Walker Art Center

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Truly Indie, thestand4rd Finds Fame Online

By Andrew Flanagan April 15, 2015

“The web is where the exceptional force the hands of the famed and established to recognize they’ve been pushing things forward, without their blessing or awareness,” writes Andrew Flanagan of thestand4rd, the St. Paul independent hip hop/R&B quartet that has thrust itself into the limelight—even attracting the attention of Kanye West—in the 11 months since uploading its first single on SoundCloud. More

thestand4rd opens Rock the Garden 2015, our two-day music festival, on Saturday, June 20.


Pop and the Traveling Image

By Charlotte Cotton April 10, 2015

“An early Pop artist was originally a Pop culture viewer,” says art historian Tomáš Pospiszyl. “Being a producer and a consumer was never so close.” Moderated by independent curator Charlotte Cotton, this discussion brings together key voices from Eastern Europe, Japan, and the UK to discuss the role of the traveling mass-produced image during the 20th century—and tell the story of international Pop.  More

International Pop in on view April 11–August 29, 2015.


Pop Gun Art

April 3, 2015

In 1966, two men stood outside of the Walker with guns. Raising them, they blasted pellets into a a painting by Niki de Saint Phalle. The work belonged to Saint Phalle’s series of “Shooting Paintings,” which consisted of plaster-coated bags of paint that, when shot, would burst to life, while dying at the same time—emphasizing the materiality of paint and the beauty of the “laws of chance.” More

Niki de Saint Phalle’s Untitled from Edition MAT 64 (1964) is featured in International Pop, on view April 11–August 29, 2015.


Future Perfect: The Walker’s One-Campus Vision

By Andrew Blauvelt March 30, 2015

In celebration of our 75th anniversary, we announce a new plan to unify the Walker and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden into a more welcoming and environmentally sustainable campus for the next generation. Key features of the 19-acre campus include a new entry pavilion for the Walker, reconstruction of the 26-year-old garden, the greening of Hennepin Avenue, the addition of hundreds of new trees, and more. More


A Culture Wars Chronicle

By Mia Lopez March 25, 2015

As identity politics made their way into galleries and museums in the ’80s and ’90s, social conservatives took note, lashing out at artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, Karen Finley, and Ron Athey for work that addressed sexuality, multiculturalism, and LGBT rights. Featuring many of these artists, the Walker found itself at the center of the conversation—and the controversies—that marked the Culture Wars. More

The Culture Wars time capsule is on view in Art at the Center: 75 Years of Walker Collections through May 10, 2015.


The Uncollectibles

By Andrew Blauvelt March 23, 2015

Some objects are too vast or ever-changing, too immovable or ephemeral to be collected or contained within a museum—from buildings and parks to digital apps and intangible ideas. These “uncollectibles” remain a source of interest for design curators like Andrew Blauvelt, who discusses these objects’ link to Minnesota By Design, a virtual collection that maps the state’s rich design landscape. More

Minnesota By Design is a virtual collection of more than 100 designs made around the state.


Ron Athey: Polemic of Blood

By Ron Athey March 19, 2015

Ever since a suicide attempt at age 15, death has been a constant companion for Ron Athey—even more so since 1985, the year he tested positive for HIV. Until it wasn’t. Healthy on the 30th anniversary of his diagnosis, the 53-year-old performance artist reflects on the “post-AIDS” body, the 1994 performance that put him at the center of the Culture Wars firestorm, and his homecoming after six years abroad. More

Ron Athey, who spoke at the Walker on March 26, 2015, contributes the fourth installment in our Artist Op-Eds series. Like others in this ongoing series, his essay is also available as a print-on-demand pamphlet.


Babes in Toyland’s Visceral Live Therapy

By Paul M. Davis March 11, 2015

“I said I’d never, ever do a reunion,” guitarist and singer Kat Bjelland told Rolling Stone recently. And yet this June, after a 14-year hiatus, her seminal punk band Babes in Toyland is returning to the city of its inception to play Rock the Garden 2015. Paul M. Davis looks at the obstacles the band overcame to get here and the “visceral live therapy”—in Bjelland’s words—the reunion represents.  More

Babes in Toyland plays Rock the Garden on Sunday, June 21, 2015. View the full schedule for this two-day festival.

Art News from Elsewhere More


Via artnews.com

The Age of Earthquakes (External)

Reviewing The Age of Earthquakes, MH Miller compares Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist’s media analysis to McLuhan’s The Medium is the Massage but also to “a teenager’s Twitter account,” calling the authors, among other things, “blisteringly vapid.”


