SEPTEMBER 5, 1999-SEPTEMBER 2, 2001
ART IN OUR TIME: 1950 TO THE PRESENT
Exhibition
Galleries 4, 5, and 6



   
When Italian avant-garde artist Lucio Fontana first slashed a thinly painted canvas with a knife in 1949, he helped radically redefine the nature of contemporary art practice. His paintings such as Concetto Spaziale--Attesa (Spacial Concept--Expectation) (1964-1965) gorgeously violate the surface of a canvas, thereby focusing our attention on art-making as an action in a world turned on its head by World War II. The Walker Art Center's new permanent collection exhibition, Art in Our Time: 1950 to the Present, presents a selection of works in all media by more than 60 artists that traces the shifts in art-making practices begun by painters like Fontana, while documenting the increasingly global, diverse, and multidisciplinary art world that these artists inspired.

 
 

FUTURE PAST:
WORKS FROM THE 1950s THAT ARE STILL RADICAL

Image
Lucio Fontana
CONCETTO SPAZIALE--ATTESA
1964-1965

The exhibition begins with works by postwar artists in the 1950s and 1960s who were experimenting with ways to move beyond representation and the confines of the flat canvas. Radically changing the practice of art-making, they pushed painting beyond its traditional limits into the realm of performance, sculpture, and installation, forever altering the landscape of contemporary art and setting the scene for the multiplicity of movements that emerged in the 1960s.

The 1950s are best known for the ascendance of the American Abstract Expressionist painters such as Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko, whose works are well-represented in the Walker's collection. In recognition of a more global view of this period, Gallery 4 includes recently acquired works by international artists such as Japanese Gutai artist Kazuo Shiraga, Italians Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and Viennese Actionist Otto Muehl. Through various radical practices such as painting with their feet, cutting, shooting, and gouging the canvas, each of these artists challenged the assumptions underlying modernist painting, and in so doing laid the foundations for a new form of "modern" art-making that is still with us today.

 

Kazuo Shiraga
UNTITLED  
1959


Lucio Fontana
CONCETTO SPAZIALE
1968

 

PAST PERFECT:
PERFECT EXAMPLES OF POSTWAR MOVEMENTS

Chuck Close
Chuck Close
BIG SELF-PORTRAIT  
1967-1968

In Gallery 5 the exhibition moves into the 1960s and 1970s with prime examples of Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptualism, performance, and politically charged art indicative of this period. Represented here is a mosaic of the wide range of art practices and movements that emerged within a short period of time.

Objects from our day-to-day world made their presence felt in the artistic realm with works such as the recently acquired Flashlight (1960) by Jasper Johns. By taking this ordinary object and casting it in bronze, a traditional art material, Johns asks us to look at our own world in a different light. This attention to the everyday was continued in the work of Pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, who drew their source materials from the realm of popular consumer culture. But there were as many different types of materials used to make art in this period as there were movements, and this gallery includes works that begin to incorporate materials such as video, aluminum, fluorescent lights, wax, oil paint, and bronze. In works as divergent as David Hammons' Flight Fantasy (1976), an assemblage sculpture of human hair and record vinyl, or Nam June Paik's TV Bra for Living Sculpture (1969), a woman's brassiere made from small television sets, we see artists focusing their attention through many lenses on the world that surrounds us.

 
Hippopotamus
Paul Thek
HIPPOPOTAMUS  
1965


Niki de Saint Phalle
UNTITLED
1964

 

PRESENT TENSE:
WORKS ADDRESSING THE COMPLEXITY OF TODAY'S WORLD

Image
Charles Ray
UNPAINTED SCULPTURE  
1997

Gallery 6 brings us to the present with contemporary works that speak to the fears and hopes of a changing world. On view are our contemporaries--established and emerging artists who continue to challenge and revise traditional art practices while forging a singular expression of their own unique world views. A central work in this gallery is the recently acquired Unpainted Sculpture (1997) by Charles Ray. This life-sized fiberglass cast of a wrecked car is both a haunting evocation of the fragility of life and a meditation on the state of sculpture and culture at the end of the century. Another recent acquisition is Kara Walker's portfolio of powerful diaristic drawings that examine American history from her point of view as an African-American woman. With established artists such as On Kawara and Sigmar Polke, or younger artists such as Sharon Lockhart and Mike Kelley, the Walker's permanent collection continues its commitment to the new with challenging and risk-taking artists from across the globe who examine the questions that shape and inspire us as individuals, cultures, and communities.





