Minneapolis, March 29, 2012— A new outdoor sculptural work by artist Jim Hodges, recently acquired by the Walker Art Center, will be installed in early April and will be formally dedicated at a ceremony at the Walker at 6 pm on April 26. Hodges will visit the Walker as part of the installation process on April 11 and will return for the dedication.
The work, Untitled, was acquired in anticipation of the 25th anniversary of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in 2013. Attracting more than 325,000 visitors every year, the Sculpture Garden is one of the largest urban sculpture parks in the United States and contains more than 40 works, including the iconic fountain-sculpture Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. When the Sculpture Garden opened in 1988, it was the largest in the nation and immediately became a model for other cities across the U.S., recognized by The New York Times as “the finest new outdoor space in the country for displaying sculpture.”
Hodges is known for his labor-intensive practice and his transformative use of ordinary materials. Untitled comprises four massive boulders, each weighing eight to 13 tons and faced with veneers of high-gloss stainless steel in a variety of colors—pink, blue, gold, and lavender. The rock was sourced from the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts.
“We are thrilled to bring this ambitious new work by Jim Hodges to the campus of the Walker and to downtown Minneapolis,” said Walker executive director Olga Viso. “Created by one of the most important American sculptors working today, this grouping of monolithic stones, which have been deftly transformed by the artist, seem to defy their massive weight and materiality, especially as the interplay of natural light and reflection activate their gleaming surfaces. Sited atop the hill of the Walker’s open green space, we hope that the boulders will, like the Spoonbridge and Cherry in the Sculpture Garden, become a beloved destination in our city for people to visit and experience from dawn to dusk and throughout the seasons.”
Untitled will be installed on the four-acre stretch of green space adjacent to both the Walker and the Sculpture Garden. This space hosts a lively roster of public programs each summer, including Open Field, which invites the public to help shape a wide range of outdoor programs from drawings clubs to yarn bombing; and Rock the Garden, an outdoor music concert that features national bands and draws more than 10,000 visitors each year.
Untitled is a gift of the Prospect Creek Foundation and a commissioning fund established at the Walker by the Frederick R. Weisman Collection of Art. It will become the fourth work by Hodges in the Walker’s collection, joining two drawings and an editioned work by the artist.
The installation will also become an anchor point of Minneapolis’s cultural corridor along Hennepin Avenue, one of the city’s major thoroughfares. The Walker is currently working with Hennepin Theatre Trust, Artspace, the City of Minneapolis, and other partners on Plan-It Hennepin, a year-long initiative funded by the National Endowment for the Arts to rethink and reshape the two-and-a-half-mile stretch of Hennepin Avenue from the Mississippi River to the Walker campus.
The installation will also serve as a complement to the upcoming survey of Hodges’s work, Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take, which will be on view at the Walker from February through May 2014 following its premiere in Dallas in September 2013. The exhibition is co-organized with the Dallas Museum of Art and co-curated by Jeffrey Grove, senior curator of contemporary art at the Dallas Museum of Art, and Olga Viso of the Walker Art Center.
Jim Hodges, a sculptor and installation artist, was born in 1957 in Spokane, Washington. He is perhaps best known for his use of diverse, often commonplace materials including silk flowers, photographs, paper napkins, broken glass and mirrors, which he often weaves into sculpture-based visual narratives reflecting on the passage of time. Hodges has created other outdoor public works in recent years, including look and see (2005), first created for the New York Public Art Fund and now permanently sited at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. He received a BFA from Fort Wright College in Spokane, WA, and an MFA from the Pratt Institute. Hodges work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. and in Europe, including the 2004 Whitney Biennial and a solo exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. His work is in the collections of several institutions, including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art. Hodges lives and works in New York City.