Via museumofnonvisibleart.com

Critics Critiqued (External)

Naming names as he decries celebrity critics and “instant response” reviews, Yale’s Robert Storr reminds us of the critic’s job: to “look hard at something, think a while about it before you open your mouth, and then articulate it carefully.”


Via artnet.com

Demanding Snowden Back (External)

The anonymous makers of NYC’s recently installed and removed Edward Snowden bust, are demanding its return. Civil rights lawyer Ronald Kuby spoke on their behalf at a Tuesday press conference: “The police, simply stated, have no right to keep the statue.”


Via hyperallergic.com

Still? Yes, Still. (External)

“We try to be different from the kind of political art that is angry and points to something and says ‘This is bad,’” say the Guerrilla Girls. Art in Action, a new exhibition of their work, reveals startlingly familiar statistics on gender inequality in the art world.


Via observer.com

Chinatown in Flux (External)

“New York’s art world never stays in one place for very long.” With so many galleries fleeing the high rent of Chelsea and the bustle of the Lower East Side to find new homes near Canal Street, could Chinatown be the city’s next destination for art?


Via npr.org

How Iconic (External)

Designers from around the world are contributing to the Noun Project—a new online database that collects and catalogues icons for nearly every noun out there. “Building this visual dictionary would be a universal resource for people around the world to use.”

Minnesota Art News

Wunderkammer Redux (Or, An Unnatural History)

Kate Casanova’s work across media sets out to make our habits of perceiving the boundaries between human-made environments and the so-called “natural world” a whole lot messier.  More

The Seventh Daughter

Pao Houa Her’s experimental new installation work offers understated but potent commentary on the intersection of desire with notions of culture and authenticity.  More



Lynda Benglis Discusses Adhesive Products

After beginning her career as a painter, Lynda Benglis began seeking a “more sensuous kind of surface.” Her nine-piece work Adhesive Products (1971)—commissioned for the Walker Art Center’s Edward Larabee Barnes–designed building—is… More



Chuck Close Discusses Big Self-Portrait (1967–1968)

“There’s no question, I had some attitude about the way I wanted to be perceived,” said Chuck Close in discussing his Big Self-Portrait (1967–1968) at the Walker in 1980. “Now it seems very funny… More



Valerie Cassel Oliver Discusses Radical Presence

Exhibition curator Valerie Cassel Oliver of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston discusses the development of Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary ArtMore

Walker Channel

Dialogue / Interview

Tokyo Pop

Tokyo Pop Panelists: Hiroko Ikegami (associate professor, Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University, Japan), Ushio Shinohara (artist, New York), and Keiichi Tanaami (artist, Tokyo) Hiroko Ikegami leads a discussion with the legendary artists about their… More


Dialogue / Interview

Argentine Pop and Its Dematerialization

Argentine Pop and Its Dematerialization Panelists: Delia Cancela (artist, Buenos Aires), Eduardo Costa (artist, Buenos Aires), and María José Herrera (director, Museum of Art, Tigre, Argentina) Moderator: Bartholomew Ryan (co-curator, … More



Introduction to International Pop

Introduction to International Pop Speaker: Darsie Alexander (lead curator, International Pop) Curator Darsie Alexander welcomes the artists and scholars who will participate in the day’s discussions and introduces the audience to… More


Ongoing Series

Artist Op-Eds

A series of commissioned opinion pieces featuring provocative reactions to the headlines by artists Ron Athey, Ana Tijoux, Dread Scott, and others.

Art (re)Collecting

In celebration of the Walker’s 75th anniversary, Martin Friedman—Walker director from 1961 to 1990—shares his reflections on encountering artists from Duchamp to Cage.

Lowercase P

An election-year series on personal politics and the way artists contribute to the conversation on making a better society.

From the Archives



A Timeline of Design History

For nearly fifty years, the Walker’s Design Quarterly chronicled the changing terrains of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and product and graphic design. Featuring provocative thinkers—including Muriel Cooper… More


Ghost Building: Walker Galleries 1927

A ghostly image of T.B. Walker on the grand staircase of the 1927 Walker Galleries reminds us that before the brick-and-aluminum facility we know today there was another home for the Walker. More


Shall We Take It? The Walker’s Founding Question

The Walker was founded on a question. “Shall we take it?” In 1939 Minneapolis citizens were offered the chance to start a federally funded art center. The answer? Yes. But how did this offer come about, and what did it mean? More