One of several exhibitions marking the occasion of the Walker’s 75th anniversary, this presentation focuses on the vital role that gifts of art have played in building the collection throughout its history. While the Walker has always made important purchases of art, often acquiring the work of artists early in their careers, this activity alone could not have developed the museum’s collection into the preeminent repository of contemporary art that it is today.
75 Gifts for 75 Years features recent gifts in the areas of painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, video, and prints. Some of these include works by artists such as Siah Armajani, Claes Oldenburg, and Kara Walker, which help to build on the Walker’s existing areas of strength; others fill historical gaps, such as examples by Philip Guston, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Zilia Sánchez. Established artists who are newly represented in the Walker’s collection include Marlene Dumas, Wade Guyton, and Luc Tuymans. Still other donations have introduced younger artists, such as Walead Beshty, Dianna Molzan, Tauba Auerbach, and Zak Prekop, who have received significant critical attention in recent years.
The “75 Gifts” in the exhibition’s title refers to the culmination of a recent initiative to solicit 75 donors to give from their collections on the occasion of the Walker’s landmark anniversary. In the past two years, more than 250 works of art from nearly 100 donors have been added, and 50 artists not previously in the Walker’s collection are now represented. This exhibition highlights these recent promised and outright gifts and affirms the tremendous impact that donors—from across generations, from the Twin Cities and around the globe—continue to have on shaping the breadth and quality of the Walker’s singular collection.
Curator: Siri Engberg