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In celebration of our 75th anniversary, we announce a new plan to unify the Walker and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden into a more welcoming and environmentally sustainable campus for the next generation. Key features of the 19-acre campus include a new entry pavilion for the Walker, reconstruction of the 26-year-old garden, the greening of Hennepin Avenue, the addition of hundreds of new trees, and more. More
As identity politics made their way into galleries and museums in the ’80s and ’90s, social conservatives took note, lashing out at artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, Karen Finley, and Ron Athey for work that addressed sexuality, multiculturalism, and LGBT rights. Featuring many of these artists, the Walker found itself at the center of the conversation—and the controversies—that marked the Culture Wars. More
The Culture Wars time capsule is on view in Art at the Center: 75 Years of Walker Collections through May 10, 2015.
Some objects are too vast or ever-changing, too immovable or ephemeral to be collected or contained within a museum—from buildings and parks to digital apps and intangible ideas. These “uncollectibles” remain a source of interest for design curators like Andrew Blauvelt, who discusses these objects’ link to Minnesota By Design, a virtual collection that maps the state’s rich design landscape. More
Minnesota By Design is a virtual collection of more than 100 designs made around the state.
Ever since a suicide attempt at age 15, death has been a constant companion for Ron Athey—even more so since 1985, the year he tested positive for HIV. Until it wasn’t. Healthy on the 30th anniversary of his diagnosis, the 53-year-old performance artist reflects on the “post-AIDS” body, the 1994 performance that put him at the center of the Culture Wars firestorm, and his homecoming after six years abroad. More
Ron Athey, who spoke at the Walker on March 26, 2015, contributes the fourth installment in our Artist Op-Eds series. Like others in this ongoing series, his essay is also available as a print-on-demand pamphlet.
Disappearing Snapchat images from a celebrated photographer. A voicemail performance by a ficticious punk band. A set of bespoke ringtones. Announcing Intangibles, an online catalogue of products that have no physical form. Partnering with an array of artists—including Alec Soth, Martine Syms, and Nico Muhly—the Walker Shop explores the ever-blurring lines between art, media, and commerce. More
Musical revolutions tend to have a spontaneous outlier quality about them, writes Greg Tate. Fifty years ago in Chicago, far from the Manhattan clubs that drew jazz luminaries like John Coltrane, Sun Ra, and Ornette Coleman, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians was born. Since then the group has carried “freedom swang” around the globe and, through a new wave of visionaries, into the future. More
“I said I’d never, ever do a reunion,” guitarist and singer Kat Bjelland told Rolling Stone recently. And yet this June, after a 14-year hiatus, her seminal punk band Babes in Toyland is returning to the city of its inception to play Rock the Garden 2015. Paul M. Davis looks at the obstacles the band overcame to get here and the “visceral live therapy”—in Bjelland’s words—the reunion represents. More
Babes in Toyland plays Rock the Garden on Sunday, June 21, 2015. View the full schedule for this two-day festival.
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
For its April Fool’s Day prank, Google has added a function to its Maps: a Pac-Man version. Evade ghosts and grab cherries in the arty environs of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the Hirshhorn Sculpture Park, the Olympic Sculpture Park, or on your own street.
This summer, artist Nick Cave will lead a series of public performances and events throughout the metropolitan area of Detroit. Working with local dance troupes and musicians, Cave hopes to give something back to the city that he says, “saved his life.”
A “messy, wild, irreverent joy,” Trenton Doyle Hancock’s survey at the Studio Museum pulls viewers into the artist’s surreal imagination and traces the evolution of his alter ego, TorpedoBoy, from “aspirational self-portrait” to a now “more down-and-out” character.
While much of the net.art from the 1990s has become obsolete, many pieces have stood the test of time, including Jodi.org whose web source info reveals a hidden set of “text-drawings”—proving that the markup language of a website is a work of art in itself.
“Everything was separated. The whole concept of ‘separate but equal’ was a cruel joke. I have no memory whatsoever of anything being equal.” Artist Jack Whitten discusses the themes from Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties with curator Kellie Jones.
Lauren DeLand looks the facts and apocrypha surrounding a 1994 Ron Athey performance that galvanized the country’s conservative backlash against government funding for artists. More
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
“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
Exhibition curator Valerie Cassel Oliver of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston discusses the development of Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art. More
Following the September 19 screening of Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, filmmakers David Zellner and Nathan Zellner were joined by Variety chief film critic Scott Foundas for a discussion. After… More
Amsterdam-based Bart de Baets is a fierce formalist, an unrelenting experimenter who has developed a unique typographic attitude that has influenced designers around the world. His work spans the entire cultural sector for… More
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.
A series of commissioned opinion pieces featuring provocative reactions to the headlines by artists James Bridle, Liam Gillick, Metahaven, and others.
In 10 chapters, curator Bartholomew Ryan presents his keystone essay “If You Are Willing: The Army of the Individuals” from the 9 Artists catalogue.
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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
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
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