Walker Art Center

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Laugh at Death

By Paul Schmelzer April 18, 2014

As spring reminds us of the life/death/life cycle, a new work in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden stands as a marker of such transitions. The clapperless bell in Kris Martin’s For Whom… offers a silent meditation on time’s passage. Here the Belgian artist discusses the work; his use of humor, absence, and shock (or the lack thereof); and a favorite film, fittingly, Monty Python’s The Meaning of LifeMore

Kris Martin’s For Whom …is on view in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.


27 Facets of the 2014 Rock the Garden Lineup

By Chris Mode April 15, 2014

From Long Island hip hop pioneers De La Soul to the surf pop of Best Coast, from Memphis-based Valerie June’s mix of country, gospel, and bluegrass to Guided By Voices’ lo-fi indie, Rock the Garden 2014 may offer the series’ most eclectic lineup yet. To introduce bands in Rock the Garden’s inaugural year as a two-day festival, writer Chris Mode digs into each band’s past, habits, and local connections. More

Rock the Garden returns as a two-day festival June 21–22, 2014.


This Just In: 25 Works Join the Walker Collection

By Bartholomew Ryan & Catelyn Holm April 11, 2014

Spanning geographies, generations, and media, new additions to the Walker collection help present this institution’s thinking about the changing nature of art as well as its responsibility to support artists. Together these 25 newly acquired works—by Adrian Piper, Shusaku Arakawa, Steve McQueen, Allan Sekula, and others—present a complex portrait of not only our holdings but of contemporary art today. More


Muriel Cooper: Turning Time into Space

By Dante Carlos April 9, 2014

Muriel Cooper (1925–1994) is best known for the modernist sensibility she brought to designs for MIT Press’ publications and, later, for pioneering work at MIT’s Visible Language Workshop, where she advanced thinking on design and typography in the digital realm. Dante Carlos discusses a new show on Cooper’s legacy, Messages and Means, with exhibition co-curators David Reinfurt and Robert Wiesenberger. More

For more on Cooper, listen to audio of her 1987 Walker lecture “Art and Technology in the Information Age.”


Edward Hopper Painting Hosts Writers’ Residency

By Chris Fischbach March 31, 2014

When asked to take up “residency” in Edward Hopper’s 1940 painting Office at Night, Kate Bernheimer agreed, then asked the Walker if period costumes would be provided. It turns out the resulting novella she and Laird Hunt wrote didn’t need such accoutrements: “We didn’t find ourselves assigning roles by gender. We traveled as desire took us from body to body, object to object, in the painting instead.” More

A new novella by Kate Bernheimer and Laird Hunt, inspired by Edward Hopper’s Office at Night, will be published on the Walker website, with new chapters appearing each weekday between March 31 and May 2, 2014. Hopper Drawing: A Painter’s Process is on view March 13—June 20, 2014.


Intolerance, Publishing, and the Westboro Baptists

By Emmet Byrne March 22, 2014

Walker design director Emmet Byrne’s research into unexpected self-publishing three years ago put him in touch with Steve Drain, a member of the notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church. With news of the church founder’s death, he dug out the interview, which sprang from one question: “Is there anything to be learned about design from someone whose values are so radically different from my own?”  More


Hopper’s Process: A Long Gestation in the Mind

March 21, 2014

“It’s a long process of gestation in the mind and a rising emotion.” Overlaying the artist’s sketches with the celebrated paintings they led to, Walker media producer Andy Underwood-Bultmann shares a rare 1961 interview with Edward Hopper (1882–1967) as the artist offers a glimpse into the slow, methodical development of his work. More

Hopper Drawing: A Painter’s Process is on view March 13–June 20, 2014.


Lance Wyman: Olympic Design and a 1968 Massacre

By Emmet Byrne March 20, 2014

In Lance Wyman’s design for the 1968 Olympic logo, radiating lines suggested Aztec carving, Huichol painting, and the pulsing hues of Op art. But when Mexican police opened fire on a student rally days before the “Games of Peace” began, his work took on the vibration of discord, offering protesters a language for dissent. Today he reflects on his iconic design and its relation to that turbulent history. More

Lance Wyman spoke on March 4 as part of the 2014 Insights Design Lecture Series. His talk can be viewed on the Walker Channel.

