Walker Art Center

35° FCloudyVia weather.com

Come in from the cold and see some art: Free gallery admission now through February 7.

Forward Ever, Backward Never

By Gary Simmons January 20, 2017

Gary Simmons created Everforward—a pair of gleaming white boxing gloves embroidered with the words “Everforward” and “Neverback”—in response to troubled times: the killing of Yusef Hawkins, recession, the AIDS epidemic, the Crown Heights riots. Commemorating Inauguration Day, he reconsiders the work nearly 25 years later—its echoes of the past and its optimistic call for artists and others to fight back. More

Gary Simmons’s essay is part of the ongoing Artist Op-Eds series, which invites artists—including Dread Scott, Ana Tijoux, and Jack Whitten—to respond to events in the news.

Critical Administration: On Artstrike & Institutions

By João Enxuto & Erica Love January 20, 2017

What will the relationship between art museums and their publics look like following recent global events like Brexit and the US elections? Weaving together the January 20 Artstrike and Liberate Tate, Donald Trump’s election and the Walker’s Avant Museology symposium, artists João Enxuto and Erica Love offer an examination of social change and protest, both within and targeted at art institutions.  More

This essay was commissioned as part of the ongoing Artist Op-Eds series.

Facilitating Possession

By Danielle Jackson January 19, 2017

“Brown and black bodies on stage surface a kinetic architecture weighted with pain, pathologies, resilience, joy. I’m concerned with memory and with the idea that some things may surface on a cellular level, or in the skin.” Okwui Okpokwasili discusses the conceptual and historical frameworks—from Black Lives Matter to Nigeria’s Women’s War—of her multidisciplinary performance, Poor People’s TV RoomMore

Okwui Okpokwasili’s Poor People’s TV Room will be performed January 19–21 as part of Out There 2017.

A Reading List for the New America

By Paul Schmelzer January 19, 2017

Our country and world are clearly in the midst of seismic changes—politically, environmentally, socially. How do we prepare for the uncertain future we’re facing? We posed this question to an array of artists, writers, and curators—including Thomas Hirschhorn, Kimberly Drew, Lucy Lippard, and Hank Willis Thomas—seeking their help in building a reading list that could prove instructive in the coming years.  More

The Archive Is a Port in the Squall

By Hannah Piper Burns January 17, 2017

“If these works are challenging, discomforting, or destabilizing, it is because I am discomforted and destabilized. We all should be. Comfort gets us nowhere anymore, and by the way, there is just as much comfort to be found in outrage as there is in pleasure.” Hanna Piper Burns introduces her Mediatheque playlist, a timely selection by Antoni Muntadas, Tony Oursler, Leslie Thornton, and others. More

The Bentson Mediatheque, the Walker’s self-select cinema, can be experienced during regular museum hours; Hannah Piper Burns’s playlist is featured through February 2017.

Merce Cunningham’s Working Process

January 11, 2017

A boundless innovator, choreographer Merce Cunningham has had an unparalleled impact on the fields of dance, art, and music. In advance of the February 8 opening of Merce Cunningham: Common Time we revisit this 1981 segment produced by Twin Cities Public Television, in which the famed choreographer discusses his methodology and how a vocabulary of movement fuels his way of thinking. More

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

Interiors and Identity

By Fionn Meade January 4, 2017

In Question the Wall Itself, the viewer passes through a series of interiors in which the active construction of identity holds uneasy sway over the place of exhibition making itself, with the viewer implicated in an unfolding drama, whether as protagonist or mere passerby. Here, the show’s curator reflects on key installations by Nina Beier, Marcel Broodthaers, Tom Burr, Walid Raad, and others. More

Question the Wall Itself is on view November 20, 2016 through May 21, 2017.

Glimpses of Frank Big Bear’s Multiverse

By Misa Jeffereis December 12, 2016

The personal and the public collide in Frank Big Bear’s The Walker Collage, Multiverse #10, a large-scale work that mashes up a staggering array of images, from the Vietnam War to members of the artist’s family, hairless cats to fashion nudes. To give a glimpse at the intersecting worlds that comprise the piece, Big Bear offers a rare look at Facebook posts made as he developed this intricate new work. 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 studiomuseum.org

One Black Day  (External)

The Studio Museum has hung a new Glenn Ligon work in its window: a neon sign marking today’s date. It may reference the departure of the first African-American president from the White House or serve as a “monument to the progress made over the last eight years.”

Via nytimes.com

Back in Black (External)

La Mélancolie des Dragons—the last of the Walker’s 2017 Out There performances—utilizes a kind of low-tech anti-spectacle, conjuring “a gentle magic out of stillness and tenderness and unforced wonder” that resonates profoundly with many audiences.

Via thehill.com

Art Cuts (External)

President-elect Trump reportedly aims to change government support for culture: “The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.”

Via mprnews.org

MN to Sundance (External)

On the road to “tell nuanced black stories,” Minnesota actor Sha Cage and writer-director E.G. Bailey will show their short film New Neighbors—inspired by the experience of Fay Wells—at Sundance, following their screening at the Walker in Fall 2016.

Via psmag.com

Oppenheimer’s Playlist (External)

What do a Buddhist sutra, a Beckett play, a Baroque violin sonata, and Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove have in common? They all found a place in documentary director Joshua Oppenheimer’s multimedia playlist—a curation of books, film, and music that makes him think.

Via theguardian.com

Lunch with Laurie (External)

“I had gotten to walk with him to the end of the world. Life—so beautiful, painful and dazzling—does not get better than that.” After her husband, Lou Reed’s death, artist Laurie Anderson weighs in on topics from loss, love, bliss, and Buddhism to the US election.

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

After Symbols and on to Lawlessness

Nathan Young on the “catalytic flag-making” project Bleed&Burn—ongoing now at the Soap Factory—and pushing the momentum of art for social change beyond symbolism and into action in the civic sphere. More

Via mnartists.org

The Arcades Project

Filmmaker Kevin Obsatz on the ritual and ethos of practice in game-play, games as media of communication, and some related reflections for those who make art, at a time when the language of audience engagement is central to cultural conversation. 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


Amanda Ross-Ho on OMEGA and Her Creative Origins

For her contribution to Ordinary Pictures, Amanda Ross-Ho worked with movie industry prop fabricators to create a large-scale, hand-made replica of the photo enlarger she remembers her parents, both artists, using when she was a… More

Walker Channel


A New Sculpture Garden

Save the date for Saturday June 3, 2017 for the opening of the renovated Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the newly expanded Walker Art Center campus. Join us and see over 18 new artworks, a reimagined 19-acre campus, and a landmark that will be enjoyed for… More


Question the Wall Itself

Question the Wall Itself examines ways that interior spaces and décor can be fundamental to the understanding of cultural identity. The multimedia exhibition showcases work by 23 international, multigenerational artists who explore the political and social… More


Avant Garden 2016

We had a lot to celebrate this year! Avant Garden marked the grand opening of the Walker’s new main entrance and the exhibition Question the Wall Itself. The event also revealed site-specific commissions by artists Frank Big Bear and Philippe Parreno. Top that… 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