Walker Art Center

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Project 1: Frank Big Bear

What might the idea of multiple or parallel universes look like? Artist Frank Big Bear’s new work presents an expansive view of life on Earth as it reflects the greater cosmos. Imagery related to space, science, popular culture, art history, and significant events of America’s past—from the Vietnam War, the American Indian Movement, and 9/11—span his composition of 432 collages.

Amid the dizzying array of pictures taken from books and magazines, Big Bear has included portraits of his family, other artists, and figures who have impacted his life. Clusters of plastic photo corners, like those used in keepsake albums, form shimmering constellations among his universal yet personal images.

For more than 40 years, the Minnesota-based artist’s intricate collages, paintings, and drawings have portrayed a world teeming with vitality, activity, and people. Raised on the White Earth Reservation and now residing in Duluth, Big Bear (b. 1953) lived in Minneapolis for decades, where he pursued his art while also working as a cab driver. These experiences, he says, profoundly influenced his artworks, which vibrate with the energy of contemporary urban life. The Walker Collage, Multiverse #10 inaugurates an annual series of commissions for this new space.

Funding

Project 1: Frank Big Bear, located in Target Project Space, is made possible by generous support from Caroline Amplatz.