The Walker Arts Center continues to flesh out what is considerably a very dynamic exhibition schedule for the next two years. Additions to the Walker Art Center’s 2020–2021 exhibition schedule include two new solo exhibitions by female artists, Faye Driscoll: Thank You for Coming (February 27–June 14, 2020) and Candice Lin (April 17–August 29, 2021) as well as a Walker collection show of women artists, Don’t let this be easy (July 16–March 14, 2021). For her first solo museum exhibition, Faye Driscoll incorporates a guided audio soundtrack, moving image works, and props to look back across the entirety of her trilogy of performances Thank You For Coming—Attendance (2014), Play (2016), and Space (2019)—works that were presented and co-commissioned by the Walker and subsequently toured around the world over the past six years. Another newly added exhibition, Candice Lin, is the first US museum solo show by the artist, co-organized by the Walker Art Center and the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts (CCVA). Lin is creating a site-specific installation that responds to the space of the gallery at each institution, allowing the shape of the work to evolve over the course of its presentation.
The Walker-organized exhibition Don’t let this be easy highlights the diverse and experimental practices of women artists spanning some 50 years through a selection of paintings, sculptures, moving image works, artists’ books, and materials from the archives.
The initiative is presented in conjunction with the Feminist Art Coalition (FAC), a nationwide effort involving more than 60 museums committed to social justice and structural change.
Other upcoming exhibitions include An Art Of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960–2018 (February 16–September 20, 2020), a survey of six decades of Johns’ work in printmaking drawn from the Walker’s complete collection of the artists’ prints including intaglio, lithography, woodcut, linoleum cut, screenprinting, lead relief, and blind embossing; The Paradox of Stillness: Art, Object, and Performance (formerly titiled Still and Yet) (April 18–July 26, 2020), is an exhibition that rethinks the history of performance featuring artists whose works include performative elements but also embrace acts, objects, and gestures that refer more to the inert qualities of traditional painting or sculpture than to true staged action.
Additional exhibitions include Michaela Eichwald’s (June 13–November 8, 2020) first US solo museum presentation, bringing together painting, sculpture, and collage from across the past 10 years of her practice; Designs for Different Futures (September 12, 2020 – January 3, 2021)—a collaborative group show co-organized by the Walker Art Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago—brings together about 80 dynamic works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may encounter in the years, decades, and centuries to come; Rayyane Tabet (December 10, 2020– April 18, 2021), a solo show by the Beirut-based multidisciplinary artist featuring a new installation for the Walker that begins with a time capsule discovered on the site of what was once an IBM manufacturing facility in Rochester, Minnesota.
- AN ART OF CHANGES: JASPER JOHNS PRINTS, 1960–2018, February 16–September 20, 2020
- FAYE DRISCOLL: THANK YOU FOR COMING, February 27–June 14, 2020
- THE PARADOX OF STILLNESS: ART, OBJECT, AND PERFORMANCE, April 18–July 26, 2020
- MICHAELA EICHWALD, June 4–November 8. 2020
- DON’T LET THIS BE EASY, July 16–March 14, 2021
- DESIGNS FOR DIFFERENT FUTURES, September 12–January 3, 2021
- RAYYANE TABET, December 10–April 18, 2021
- JULIE MEHRETU, March 14, 2021–July 11, 2021
- CANDICE LIN, April 17, 2021–August 29, 2021
- THE EXPRESSIONIST FIGURE: 100 YEARS OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY DRAWING, November 17, 2019–April 19, 2020
- CARISSA RODRIGUEZ: THE MAID, October 3, 2019–February 2, 2020
- FIVE WAYS IN: THEMES FROM THE COLLECTION, February 14, 2019–October 3, 2021
- ELIZABETH PRICE, December 8, 2018–March 1, 2020
- I AM YOU, YOU ARE TOO, September 7, 2017–March 1, 2020
An Art Of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960–2018, February 16–September 20, 2020. Gallery B/Target
When Jasper Johns’s paintings of flags and targets debuted in 1958, they brought him instant acclaim and established him as a critical link between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. In the ensuing 60 years, Johns (US, b. 1930) has continued to astonish viewers with the beauty and complexity of his paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints. Today, he is considered one of the 20th century’s greatest American artists.
