Walker Art Center

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The Moment of Enlightenment is a Sound

March 5, 2015

Working as a filmmaker, visual artist, writer, actor, educator, musician, and inventor since the 1960s, Tony Conrad’s Long String Drone highlights his engagement with experimental music and can serve as a key to the elusive history of New York avant-garde sound. A look at Long String and its corollary musical form offers a sketch of a diverse artistic production that is both cohesive and expansive. More

Presented in commemoration of Tony Conrad’s 75th birthday, this essay is part of Art Expanded, 1958–1978, the just-launched second volume of The Living Collections Catalogue.


A Vision Workshop: Stan Brakhage and Sally Dixon

By Isla Leaver-Yap March 2, 2015

Continuing her investigation into a mysterious film reel marked Crystal Clips found in the Walker film department’s cold storage, researcher Isla Leaver-Yap looks for clues about its possible provenance. Is it, as a note affixed to it suggests, a “work in progress” by Stan Brakhage, or some kind of educational reel shared between Brakhage and Sally Dixon, his friend and champion? More


Artspeaks: Lynda Benglis on Adhesive Products

February 24, 2015

As a painter seeking a “more sensuous kind of surface,” Lynda Benglis turned to polyurethane to create her iconic 1971 work Adhesive Products. She built armatures from wire and plastic, pouring the polymer over them to create cascading sculptures that hover above the ground. She wanted viewers to “experience the flow of the material … as you would experience a stream or a river flow with an oil slick on it.” More

Lynda Benglis’s Adhesive Products (1971) is featured in the exhibition Art Expanded, 1958–1978, on view through March 1, 2015.


On Kawara: The Artist and his Twitterbot

By Yuki Okumura February 23, 2015

There are two On Kawaras: one is the late conceptual artist, the other a Twitterbot that has been tweeting “I AM STILL ALIVE” every day since January 2009. Here Yuki Okumura, possibly the only person to have directly interacted with both, shares his experiences meeting Kawara (whose real name is likely Atsushi Kawahara) as well as his recent video interview with Pall Thayer, the artist behind @On_Kawara. More


Can the “Sharing Economy” Work in Dance?

February 21, 2015

You can (under very specific circumstances) copyright a dance, but is that the best way to protect your “intellectual property”? Freely sharing kinesthetic thought and image is common among dance makers—but it’s not an ethos broadly shared in other performing arts. Anna Marie Shogren asks: Should it be? More


The Thingness of the Thing: Preserving Net.art

By Richard Rinehart February 13, 2015

As time passes, the preservation of net.art will seem radically interpretive compared to traditional museum conservation, predicts Samek Art Museum director Richard Rinehart, with successive generations of artworks being technically, materially, and observably different from their parents. As evidence, he offers Piotr Szyhalski’s 1997 Walker-commissioned work Ding an sich, newly relaunched as an iPad app. More

Through a partnership between Northern Lights.mn, the Weisman Art Museum, and the Walker, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ding an sich is now available as a free iPad app.

Scott McCloud: Creating The Sculptor

February 9, 2015

“I did four drafts before I ever drew a single finished panel,” says Understanding Comics author Scott McCloud of his first book-length graphic novel, The Sculptor. “That was really gratifying, because it helped me grapple for the first time with the deeper challenges of crafting a large work of fiction.” And large it is: at 496 pages, it took took nearly two full-time jobs’ worth of effort to complete. More


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.

Art News from Elsewhere More


Via i-d.vice.com

Politics & Performance (External)

“Performing brings in natural, inherent politics that I don’t have to talk about in a didactic way,” says artist Jacolby Satterwhite. “Just me existing as a black, gay body in a performance arena makes those conversations come up.”


Via nytimes.com

Cultural Diversity (External)

With a population that’s 65% people of color, “maybe we’re missing out on some of the talent if we don’t have diverse audiences, staffs and boards,” says NYC cultural affairs chief Tom Finkelpearl on a new study of diversity in city cultural organizations.


Via nytimes.com

Desire Lines (External)

For her Central Park commission, on view until Aug. 30, Tatiana Trouvé created spools of colorful rope that, if unwound, could trace every inch of the park’s 212 paths. Each spool, or conceptual “march,” is named after moments in US aesthetic and political history.


Via hyperallergic.com

Art in Achitecture (External)

After 14 years of planning, Donald Judd’s Chinati Foundation is ready to present a new project by Robert Irwin. The designer of Dia:Beacon and the Getty’s formal gardens, Irwin is known for merging art with architecture and landscape within his installations.


Via artinamericamagazine.com

Echoes of Soviet Russia (External)

“They believed in progress, technology and social revolution… that, eventually, mankind would become immortal and make all of outer space its home.” Boris Groys’s Specters of Communism offers a contemporary take on Russia’s radical modernist projects.


via news.artnet.com

Attack on History (External)

The Met’s Thomas Campbell dubs ISIS’s “mindless” destruction of Assyrian sculptures “a tragic assault not only on the Mosul Museum, but on our universal commitment to use art to unite people and promote human understanding.”

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

Uncanny Comics Online

Despite utilizing new online platforms, there’s a deep, arcane sort of Old World sense to Minneapolis-based artist Brittney Sabo’s comics.  More

Via mnartists.org

Mother Tongues

Lightsey Darst and Molly Sutton Kiefer discuss writing to the carnal complexity of women’s lives, including the “shocking, commonplace, irrevocable” experiences of birth and motherhood.  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



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

Walker Channel


Insights: Andrew Blauvelt Presents Minnesota by Design

Insights 2015 kicks off with a unique two-part event celebrating Minnesota and its long-standing design legacy. The evening begins with a presentation by Andrew Blauvelt, Walker Art Center senior… More


Dialogue / Interview

Richard Maxwell in Conversation with Philip Bither

Richard Maxwell, New York City Players Artistic Director and playwright, talks with Walker senior curator Philip Bither about his upper Midwestern roots, fiction and reality, actor training, power of… More



Installing Erwin Wurm’s Truck (Baltic)

Watch the Walker installation crew assemble Erwin Wurm’s impressive Truck (Baltic) (2005), part of the exhibition 75 Gifts for 75 YearsMore


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, 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