Walker Art Center

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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.

A Metal Drummer Learns Hüsker Dü

By Jeff Severns Guntzel September 19, 2016

“Metal is cerebral; punk is all heart,” writes Jeff Severns Guntzel of the challenge Yousif Del Valle faced in learning Grant Hart’s drum track for Hüsker Dü’s debut album. Anticipating the release of the Chris Larson: Land Speed Record LP that features Del Valle’s work, Severns Guntzel looked at the Hate Beast drummer’s process—from computer-visualized sound waves to practice, practice, practice. More

Yousif Del Valle performs the Land Speed Record soundtrack September 29, 2016, followed by a set by Hate Beast. Chris Larson: Land Speed Record is on view through Jan. 8, 2017.

Urgent Cinema: Eight Filmmakers Speak

September 14, 2016

The campaign of Ilhan Omar, who’s poised to become the country’s first Somali-American legislator. The journey of an Iraqi refugee to Minnesota. Winona LaDuke’s activism to stop oil pipelines. The 2013 police killing of Terrance Franklin. Addressing issues pulled from the headlines, eight filmmakers featured in the recent Cinema of Urgency: Local Voices program discuss the ideas behind their newest works. More

Carmen Herrera Right Now

By Olga Viso September 1, 2016

Collected by museums worldwide, Carmen Herrera is the star of Alison Klayman’s new documentary. But such acclaim didn’t come quickly: it was nearly seven decades into her career when the painter, then 89, sold her first work. Klayman, best known for Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012), discusses The 100 Years Show and her aim of capturing “Carmen Herrera right now, looking back at 100 years of life and art.” More

Alison Klayman’s The 100 Years Show screens September 8, 2016.

Gordon Hall: On Sculpture, HB2, and Gender

By Gordon Hall August 8, 2016

North Carolina’s discriminatory transgender bathroom bill, the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, police killings of African Americans across the United States, and the soaring murder rate among transgender women of color: artist Gordon Hall responds to the trauma of recent events with a meditation on the potential for self-transformation through our relationships with objects. More

Gordon Hall is the seventh artist—after Ron Athey, Dread Scott, Ana Tijoux, and others—to contribute to the ongoing Artist Op-Ed series.

The Fuse Merged with the Firecracker

By Doug Benidt & Siri Engberg July 28, 2016

“It was the pen hitting the paper, the fuse merged with the firecracker.” Grant Hart recalls the August night 35 years ago when Hüsker Dü took to the tiny stage at Minneapolis’s 7th St. Entry to record Land Speed Record. Today, as Yusif Del Valle re-records his drum track as part of the exhibition Chris Larson: Land Speed Record, Hart shares the history of the making of this seminal punk album. More

The exhibition Land Speed Record—on view June 9, 2016–January 8, 2017—is accompanied by an exhibition catalogue that takes the form of a clear vinyl LP with liner notes.

Art News from Elsewhere More

Via hyperallergic.com

“Far Out of Touch” (External)

“A retraumatization of racial and regional pain.” Members of the black community and some black staffers at CAM St. Louis are protesting a Kelley Walker show over images of African Americans and civil rights events obscured by toothpaste, milk, and chocolate.

Via theguardian.com

Doomocracy (External)

“Usually my art is more about hope, but on this occasion it is a dark project, and offers more of a space for catharsis.” Pedro Reyes discusses Doomocracy, the “political haunted house” he’s creating in the Brooklyn Army Terminal from October 7 to November 6.

Via macfound.org

Genius (External)

Twenty-three figures—all “breaking new ground in areas of public concern, in the arts, and in the sciences”—have been named as 2016 MacArthur Fellows. Among recipients of $625K are artist Vincent Fecteau, former Walker curator Kellie Jones, and poet Claudia Rankine.

Via thenaturalhistorymuseum.org

Stand with Standing Rock (External)

More than 1,280 museum professionals—including directors at the Brooklyn and Queens museums of art—have written to Pres. Obama and other federal officials in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its concerns over the Dakota Access Pipeline project.

Via aperture.org

Bradford’s Practice (External)

For aperture’s “Vision & Justice” issue, Antwaun Sargent looks at Mark Bradford’s investigations of the myths around black masculinity through works—including Practice (part of the Walker collection)—in which he performs in a Lakers jersey and matching hoop dress.

Via nytimes.com

About Time (External)

At 101, Carmen Herrera finally got “the show the art world should have given her 40 or 50 years ago”: a solo exhibition at a major NYC museum. The Whitney’s Lines of Site offers “a compact but ravishing” look at some 50 works made between 1948 and 1978.

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

Art in the Making

A profile of painter Stephen Filla-Kim, whose work memorializes the everyday labor and routines of making art, the mark of the hand, and human ingenuity behind good design. More

Via mnartists.org

Use Your Voice

Eva Rose Cohen’s comic strip, on the lived experience of a young working artist, grapples with art and social justice, personal and collective responsibility, in light of the death of Philando Castile. 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


On Curation, Care, and Andrea Büttner’s Moss Garden

“Caretaking is where the word ‘curating’ comes from. Curare means to take care—to care for something outside one’s self.” German artist Andrea Büttner, Walker Artistic Director Fionn Meade, and Walker… More

Walker Channel


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

Dialogue / Interview

Opening-Day Artist Talk: Chris Larson and Grant Hart

Join artist Chris Larson, Hüsker Dü drummer and co-songwriter Grant Hart, and exhibition curators Siri Engberg and Doug Benidt for a discussion about Larson’s work and the development of Land… 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