In celebration of the artist’s 90th birthday, An Art of Changes surveys six decades of Johns’s work in printmaking, highlighting his experiments with familiar, abstract, and personal imagery that play with memory and visual perception in endlessly original ways. The exhibition features some 90 works in intaglio, lithography, woodcut, linoleum cut, screenprinting, and lead relief—all drawn from the Walker’s comprehensive collection of the artist’s prints.
Organized in four thematic sections, the show follows Johns through the years as he revises and recycles key motifs over time, including the American flag, numerals, and the English alphabet, which he describes as “things the mind already knows.” Some works explore artists’ tools, materials, and techniques. Others explore signature aspects of the artist’s distinctive mark-making, including flagstones and hatch marks, while later pieces teem with autobiographical imagery. To underscore Johns’s fascination with the changes that occur when an image is reworked in another medium, the prints will be augmented by a small selection of paintings and sculptures.
Curator: Joan Rothfuss, guest curator, Visual Arts.
- Exhibition Tour
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh: October 12, 2019–January 20, 2020
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis: February 16–September 20, 2020
Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan: October 24, 2020–January 24, 2021
Tampa Art Museum, Florida: April 28–September 6, 2021
The Paradox Of Stillness: Art, Object, And Performance, April 18–July 26, 2020. Galleries 1, 2, 3, and D/Perlman
Presenting works from the early 20th century to today, The Paradox of Stillness: Art, Object, and Performance examines the notion of stillness as both a performative and visual gesture. This major Walker-organized exhibition features pieces by an international roster of artists testing the boundaries between stillness and motion, mortality and aliveness, the still life and the living picture.
Stillness and permanence are common qualities of painting and sculpture. Consider, for example, the frozen gestures of a historical tableau, the timelessness of a still life painting, or the unyielding bronze or marble figure. Translating these traditional mediums into actions, artists use performance to investigate the interplay between the fixed image and the living body.
The Paradox of Stillness showcases more than 100 works by some 65 artists, including 15 live performances activated in the Walker’s galleries or public spaces at intervals throughout the presentation. Works on view range from object-based art and pictures that subtly come to life or shift outside the frame to actions staged by performers that slowly unfold or unexpectedly reappear. Across the exhibition, puppets and automatons dance through space, while burning candles and rotting fruit mark time’s passing.
The presentation features works by: Marina Abramović, Giovanni Anselmo, Vanessa Beecroft, Larry Bell, Robert Breer, Trisha Brown, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Elliot Caplan, Paul Chan, Merce Cunningham, Giorgio de Chirico, Fortunato Depero, VALIE EXPORT, Lara Favaretto, T. Lux Feininger, Urs Fischer, Simone Forti, Gilbert & George, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Anthea Hamilton, David Hammons, Philip Haas, Maria Hassabi, Pierre Huyghe, Anne Imhof, Joan Jonas, Paul Kos, David Lamelas, Fernand Léger, Goshka Macuga, Maruja Mallo, Piero Manzoni, Fabio Mauri, Lucia Moholy, Robert Morris, Dudley Murphy, Senga Nengudi, Paulina Olowska, Roman Ondak, Dennis Oppenheim, Philippe Parreno, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Pope.L, Charles Ray, Pietro Roccasalva, Anri Sala, Xanti Schawinsky, Oskar Schlemmer, Kurt Schmidt, Cindy Sherman, Roman Signer, Laurie Simmons, Avery Singer, Cally Spooner, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Mickalene Thomas, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Franco Vaccari, Franz Erhard Walther, Tom Wesselmann, Franz West, Jordan Wolfson, and Haegue Yang.
