Walker Art Center

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Press Releases September 21 is Avant Garden, The Walker Art Center’s Party in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Minneapolis, September 5 2013—The Walker Art Center will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the opening of the exhibition Claes Oldenburg: The Sixties at Avant Garden on September 21, 2013. Experience a transformed Garden full of music, art, gourmet fare, and cocktails at this stylish affair. Mingle with friends, hit the dance floor, bid on one-of-a-kind auction items—including works by Jenny Holzer, Richard Serra, and Gary Hume—and round out the evening at the After Party on a most singular night out. Gold and Silver Key tickets are still available, and proceeds support the Walker’s award-winning artistic and educational programming.

Gold Key
6–11 pm
$500 ($394 tax deductible)
- Complimentary cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and other delectable catered by Modern Events by D’Amico
- Live and silent auctions featuring one-of-a kind artworks and curiosities
- All the benefits of Silver Keyholders

Silver Key
8:30–11 pm
100 ($60 tax deductible)
- Amazing views of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden from the garden lounge and dance floor
- Late-night sweets and savories, plus two free drink tickets
- Opportunity to participate in the silent auction

Platinum Key
6–11 pm
$10,000 ($7,940 tax deductible)
- An exclusive experience for 10 guests
- A copy of Siah Armajani’s Bridge Book, a signed and numbered limited-edition artist’s book with original woodcuts, valued at $1,000
- All the benefits of Gold and Silver Keyholders

After Party
11 pm–1 am
Platinum, Gold, and Silver Keyholders also have access to a VIP Lounge during the After Party, located in Gather by D’Amico. Enjoy complimentary appetizers and a private cash bar.


Item: Sketchbook Page: Apple Core Gazebo, 2001
Artists: Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen
Value: $30,000

The artistic team of Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929) and Coosje van Bruggen (1942-2009) has to date executed more than forty large-scale projects, which have been sited in various urban surroundings in Europe, Asia and the United States. Their now-iconic fountain sculpture Spoonbridge and Cherry (1985-1988) is the centerpiece of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, one of the Twin Cities’ most beloved cultural destinations. This sketchbook drawing, entitled Apple Core Gazebo, was created by the pair as a study for an outdoor sculpture.Donated by: the artists, courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery.

Item: Selection from Survival: You are trapped on the earth… (2006)
Artist: Jenny Holzer
Value: $100,000

Jenny Holzer has been using text in her work since the mid-1970s. Using words as her artistic medium, Holzer has been disseminating her provocative messages—“truisms”—into public spaces: on posters, on stickers placed on parking meters or telephone booths, on electronic display signboards from Times Square to Caesar’s Palace. Holzer was the first woman artist to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1990, and her work is featured in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Modern Art; and the Walker Art Center, including her sculptural installation It Takes a While Before You Can Step Over Inert Bodies and Go Ahead With What You Were Trying To Do… in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Donated by Jenny Holzer Studio.

Item: Double Level I (2009)
Artist: Richard Serra
Value: $18,000

One of the most significant artists of his generation, Richard Serra is renowned internationally for his monumental sculptural works. Serra has been exploring the properties of mass and gravity in sculpture since the late 1960s. In an early work in the Walker Art Center collection, a 60-inch-square sheet of lead is designed to be held flat against the wall and three feet off the ground solely by means of a lead pole that leans against it. Like the best Minimalist art, Serra’s sculptures, in spite of their seeming austerity, engage the viewer in intimate acts of discovery. The title of Serra’s massive work in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden—Five Plates, Two Poles —succinctly describes the elements of its construction: two poles along the ground prop up five enormous flat plates of Cor-Ten steel. Serra’s work has been featured in numerous major exhibitions, including recent shows at the Museum of Modern Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Donated by Gemini G.E.L.

Virgin of Enlightenment (ascending/descending) (2013)
Artist: Willie Cole
Value: $4,700 (print $3,500; frame $1,200)

Willie Cole is best known for assembling and transforming ordinary domestic and everyday objects such as irons, ironing boards, water bottles, and high-heeled shoes into imaginative and powerful works of art and installations. Through the repetitive use of single objects in multiples, Cole’s assembled sculptures acquire a transcending, almost spiritual vibration, and a renewed metaphorical meaning that often become a critique of our consumer culture. Cole’s work is generally discussed in the context of postmodern eclecticism, combining references and appropriation ranging from African and African-American imagery, to Dada’s readymades and Surrealism’s transformed objects, and icons of American pop culture. During his childhood, Cole’s grandmother and great-grandmother worked as housekeepers and often asked him to fix their irons. For Cole, common household appliances have a number of rich connotations, and in his past work, iron patterns have recalled African tribal markings and shields; ironing boards have represented slave ships. Cole’s Virgin of Enlightenment was created in an edition of nine screenprints in collaboration with Highpoint Center for Printmaking. Donated by Highpoint Editions; framing services donated by Artserve.

