The Walker’s ongoing relationship with Sol LeWitt dates back to 1984, when the wall-sized painting permanently installed outside Gallery A was commissioned. In 1988, for the exhibition Sculpture Inside Out, which coincided with the opening of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, he was commissioned to create a crosswalk between the Garden and the Walker Art Center building. LeWitt, a Conceptual artist, often uses architectural elements to create works customized to his geometric instructions. For the crosswalk, he submitted a number of maquettes of possible geometric configurations of red and white paving stones. Once the final design had been chosen, representatives from the Transportation Board of the City of Minneapolis were invited to discuss issues such as the speed limit and posting of crosswalk signs; the city’s usual method of marking a crosswalk – painting bright yellow lines on the pavement – was overlooked in this case. Both the maquettes and the crosswalk itself became the property of the Walker Art Center, though LeWitt retained rights to the design and the work as an idea.
After seven Minnesota winters it became apparent that the crosswalk was suffering from the continual freeze and thaw of the ground. The paving stones were unstable and hazardous. Funds were spent investigating the damage and proposing solutions. The Walker contacted the artist about ways to ensure the longevity of the commission. LeWitt felt that the Walker had spent a considerable amount of effort on the piece to date, and since it had been on view for some time already, he thought it best to remove the crosswalk rather than spend further money trying to conserve it. It was removed in October 1995. LeWitt has since given a number of works to the Walker for its permanent collection.