The exhibition is accompanied by the most comprehensive publication to date on this subject, with contributions by Vincenzo de Bellis and Jadine Collingwood, Walker Art Center; Manuel Cirauqui, Guggenheim Bilbao; Hendrik Folkerts, Art Institute of Chicago; Emma Lavigne, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and Catherine Wood, Tate Modern, London. Produced by the Walker, the catalogue includes more than 400 illustrations, from spectacular color images to rare archival documentation. Available April 2020.
Curators: Vincenzo de Bellis, curator and associate director of programs, Visual Arts; with Jadine Collingwood, exhibition curatorial assistant, Visual Arts.
Faye Driscoll: Thank You For Coming, February 27–June 14, 2020. Gallery 7/Medtronic
“If I say ‘thank you for coming,’ it implies that you are already there.” —Faye Driscoll
Through an alchemy of bodies and voices, objects and live sound, choreographer Faye Driscoll (US, b. 1975) conjures worlds that are, like ourselves, alive and forever changeable. The artist poses performance as one of the last secular social spaces, where the vulnerability, necessity, and complexities of our everyday relationships are heightened and made palpable. Driscoll’s projects draw on our shared power to question and shape the structures that govern our behavior. Characterizing her work as “dances that are mistaken for plays,” she creates sets designed to break apart; musical scores made from the performers’ stomps and vocalizations; and props that are worn, used, and reused.
In her trilogy of performances Thank You For Coming, Driscoll engages with the political as well as physical and emotional states, at once balancing poignancy and tenderness with irreverent wit and humor, summoning “the unnamed forces that surge between the viewer and the viewed.” Each of the works in the series—Attendance (2014), Play (2016), and Space (2019)—takes a distinct form, whether exploring rituals of storytelling, ways that we speak through and for each other, or human connectivity and loss.
Faye Driscoll: Thank You For Coming, the artist’s first solo museum exhibition, was developed by Driscoll and her long-term artistic collaborators Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin. Exploring human interdependence and connectivity, the presentation looks back across the entirety of the trilogy, which was presented and co-commissioned by the Walker and subsequently toured around the world over the past six years. Bringing the immersive experience of her theater works into the gallery, Driscoll invites us to become active participants through a series of prompts and subtle directives. Combining a guided audio soundtrack, moving image works, and props, the exhibition offers a shared journey, creating a space of gathering.
Presented in conjunction with Thank you For Coming: Space, performed in the Walker’s McGuire Theater March 5–8, 2020.
Curators: Pavel Pyś, curator, Visual Arts; with Molly Hanse, curatorial assistant, Performing Arts.
Don’t Let This Be Easy, July 16–March 14, 2021. Gallery 7/Medtronic
Featuring works from the 1970s to today, Don’t let this be easy is an institutional project taking the form of an exhibition, coupled with new scholarship and online publishing focused on women artists from the Walker’s collection. The initiative is presented in conjunction with the Feminist Art Coalition (FAC), a nationwide effort involving more than 50 museums committed to social justice and structural change.
This Walker-organized exhibition highlights the diverse and experimental practices of women artists spanning some 50 years through a selection of paintings, sculptures, moving image works, artists’ books, and materials from the archives. To this day, these artworks challenge traditional museum categories and collecting practices, calling attention to the limitations inherent in institutional divisions and policies. The title Don’t let this be easy encompasses the issues raised by these artworks: the strictures of commercial and institutional validation, the desire for artistic and intellectual freedom, and unique ways that female artists have critically responded to these frameworks.
Don’t let this be easy includes work by Ree Morton (1936–1977), whose kitsch aesthetics, literary references, and renaissance of the decorative arts defied the monumentalism of a predominantly male art world; Carolee Schneemann (1939–2019), a pioneer of feminist avant-garde performance known for her staged works that personified women’s sexual liberation; Alexis Smith (b. 1949), whose mixed-media assemblages embody the conflicts between the real and the idealized in US culture; and Howardena Pindell (b. 1943), who pivoted from abstraction in 1980 to more directly address sociopolitical issues around the intersection of race, class, and gender. These artists developed experimental presentations and self-published projects in response to (and in spite of) their exclusion from the art market and gallery representation. In doing so, they expanded definitions of art and the bounds of accepted aesthetics.
Many of the artists featured in the exhibition have been the subject of renewed attention from curators and scholars seeking to resurrect some of art history’s more marginalized events. Their works are shown alongside pieces by younger generations to highlight relationships of kinship, visual rapport, and response. Some of these artists include: Andrea Carlson (b. 1979), who uses painting to depict the entanglement between cultural narratives and institutional authority; Christina Quarles (b. 1985), whose abstract paintings confront themes of racial and sexual identities, gender, and queerness; and Kaari Upson (b. 1972), who has dedicated the majority of her career to a quasi-fictional character she developed from discarded personal belongings found at an abandoned property. By presenting these works and examining behind-the-scenes what is required to address structural inequity, Don’t let this be easy explores the complex nature of the feminist enterprise.
Curators: Nisa Mackie, director and curator, Education and Public Programs; with Alexandra Nicome, interpretation fellow, Education and Public Programs.
Michaela Eichwald, June 4 –November 8, 2020. Gallery C/Burnet
Trained in literature and philosophy, Berlin-based artist and writer Michaela Eichwald (Germany, b. 1967) works predominantly as a painter. This exhibition, the artist’s first US solo museum presentation, brings together painting, sculpture, and collage from the past 10 years of her practice.
Bridging abstraction and figuration, Eichwald’s densely layered paintings—often made on unconventional surfaces such as printed canvas or imitation leather—bear an alchemical combination of acrylic, oil, tempera, spray paint, mordant, graphite, varnish, and lacquer. Whether in large- or small-scale formats, her works combine smooth paint strokes and quick smudges, at times revealing figurative forms and snippets of text. While Eichwald’s works are part of a lineage of abstraction, they resist any direct connection to a particular movement or period, instead amalgamating and churning through the history of painterly styles and techniques.
To create her sculptures, Eichwald pours resin into bags, rubber gloves, and plastic bottles, in which she collects—like objects captured in amber—uncommon and dissonant materials, such as chicken bones, erasers, jewelry, mushrooms, fishing tackle, needles, candy, small drawings, and hard-boiled eggs. At once repulsive and alluring, grotesque and seductive, these pieces bring to mind associations ranging from trophies and time capsules to the human digestive system. Filled with humor and wit, Eichwald’s works draw on references to theology, philosophy, and art history, while also reflecting on her own life: her surroundings, thinking, reading, and friends.
Curator: Pavel Pyś, curator, Visual Arts.
Designs For Different Futures, September 12–January 3, 2021. Galleries 1, 2, 3, and D/Perlman
The role of designers in shaping how we think about possible futures is the subject of Designs for Different Futures, a major exhibition organized by the Walker Art Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. The presentation brings together some 80 dynamic works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may encounter in the years, decades, and centuries ahead.
Thinking about our futures has always been part of the human condition. It has also been a perennial field of inquiry for designers and architects whose speculations on this subject—ranging from the concrete to the whimsical—can profoundly affect how we imagine what is to come. Among the questions today’s designers seek to answer are: What role can technology play in augmenting or replacing a broad range of human activities? Can intimacy be maintained at a distance? How can we negotiate privacy in a world in which the sharing and use of personal information has blurred traditional boundaries? How might we use design to help heal or transform ourselves, bodily and psychologically? How will we feed an ever-growing population?
While no one can precisely predict these futures, the works in the exhibition provide design solutions for a number of speculative scenarios. In some instances, these proposals are borne from a sense of anxiety, and in others of a sense of excitement over the possibilities that innovative materials, new technologies, and fresh ideas can afford.