Item: Sum (2013)
Artist: Alex Olson
Value: $12,000

Alex Olson, whose work is currently featured in the Walker Art Center exhibition Painter Painter, makes abstract paintings that provoke an extended sense of time and elicit prolonged consideration. Working on canvases of modest size, she deftly moves among an array of bold visual cues to create surfaces that speak to their own making and repossess abstract material experimentation as sign. Applying oil paint layer by layer, Olson evaluates her surface and chooses her gestures based on what the preceding surface offers, wending between a desire to obscure or highlight with each subsequent application. Olson, who lives and works in Los Angeles, received a BA from Harvard University in 2001 and an MFA from CalArts in 2008. Her work has been featured in recent exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, as well as solo shows at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; Laura Bartlett Gallery, London; and Lisa Cooley, New York. Donated by the artist, courtesy Shane Campbell Gallery.

Item: Bird with Pink Beak (2009)
Artist: Gary Hume
Value: $3,000

Part of the internationally celebrated group of Young British Artists that studied at London’s Goldsmiths College in the late 1980s, Gary Hume has gone on to become one of Britain’s most highly respected painters. Known for figurative and abstract paintings featuring innovative use of color, line, and surface, Hume was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1996. He represented Great Britain in The Venice Biennale in 1999 and in 2001, and was elected as a Royal Academician. Hume’s work has been featured in exhibitions at the São Paulo Bienal; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Tate Britain, London; the Louisiana Museum, Denmark; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001) Hume’s Front of Snowwoman—on loan from the collection of Peggy and Ralph Burnet—was recently installed in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to celebrate the Garden’s 25th anniversary. Donated by the artist, courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.

Item: Untitled (2013)
Artist: Bharti Kher
Value: $45,000

Known for her extensive use of everyday, found objects and imaginatively transforming their identity, Bharti Kher empowers her often otherworldly creations to present themselves unabashedly as if they were a natural part of our culture and environment. Kher’s work often explores the notion of the self as a multiple, open to interpretation and shape-shifting. Her practice is intimately intertwined with her life, not only because she borrows motifs and artifacts for her work, but also because she has an inquisitive mind and a strong desire to understand sociological issues. Born in London, England, Kher now lives and works in New Delhi, India. Her sculptural work, Some Days It’s Easy, is part of the Walker Art Center’s permanent collection and was featured in the Walker exhibition Midnight Party. Kher’s work has been featured in exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; The Saatchi Gallery, London; and at the New York and London venues of Hauser & Wirth Gallery. Donated by the artist courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

Item: Mandi XXVII (2013)
Artist: Kris Martin
Value: $8,700

Kris Martin’s practice is poetic, deeply contemplative and yet always situated within the traditions of conceptual art. With his monumental and small-scale sculptures, drawings, photographs, performances and interventions, he draws attention to the notion of time, often by attempting to mark, halt or transcend its inevitable passing. Frequently, his work engages in humankind’s most fundamental issues with a wry sense of humor and play. From a church bell without a clapper to a pile of broken wristwatches, an enigmatic bomb promising to explode in 2104 to a blank train information flapboard, Martin’s works represent the processes and passage of time. The Walker Art Center collection includes five works by Martin, including For Whom…, the most recent addition to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden; a sculptural work consists of an enormous bell that swings back and forth in a mesmerizing rhythm without tolling. Martin’s work has been featured in exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Bonn; Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco; the Aspen Art Museum; the Museum of Modern Art; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Tate Modern, London. Donated by the artist, courtesy Sies + Höke Gallery.

Item: Autorretrato jacarandoso con las manos ocupadas (2010)
Artist: Abraham Cruzvillegas
Value: $35,000

Abraham Cruzvillegas (b. 1968) is one of the most important conceptual artists of his generation to come out of the vibrant art scene in Mexico. The current Walker exhibition, Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites, is the first major presentation to shed light on the artist’s unique vision and multifaceted practice, hailed in Artforum as “one of the most thoughtful, sweet, and powerful shows in recent memory.” Over the past 10 years, Cruzvillegas has developed a riveting body of work that investigates what he calls autoconstrucción, or “self-construction.” Informed by the sociopolitical contexts of Latin America, Cruzvillegas has garnered much attention for his dynamic assemblage sculptures made of found objects. Interested in improvised building materials and techniques, he roots his sculptural practice within the urban landscape of his childhood home in Ajusco, a district in the south of Mexico City. Following the Walker’s presentation, the show will travel to Haus der Kunst, Munich, Fundación/Colección Jumex, Mexico City, and Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico. Donated by the artist, courtesy kurimanzutto.

Silent Auction items include, among others:

- Rock the Garden 2014 VIP Package
- Walker Behind-the-Scenes Tour
- Private tour of Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take
- Mark Wheat curates your playlist and gives a guided tour of MPR studios
- Floral Logic arrangement delivered monthly to your home for a year

For more information on the live and silent auctions, visit the Walker website.


Avant Garden 2013 Committee:

Lisa Denzer and Monica Nassif, co-chairs
Gold Key Host Committee: Amy Kern and Wim Stocks, co-chairs
Silver Key Host Committee: Jori Miller and Lindsay Pohlad, co-chairs
Auction Committee: Carol Bemis and Debby Christakos, co-chairs
Marketing Committee: Sally Blanks and Michelle Fitzgerald, co-chairs
Sponsorship committee: Andrew Humphrey and Terry Rasmussen, co-chairs

Avant Garden 2012

Photo: Jenna Klein