Walker Art Center

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An Activism of Affirmation

By An Xiao Mina June 30, 2015

From #BlackLivesMatter to Hong Kong’s #UmbrellaMovement, the Internet helps activists inform, inspire, and organize around important issues, writes An Xiao Mina. But art and creative expression can play a special role within social-change movements as well: “They can help transform the Internet into a space for affirmation, self-worth, and emotional healing as well.” More

This essay was commissioned for Superscript Reader, an online editorial complement to the Walker’s recent digital arts journalism conference.

Indie Pop Meets International Pop

By Mark Mahoney June 25, 2015

When looking for cover art for their album Wildewoman (2014), Lucius founders Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe felt Evelyne Axell’s Ice Cream (1964) expressed everything they wanted: “playfulness, joy, feminine strength—and some humor.” Before playing Rock the Garden, the band viewed the work in International Pop and then sat down to discuss symmetry, soul, and the role of visual art on their music. More

International Pop is on view through August 29, 2015.

Tour the 2015 Edition of Walker on the Green

By Lodanne Assad June 22, 2015

Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf is back for another summer. This year’s course, open now through September 7, features 14 favorite designs from the past—including Be A Sculpture, Move Your Hole!, and The Uncertainty Principle—along with four new holes inspired by International Pop, the Walker’s current survey of global Pop art from the 1950s through the early 1970s. More

Walker on the Green is open through September 7, 2015. International Pop is on view through Augus 29, 2015.

Tania Bruguera: Artivism & Repression in Cuba

By Gerardo Mosquera June 17, 2015

Leaving her Havana home on May 24 after a 100-hour public reading of The Origins of Totalitarianism, Tania Bruguera was intercepted by police—again. After releasing a white dove and throwing Hannah Arendt’s book into the sky, she was driven off in what Cuban curator Gerardo Mosquera calls “a unique case in art history: a street performance that was completed in response to its very repression.” More

On Intangibility, Embodiment, & Ephemerality

By Marvin Lin June 15, 2015

The Walker’s Intangibles line of products range from the involved (BodyCartography’s “performance interventions,” in which artist and buyer agree to meet in public to perform a dance) to the simplified (K-HOLE’s champagne cocktail, with an uncirculated penny inside), but all speak to a reclamation of tangible experience, a compensation for the physicality we’ve been forfeiting to the data stream. More

Intangibles, a collection of art objects that have no physical form, are available for purchase at the Walker Shop.

Why the Hell Ornette Went All Up In Eden

By Greg Tate June 11, 2015

“It’s hard to think of any musician whose sonic convictions have been so personally liberating for themselves and so determined to liberate others,” writes Greg Tate of Ornette Coleman, who passed away June 11. “His music did all the things jazz was supposed to do, but in ways that made everybody else, from Coltrane to Cage, sound like they were too fixed, ordered, calibrated and two-dimensional.” More

Criticism’s Blackout

By Taylor Renee Aldridge and Jessica Lynne June 9, 2015

When a white, male critic wrote that African-American artist Alma Thomas’s art echoes “the special middle-ground pleasures of domestic life,” ARTS.BLACK’s founders had a question: How might this assessment look if written by a Black art critic? Reflecting on their site’s mission, Taylor Aldridge and Jessica Lynne discuss the power of the digital in countering dominant critical narratives. More

This essay is the fifth in an ongoing series of reflections for Superscript Reader on digital arts publishing’s present and its possible futures.

The Clues and the Aftermath

June 2, 2015

In 1969, Barry Le Va created an installation in the soon-to-be-demolished Walker Art Center using shattered glass, iron oxide powder, and congealing mineral oil. One of the earliest interventions in a condemned architectural site, it offers a key to appreciating one of the most deeply beautiful aspects of Le Va’s art: its invocation of a keen ambivalence about what can be known by an observer. More

Barry La Va’s On Center, On Edge Shatter Scatter (1968) is on view through July 26, 2015, in 75 Gifts for 75 Years.

Art News from Elsewhere More

Via glasstire.com

Guitar Drag (External)

“Excruciating, graphic, and exhausting.” Screening now at Artpace in San Antonio—16 years after white supremacists dragged James Byrd, Jr. to his death behind a pickup truck in Jasper, Texas—Christian Marclay’s video response Guitar Drag “feels well-timed.”

Via fastcodesign.com

Black-Metal Bernie (External)

Logo king Christophe Szpajdel has been busy: in addition to making mock logos for Microsoft, Jamie Oliver, and—a few years back—the Walker, he was recently asked by Fast Company to rebrand presidential candidates in his trademark black metal style.

Via screendaily.com

Denis Goes Sci-Fi (External)

For her first English-language film, French director Claire Denis is teaming up with Zadie Smith, Olafur Eliasson, and others. Set to begin shooting in late 2015, the story will “take place beyond the solar system in a ‘future that seems like the present.’”

Via npr.org

Smoking Girl (External)

In Mary Ellen Mark’s iconic 1990 photo, 9-year-old Amanda Ellison wears makeup and smokes. Still “surrounded by crazy people and drugs” today, she says she thinks that Mark, could she meet her, would be “overwhelmed with joy that I have made it this far.”

Via newyorker.com

Freed Jazz (External)

Ornette Coleman’s funeral on Saturday was filled with a “sense of artistic limitlessness and spacey experiment”: Cecil Taylor read a poem, Ravi Coltrane played a solo, and Jack DeJohnette and Savion Glover performed a drum/tapdance call-and-response.

Via nytimes.com

Marriage Equality for All (External)

“In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a nationwide right to same-sex marriage. Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the 5 to 4 decision.”

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

A Walking Tour Through Paradise

Sarah Stonich and Mickey Smith team up for a photo-essay on the new iteration of “headland Sculpture on the Gulf,” a contemporary public sculpture biennial in New Zealand. More

Via mnartists.org

In Practice: Anitra Budd

Coffee House Press editor-at-large Anitra Budd on colors, money, work, and leisure, and the tension between editorial taste and trends.  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


Rock the Garden 2015

Experience two days of Rock the Garden 2015 in five minutes, set to the music of Courtney Barnett. Copresented by the Walker Art Center and 89.3 The Current, the concert features thestand4rd, Lucius, Courtney Barnett, Conor Oberst, Belle & Sebastian, The Ghost of a… More


Superscript 2015 Keynote: James Bridle

James Bridle is an artist, writer, and publisher based in London. His writing on literature, culture, and networks has appeared in magazines and newspapers including Wired, Domus, Cabinet, the Atlantic, and many others. More

Dialogue / Interview

Superscript 2015 Panel: Artists as Cultural First Responders

Centering on the interplay of platform and content, this panel highlights artists who use the Internet while embedding critical cultural response into their work. More


Ongoing Series

Superscript Reader

Six artists have each been commissioned to create a new work that will premiere online. These works respond to the inspirations, inquiry, and influence of three key artists in the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection: Derek Jarman, Bruce Conner, and Marcel Broodthaers.

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.

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.

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.

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

Andrew Blauvelt

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