Walker Art Center

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“Notice Me”: Chuck Close on Big Self-Portrait

October 13, 2014

“There’s no question, I had some attitude about the way I wanted to be perceived,” said Chuck Close of Big Self-Portrait in 1980. “Now it seems very funny wanting to look like this tough guy with a cigarette sticking out of the corner of my mouth and a big, aggressive image of myself, saying to the viewer, ‘Hey, notice my painting, notice me.’ I think I was trying to find out who I was as an artist.” More

Chuck Close’s Big Self-Portrait (1967–1968) is featured in the WALKER@75 exhibition Art at the Center: 75 Years of Walker Collections, on view October 16, 2014–September 11, 2016.


The Best of Five Decades of Design Quarterly

By Andrew Blauvelt October 10, 2014

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, Martin Filler, and Armin Hofmann—DQ charted design’s history, from a form-follows-function modernism of the ’40s to the affectations of postmodernism in the ’80s and ’90s. More

As part of the Walker’s 75th anniversary celebration, 15 issues of Design Quarterly have been made available for free download.


Question Everything

By Olga Viso October 9, 2014

What does it mean to present the art of our time? Why do we need a safe place for unsafe ideas? How can art show us who we are—and aren’t? The Walker’s founding as a public art center in 1940 was sparked by a question, and during the 75 years since it’s been animated by relentless inquisitiveness. Launching our 75th anniversary celebration, Olga Viso reflects on the power of the well-formed question. More

In anticipation of the Walker’s 75th anniversary as a public art center, Olga Viso launches our WALKER@75 celebration with an ode to questioning.


How to Be More Like Ben Patterson

October 9, 2014

“I was not ready for Patterson.” The first time writer/vocalist LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs witnessed Fluxus artist Benjamin Patterson’s work, she left puzzled: “How would I approach my own scores, and how might I play with instruction to express my curiosities/concerns by employing mundane objects?” Here Diggs reflects upon her first encounters with Patterson’s work and shares a few original scores of her own. More

Benjamin Patterson presents Pond (1962) on Oct. 9, and joins a conversation at Theaster Gates’s Holding Courton Oct. 10 in conjunction with the exhibition Radical Presence. See Diggs read from her book TwERK in March 2014.


A Seat at the Table

By Nicole J. Caruth October 7, 2014

The metaphor of the table evokes images of folks coming together to break bread or discuss personal and political issues. For Seitu Jones and Theaster Gates, the table is more than a metaphor; it’s a medium. In the Twin Cities, their tables are provoking dialogue about systemic reform, in local foodways and cultural institutions. Can these conversations effect change? Or is the change the conversation itself? More

Theaster Gates’s See, Sit, Sup, Sip, Sing: Holding Court is on view in the exhibition Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, on view through January 4, 2015.


La Cultura de la Basura: On Music & Misogyny

By Ana Tijoux October 2, 2014

“Where are the videos showing a woman in her role as sister—or protector, or economic head of family, or devoted daughter, or grandmother dignified in her old age?” In her Artist Op-Ed, Chilean hip-hop MC and activist Ana Tijoux looks at la violencia del cuerpo en la musica: the objectification of female pop stars, which she likens to “visual punches: it’s about snatching away the very beauty of women.” More

Santiago-based hip-hop artist Ana Tijoux, who performs October 4, 2014, contributes an Artist Op-Ed. Like others in this ongoing series, her online essay is also available as a print-on-demand pamphlet.


The Nexus of Fluxus and Social Practice

By Sarah Schultz September 29, 2014

While removed in time by four decades, the 1960s Fluxus movement and the social practice art of today hold much in common, says LA art historian Natilee Harren, including a shared focus on instruction. “The best social practice art exposes how our lives are scored, orchestrated, or performatively designed for better or for worse, in both utopian and dystopian fashions,” she tells curator Sarah Schultz. More


Topless Cellist

By Joan Rothfuss September 25, 2014

“A female shaman for the McLuhan age,” Juilliard-trained cellist Charlotte Moorman is best known as Nam June Paik’s formidable collaborator, often performing nude as she activated his avant-garde works. In this exclusive excerpt from Topless Cellist, art historian Joan Rothfuss explores the creation of Paik’s TV Bra for Living Sculpture, a send-up of the nation’s addiction to “electronic breastfeeding.” More

Joan Rothfuss reads from Topless Cellist: The Improbable Life of Charlotte Moorman on October 5, 2014. Nam June Paik’s TV Cello is on view in the exhibition Art Expanded, 1958–1978.

Art News from Elsewhere More


Via artnews.com

Passings: Susan Sollins (External)

Art21 founder Susan Sollins has passed away. “A Vasari of our own times,” Sollins promoted contemporary art and artists for decades, cofounding the Independent Curators International and creating such work as William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible.


Via bostonglobe.com

New Money (External)

“Cold, hard cash has never before looked so abstract.” Conceived by the design firm Snohetta, Norway’s new banknotes—set to begin circulating in 2017—depict a landmark on the country’s coast, but pixelated to be nearly unrecognizable.


Via nytimes.com

Superposition (External)

There’s a “human stink” in Ryoji Ikeda’s art: “He’s interested in cold data—‘superposition’ [the title of his new project] is a concept from quantum mechanics—but more interested in how we can use it as a language, how we can make it talk or sing.”

Via hyperallergic.com

Unplugged (External)

Paul McCarthy’s giant sculpture Tree has been deinstalled after raising ire in Paris: critics of the sex-toy–shaped inflatable slapped the 69-year-old artist and cut the work’s anchor cords—all while drumming up interest in his Chocolate Factory show.

Via artnet.com

Surrender Selfies (External)

Inspired by Internet-savvy protests, Emerging Collective has started a campaign to encourage viewers to post “SURRENDER Selfies” and draw attention to their plan to materialize an experiential antiwar memorial by the artists Guo Gian and Marcus Eriksen.


Via independent.co.uk

Color of Stigma (External)

“Blackness has always been stigmatised, even amongst black people who flee from the density of that blackness,” says Kerry James Marshall of his choice of color. “Some black people recoil from black people who are that dark because it has always been stigmatised.”

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org


1983 was a quite a year for dance. Trisha Brown premiered her pioneering, loose-limbed dance style with the now-iconic work, Set and Reset. The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) launched its Next Wave Festival to showcase new cross-disciplinary collaborations by… More

Via mnartists.org

A Club at the End of the World

Christina Schmid reviews Alexa Horochowski’s melancholic new work, Club Disminucion, which she calls a playful but also dead-serious tribute to the decline of the human age.  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


Why Not A Fork?

Spoonbridge and Cherry installation 1988. In this video we see Claus Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen discussing the piece with children for a documentary on the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. More


Films by Artists

Red Grooms’ Target Discount Store (1970)

As part of the Walker’s 75th anniversary we are releasing a variety of clips from the Walker’s archives. This documentary on the creation of Red Grooms’ sculpture The Discount Store was commissioned by the Walker Art Center for… More



T.B. Walker Pathe Newsreel (1927)

As part of the Walker’s 75th anniversary we are releasing a variety of clips from the Walker’s archives. Silent newsreel of T.B. Walker opening the Walker Galleries, May 21, 1927. More


Ongoing Series

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


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


Via walkerart.org

Sturtevant in Conversation with Peter Eleey

In a rare 2009 conversation, Sturtevant—who passed away in May 2014—discusses her repetitions of works by Warhol, Beuys, and others, as well as the discourse on “dangerous potent power” of our cybernetic world.  More


Please Change Beliefs

For her first art foray online, Jenny Holzer brought her iconic text-based work to the web in 1995, presenting five series of works (truisms, living, survival, inflammatory essays, laments). More