Walker Art Center

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Press Releases New Painters, New Paintings Showcased in Walker Exhibition About Abstraction in and out of the Studio

Minneapolis, January 8, 2013—At a time when artists may work without obligation to medium, why choose the materials of painting? What does it mean for an artist to assume the role of painter today? And just what is at stake for a new generation committed to the medium? The Walker Art Center exhibition Painter Painter presents the work of 15 emerging artists from the US and Europe, most under the age of 40, in a focused survey of recent developments in abstract painting and studio practice. With expanded online content and public programs, it also considers the ever-shifting role of the painter in contemporary art and culture. The exhibition, the Walker’s first group painting show in over a decade, is on view from February 2 to October 27, 2013.

The exhibition features new works by Matt Connors, Sarah Crowner, Fergus Feehily, Jay Heikes, Rosy Keyser, Charles Mayton, Dianna Molzan, Joseph Montgomery, Katy Moran, Alex Olson, Scott Olson, Zak Prekop, Dominik Sittig, Lesley Vance, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung.

Painter Painter posits abstract painting today as a means, not an end. For these artists, painting is an open-ended and generative process—one that is rooted in the studio but nevertheless open and receptive to the world. In recent years, as abstract painting has once again become more prominent in the field and the art market, a new generation has opened up fresh territory for the medium by sidestepping its entrenched discourses and dogmatic pitfalls. With a fascination for painting’s minor histories, they freely pursue new languages of abstraction and eccentric methods of making. Yet they also affirm new relationships beyond the specificity of their medium; today, painting increasingly crosses paths with sculpture, poetry, film, design, fashion, publishing, music, and performance, as well as disparate histories of art, craft, and visual culture. Indeed, the title of this exhibition—Painter Painter—is meant to highlight the term’s slipperiness as these artists recast its various meanings in our present moment. While the painters in this exhibition identify as such, their roles remain as fluid and open as the medium itself; and within that freedom, painting becomes a conduit—a way to make contact with a world beyond the closed frame of their formal invention.

Exhibition Curators

Painter Painter is curated by Eric Crosby and Bartholomew Ryan, Assistant Curators, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center

Online Content

As a complement to the exhibition, walkerart.org will host a series of online studio visits with the artists. Offering an open-ended look at their interests and working methods, the postings will be as varied in approach as the work of the artists themselves.

Studio Session

Get to know the artists in the Painter Painter exhibition, both in and out of the studio through a collection of dialogues, playlists, manifestos, and visual essays on walkerart.org.


Opening-Day Panel: Painting in the Present Tense*

Saturday, February 2, 3 pm $10 ($8 Walker members and students) Critic/poet Bruce Hainley and artist/critic Michelle Grabner join the exhibition curators and artists featured in the show for an event that uses the exhibition as a conversational starting point to think about painting and abstraction today.

Mack Lectures are made possible by generous support from Aaron and Carol Mack.

Studio Talks

Become part of the dialogue on contemporary studio practice in a series of artist talks.

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung*

Thursday, February 21, 7 pm Free

“The paintings are messages in a bottle to my future self. I make this thing in this conscious way because I’m trying to figure out how I think. I put it in a painting and then for the next five years I can see it there.” —Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

Dianna Molzan & Alex Olson*

Thursday, March 14, 7 pm Free

“In my mind I am not deconstructing painting; instead I am exploring and maximizing everything up for grabs inherent to it. More than anything else, I feel like an enthusiast.” —Dianna Molzan

“My focus (in painting) is on choreographing these marks in ways that prompt a desire to read, but without providing precise language to do so.”—Alex Olson

Matt Connors & Matt Wolf*

Thursday, April 11, 7 pm Free

Join a conversation between artists and friends. Painter, Matt Connors and director, Matt Wolf, named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine interview each other about their respective practices.

Studio Time

Complementing the new exhibition Painter Painter, these hands-on studio sessions pair participants with local artists Joe Smith (February 7) and Ute Bertog (February 14). Join them to explore abstraction through a variety of materials and methods. No registration needed: just drop in and paint.

Target Free Thursday Nights

Get inspired. Get in free.

Gallery admission is free from 5 to 9 pm every Thursday night.

Joe Smith

Thursday, February 7,6–8 pm Free

Collaborate with the artist to create large-scale multimedia abstractions on blankets and smaller vacuum-sealed paintings.

Ute Bertog

Thursday, February 14,6–8 pm Free

Drop in for an exercise in abstraction that uses paint and text.

Teen Art Lounge: Jay Heikes*

Thursday, February 21, 5–8 pm Free

Artists ages 13 to 18 are invited to work with artist Jay Heikes, who shares his process of material alchemy at Teen Art Lounge.

Free First Saturday: Painter’s Paradise*

Saturday, February 2, 10 am–3 pm Free

Join a daylong interactive studio session with a round-robin roster of painters.


Art School: Painting

A Program for Walker Members

Sunday, March 17, 1–2 pm

Using the current exhibition Painter Painter as a destination, this session takes a look at material, compositional, and conceptual trends in painting over the past 20 years. A guided visit to the galleries follows.

Art School demystifies contemporary art by putting it into context—culturally, historically, and personally. Through short, succinct sessions, you’ll come to understand what the fuss is all about—even feel like a connoisseur yourself. 3 This program for Walker members is copresented by the University of Minnesota Departments of Art and Art History.

*Connotes a program with a featured artist(s) in the Painter Painter exhibition.


$12 adults; $10 seniors (65+); $8 students (with ID)

Free to Walker members and children ages 18 and under.

Free with a paid event ticket within one week of performance

or screening.

Free to all every Thursday evening (5–9 pm) and on the first

Saturday of each month (10 am–5 pm).

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11 am–5 pm

Thursday 11 am–9 pm

Closed Mondays

Lesley Vance, Untitled, 2012

Courtesy the artist and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles