“Monet had his water lilies,” writes Frank Gaard, “and I have my panties.” Known for his brash personality and his idiosyncratic art practice, the Minneapolis-based painter has made an indelible mark on the local visual arts community over the past four decades. Using a vibrant, sometimes acrid palette, Gaard offers up satire through imagery derived from his emotional life, intellectual and political obsessions, and relationships, skewering pop culture excesses as well as academic and art world elitism. A large canvas from 1990, Satanic Housekeeping, asks “Would you like to talk dirty with me?”—scrambling French critical theory, Pop art, drugs, assemblage, and portraiture into an inviting, free-associative provocation.
This survey of more than 100 works features portraits of friends, family, and fellow artists from the mid-1980s to the present; a suite of new paintings with a recurring pony motif; and illustrations from Artpolice, the cult zine Gaard published from 1974 to 1994. The Walker began collecting Gaard’s work in the mid-’70s and presented Viewpoints—Frank Gaard: Paintings in 1980.
Curator: Betsy Carpenter