Art News from Elsewhere More


Via nytimes.com

Lessons in Economy (External)

The discussions around Thomas Piketty’s opus, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, have gone beyond economics, as the global 1% becoming wealthier finds parallels in the public displays of ostentatious, and tasteless, investments in the art market.


Via ddpaa.org

Duke Winners (External)

The Doris Duke Foundation has named recipients of its 2014 artist awards. Among 39 winners in both Artist and Impact award categories are Joanna Haigood, Craig Taborn, Zeena Parkins, and Minneapolis’ Emily Johnson, Ranee Ramaswamy, and Michael Sommers.


Via buzzfeed.com

Black & Light (External)

Syreeta McFadden investigates the inherent bias of film around skin tone—light skin is accurately captured while darker shades aren’t—and openly questions how this has affected race issues since the beginning of the photographic medium.


Via huffingtonpost.com

Bedroom Scenes (External)

Combining carefully crafted dollhouse furniture in dioramas with models photographed against a plain background, Richard Tuschman assembles Edward Hopper–inspired scenes that speak to the mystique, mood, and complexity of everyday life.


Via northjersey.com

A Star Reborn (External)

A new book aims to spark a reappreciation of the highly stylized, though mostly forgotten, art deco murals of Hildreth Meiere, who broke gender barriers with her award-winning work before murals fell out of taste among architects.


Via theartnewspaper.com

Human Zoo (External)

Set to run during the 200th anniversary of Norway’s constitution, the re-enactment of The Congo Village, a 1914 human zoo, has been met with controversy. Artists Mohamed Ali Fadlabi and Lars Cuzner say they aim to “highlight a forgotten event in Norwegian history.”

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

Art at the Edges of Everything

Minneapolis-based critic and curator Sandra Teitge reports from Marfa, Texas, in the first of an occasional series of dispatches from outposts at the periphery of the art world.  More

Via mnartists.org

Northrop Renewed

A feeling of the uncanny was among sensations shared by audience members enmeshed in the exuberance of the grand opening of Northrop’s transformation at the University of Minnesota on April 4. More



Jim Hodges’ Here’s where we will stay

Olga Viso, Walker Art Center director and exhibition co-curator, discusses Here’s where we will stay (1995), part of the exhibition Jim Hodges: Give More Than You TakeMore



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



Claes Oldenburg’s Geometric Mouse

Claes Oldenburg demonstrates multiple configurations of Geometric Mouse, part of the exhibition Claes Oldenburg: The Sixties at the Walker Art Center. More

Walker Channel

Dialogue / Interview

luciana achugar in Conversation with Michèle Steinwald

luciana achugar joins independent dance curator Michèle Steinwald for a discussion after the world premiere of OTRO TEATRO, a work commissioned by the Walker Art Center. While discussing the… More



Henrik Nygren, Stockholm

There is an effortless simplicity to Henrik Nygren’s work, a Scandinavian modernism that stands in counterpoint to the excess of most visual communication today. His art direction of Stockholm New magazine in the 1990s presaged a global return to restrained… More



75 Years of Walker Design

To celebrate the Walker’s 75th year as a public arts institution, our design department created a visual chronology of Walker design through the years. Included in the video are key design exhibitions, publications, and programs… More


Ongoing Series

Office at Night: A Novella

Writers Kate Bernheimer and Laird Hunt “take up residence” inside Edward Hopper’s Office at Night to create this serial novella.

Conversations on the Commons

Standouts from 2013 by a range of artists and thinkers, including Ralph Lemon, JoAnn Verburg, Martine Syms, and Experimental Jetset.

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


Philip Bither

Trisha Brown: From Falling and Its Opposite, and All the In-Betweens

Philip Bither highlights some of Trisha Brown’s less-recognized but tremendously influential dance innovations, from aerial movement inventions to equipment-based performance. More

Via walkerart.org

Buoyant Monoliths

In 2012, well in advance of the survey Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take, the Walker announced the addition of an iconic new outdoor work by the artist.  More



Interview: Mike Kelley

As MoMA PS1 presents its survey of the career of the late Mike Kelley, we recall our 2005 dialogue between the artist and critic John Welchmann.  More