Sharon Lockhart
UNTITLED  
1996

RELATED EVENTS

FREE TOURS
ART IN OUR TIME: 1950 TO THE PRESENT
THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2001, 2 PM
SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2001, 2 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2001, 2 PM & 6 PM
SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2001, 2 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2001, 2 PM
SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2001, 2 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2001, 2 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2001, 2 PM
Join the Walker Art Center's knowledgeable tour guides for a lively, engaging, and informative tour of the exhibition.


FEBRUARY 2001 EVENTS

FREE TOURS
ART IN OUR TIME: 1950 TO THE PRESENT
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2001, 6 PM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2001, 2 PM
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2001, 2 PM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2001, 2 PM
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2001, 6 PM
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2001, 2 PM
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2001, 2 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2001, 2 PM
Join the Walker Art Center's knowledgeable tour guides for a lively, engaging, and informative tour of the exhibition.


JANUARY 2001 EVENTS


FREE FIRST SATURDAY
FAMILY TOUR: HEAR ALL ABOUT IT
SATURDAY, JANUARY 6, 2001, 1 AND 2 PM
Respond to works of art in the exhibition Art in Our Time: 1950 to the Present on this improvisational movement tour led by dancer Maria GennČ and Joanna Cortright. Meet in the lobby.


NOVEMBER 2000 EVENTS

FREE FIRST SATURDAY
FAMILY TOUR: HEAR ALL ABOUT IT
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2000, 2 PM
For more than 25 years, Vito Acconci has produced provocative interdisciplinary works of astute social criticism.


JUNE 2000 EVENTS

FREE THURSDAYS
ARTIST TALK: VITO ACCONCI
THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 2000, 7 PM
For more than 25 years, Vito Acconci has produced provocative interdisciplinary works of astute social criticism.


APRIL 2000 EVENTS


FREE FIRST SATURDAY
TRICKSTER TOUR: HEAR ALL ABOUT IT
SATURDAY, APRIL 1, 2000, 2 PM
Try to separate fact from fiction on this tour of the exhibition Art in Our Time: 1950 to the Present, featuring anecdotes and physical comedy that will tickle the funny bones of art connoisseurs great and small. For the faint of art, lovers of paint, and artists who ain't! Led by trickster-CTC actor David Barrow. Meet in the lobby.

GALLERY TALK WITH MARJORIE WELISH
FROM ZONE TO INVENTORY
THURSDAY, APRIL 13, 2000, 6 PM
Welish, who has written for Art News, Flash Art, and other publications, will talk about the internal organization of artworks in the exhibition Art in Our Time: 1950 to the Present.


MARCH 2000 EVENTS

SUNDAY FUN WORKSHOP: MIRROR ON THE WALL
SUNDAY, MARCH 19, 2000, 1-2:30 PM
Visit the exhibition Art in Our Time: 1950 to the Present and view works of art that include mirrorlike materials, then make paintings on reflective papers. Led by the Walker Family Programs team.

SEPTEMBER 1999 EVENTS

WALKER AFTER HOURS: A WORLDLY EXPEDITION
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 1999, 5:30-9 PM
Help us mark the second anniversary of Walker After Hours and the new exhibition of highlights from the Walker's permanent collection.

SECOND SUNDAY TOUR: PAST/PRESENT
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 1999, 2 PM
Join curatorial intern Kemi Ilesanmi on a guided tour of the new permanent collection exhibition.





ART IN OUR TIME: 1950 TO THE PRESENT IS MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM JEANNE AND RICHARD LEVITT AND NORWEST BANK MINNESOTA.