerships have won 2015 Joyce Awards. Led by artists of color, winning projects include two in Detroit, collaborations between Nari Ward and Power House Productions and Sanford Biggers and MOCAD.


Via latimes.com

Searching for Rocky (External)

In his forthcoming directorial debut, French artist Pierre Bismuth sets out on search for a “mysterious hidden object”: a fake rock, dubbed Rocky II, that artist Ed Ruscha made and left somewhere in the Mojave Desert in 1979.

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

Space Exploration

Cheryl Wilgren Clyne begins a photo essay series about artists and studios - starting with her own, a space she’s not allowed anyone to visit for years.  More

Via mnartists.org

The State of the Art Up North

Tim White takes stock of the art currently shaping the North country’s cultural scene by way of the work on view in Duluth Art Institute’s 60th Arrowhead Regional Biennial. 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