Walker Art Center

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Ericka Beckman on Games, Chance, and Capitalism

By Victoria Sung October 18, 2016

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 an interview illustrated by developmental drawings for the work, Beckmann discusses You The Better (1983/2015), a video informed by that visit that explores chance and capitalism through game play. More

Ericka Beckman’s You The Better (1983/2015) is on view through December 31, 2016 in the exhibition Less Than One.

Karel Martens, Joy, and Five Years of P!

By Ben Schwartz October 12, 2016

After five years, P!—a gallery on NYC’s Broome Street—is closing its doors, but not for good: it’ll become a “dispersed institution” that’ll fulfill its mission at various locations, according to founder Prem Krishnamurthy of Project Projects. Here he discusses the space’s exhibition history, the blurry lines between designer and curator, and P!’s concluding show by Dutch designer Karel Martens. More

Designing Bon Iver’s 22, a Million

By Emmet Byrne October 3, 2016

Eric Timothy Carlson’s design for Bon Iver’s 22, a Million is less a graphic identity for an album than a documentation of a network of players, places, times, and tools. In conversation with the Walker’s design director, he discusses the intense work sessions with Justin Vernon and others, the numbers that permeate the track list, the midwest music scene’s love of cryptic symbolism, and the Packers. More

Robert Redford: Cinema as Landscape

September 30, 2016

There is no more iconic presence in the landscape of American cinema than Robert Redford. The metaphor of cinema as landscape is particularly apt in relation to Redford, an activist who’s fought to conserve the wilderness of the west and who, in many of his films, depicts the land itself as the source of passions and values, action and contemplation—in short, of much that comprises American identity. More

Robert Redford: Independent/Visionary, a 25-film retrospective, runs Sept. 30–Nov. 12, concluding with a Walker Dialogue between Redford and Amy Taubin.

The Odds: On Cultural Equity and #OscarsSoWhite

By Jeff Chang September 27, 2016

“Hollywood may indeed be run by the most liberal whites in the country—some of them have written and acted and produced with the deepest of empathy. But they can never be a substitute for people who can tell their own stories best,” writes Jeff Chang in We Gon’ Be Alright: Race and Desegregation. “And yet the odds of a person of color breaking into the upper echelon of the culture remain long indeed.” More

Jack Whitten: Art in Times of Unspeakable Violence

September 23, 2016

In celebration of Jack Whitten being honored with a 2015 National Medal of Arts on September 22—and in light of recent events in Charlotte, Falcon Heights, Tulsa, St. Cloud, and elsewhere—we revisit the painter’s 2015 Artist Op-Ed, a powerful personal essay on the potential for art in times of violence and injustice. “A product of American apartheid,” Whitten writes that these days “art is our best hope.” More

Jack Whitten’s essay was commissioned as part of the ongoing Artist Op-Eds series.

Siting & Seeding: The New Campus Comes to Life

By Paul Schmelzer September 21, 2016

From the hydroseed that’s painted the hillside blue to the newly planted grove of honey locust trees near the Walker entrance to the daily appearance of newly installed sculptures, our campus renovation project is truly ramping up. Updates this month: a visit with sculptor Kinji Akagawa, the return of works by artists including Alexander Calder and Magdalena Abakanowicz, and a narrowing of a busy street. More

Unpacking the Box

By Victoria Sung September 20, 2016

With Unpacking the Box, the first presentation in the Best Buy Aperture, we consider the way containers—both physical boxes by the likes of Marcel Duchamp and George Maciunas and the metaphorical white cube of the gallery itself—shape our understanding of art. Here, the project’s curators discuss the ideas that activate this array of offerings from the Walker collections, library, and archives. More

Unpacking the Box is on view in the Best Buy Aperture August 30, 2016 through February 19, 2017.

Art News from Elsewhere More

Via nytimes.com

Body of Art (External)

“I’m more interested in human beings than in objects,” says experimental choreographer Jérôme Bel, who opens MoMA Dance Company next week. “A human being is so complicated, especially a dancing human being, especially a nonprofessional dancer.”

Via facebook.com

Redford on DAPL (External)

Speaking again in support of the Standing Rock Sioux’s efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, Robert Redford in a new video urges people to call President Obama to “protest clean water for 17 million Americans, for now and for future generations.”

Via variety.com

BFI’s Best (External)

Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women won best film at the London Film Festival: “A poignant story that calibrates with startling vulnerability and delicate understatement the isolation, frustrations and loneliness of lives unlived in a quiet corner of rural America.”

Via nytimes.com

Propose Yourself (External)

To change a “culture of fear” and “make a Cuba that is run by us all, not by a few,” Tania Bruguera on Friday urged Cubans to imagine themselves as candidates for national office in 2018—noting that she’s proposing herself for the job.

Via hyperallergic.com

Institutional Critique (External)

In response to CAM St. Louis’s controversial Kelley Walker show, James McAnally calls for an interrogation of our art institutions: “Is power concentrated or shared? Who, underneath it all, is the institution for? What kind of community is it trying to form?”

Via artnews.com

A President Who… (External)

“I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils,” wrote Zoe Leonard in I want a president, a 1992 essay that’s seeing renewed interest: it’s going up on the High Line as a 30 ft. poster, and rapper Mykki Blanco recently recited it in a new Adinah Dancyger film.

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

Artist as Disruptor

Sam Gould discusses a new project in which a group of comic artists gathered at Beyond Repair to illustrate a leaked transcript of a 1996 police interrogation by Minneapolis Police’s Bob Kroll of a 14-year-old African-American boy accused of stealing a car.  More

Via mnartists.org

Numinous Anomalies

An emphasis on connection—between Minnesota and Somalia, artist and community—is key for Anomalous Expansion, writes critic Christina Schmid of the landmark exhibition at the Darul Uloom Islamic Center in St. Paul. 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


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


Andrea Büttner’s Piano Destructions

“There are many ways to destroy a piano,” says Andrea Büttner of Piano Destructions (2014), a video installation that presents interventions by (largely male) artists alongside footage of women pianists performing Chopin, Schumann, and… More

Walker Channel


Wayne Coyne Reflects at Rock the Garden

Flaming Lips lead singer, Wayne Coyne, sits down with Walker Art Center’s Chris Cloud to discuss hearing his band on the radio for the first time and playing the same songs every show. More


Lee Kit Documentary

The first US solo museum exhibition of artist Lee Kit (b. 1978) features work from the past five years, including an ambitious 13-channel video installation acquired by the Walker—I can’t help falling in love (2012)—alongside a newly commissioned site-specific… More


Performing Arts 2016-2017 Season Trailer

Inspired by the spirit of openness and experimentation of Merce Cunningham and John Cage—and anchored by the multidisciplinary exhibition Merce Cunningham: Common Time—the 2016/2017 performing arts season brings global… 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

Untitled (Blog)

The Sculpture is Never Finished

Named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow on September 22, 2016, sculptor Vincent Fecteau discussed his studio practice with the Walker’s Brooke Kellaway in 2012.  More

Growing the Garden

As we break ground on an expansion to the 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

By Liz Glass

The Moment of Enlightenment Is a Sound

In commemoration of the life and legacy of filmmaker, visual artist, musician, and inventor Tony Conrad, who passed away in April 2016, a look at the artist’s quest for a “new musical culture.” More