The exhibition is divided into 11 thematic sections—Labors, Cities, Intimacies, Bodies, Powers, Earths, Foods, Materials, Generations, Informations, and Resources—and features an international array of designers from all fields. Among the many forward-looking projects on view, visitors will encounter lab-grown food, textiles made of seaweed, a typeface that thwarts algorithmic surveillance, a series of books that will only be available 100 years from now, an affordable gene-editing toolbox, a shoe grown from sweat, a couture dress made with a 3D printer, and a system that learns from our sewers.
Each of these projects—from small product innovations to large-scale system proposals—asks us to imagine futures different than what we expect, and in doing so, helps us craft a fascinating portrait of our diverse and turbulent present.
The exhibition is accompanied by a major publication overseen by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, designed by the Walker Art Center, and distributed by Yale University Press. Through new contributions by the show’s curatorial team and a broad range of scholars and designers, the catalogue delves into themes such as human-digital interaction, climate change, political and social inequality, resource scarcity, transportation, and infrastructure.
Designs for Different Futures is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Curatorial Team: Emmet Byrne, Design Director and Associate Curator of Design, Walker Art Center; Kathryn B. Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator and Michelle Millar Fisher, formerly The Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant Curator in the department of European Decorative Arts after 1700, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design, and Zoë Ryan, the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design, the Art Institute of Chicago. Consulting curators are Andrew Blauvelt, Director, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and Curator-at-Large, Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Colin Fanning, Independent Scholar, Bard Graduate Center, New York; and Orkan Telhan, Associate Professor of Fine Arts (Emerging Design Practices), University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Museum of Art: October 22, 2019–March 8, 2020
Walker Art Center: September 12, 2020–January 3, 2021
Art Institute of Chicago: February 6–May 16, 2021
Rayyane Tabet, December 10–April 18, 2021. Gallery C/Burnet
Trained as both an architect and a sculptor, Beirut-based artist Rayyane Tabet (b. 1983) investigates paradoxes inparticularities of the built environment through multifaceted installations that play with the perception of physical and temporal distance. His research-based practice often culminates in compelling narratives that offer alternative understandings of major sociopolitical events.
The artist’s earlier works have taken as their starting point specific historical developments approached from a personal perspective.
Such projects have examined the complexities of contemporary geopolitics, whether by tracing his great grandfather’s contributions to an early 20th-century archaeological dig in Syria or by piecing together the now dispersed fragments of an family heirloom passed down over generations. Weaving together human familial stories with official accounts, Tabet’s work provides another lens with which to view the past as well as its unexpected connections to the present.
For his first commission at a US museum, Tabet is creating a new installation focused on the Venn diagram of architecture, design, technology, and the relation between identity and objecthood. The artist’s research began with a site visit to a former IBM manufacturing facility designed by architect Eero Saarinen in Rochester, Minnesota. From there, he has unraveled a web of curious connections that include Saarinen, architect Edward Larrabee Barnes (who designed the Walker’s 1971 building), designers Charles and Ray Eames, and photographer Balthazar Korab. Informed by this research, the exhibition will include a multipart sculptural installation and site-specific architectural interventions.
Curator: Victoria Sung, assistant curator, Visual Arts; with William Hernández Luege, curatorial fellow, Visual Arts
Julie Mehretu, March 14–July 11, 2021. Galleries 1, 2, 3, and D/Perlman
Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and based in Harlem, New York, Julie Mehretu (b. 1970) is best known for abstract paintings layered with a variety of mediums, marks, and meanings. These canvases and works on paper reference the histories of art, architecture, and past civilizations while addressing the most immediate conditions of our contemporary moment, including migration, revolution, climate change, global capitalism, and technology.
This midcareer survey features more than 75 drawings, paintings, and prints made from 1996 to the present. It covers a broad arc of Mehretu’s artistic evolution, revealing her early focus on drawing, graphics, and mapping and her more recent introduction of bold gestures, sweeps of saturated color, and figurative elements into her immersive, large-scale works.
The Walker presented Mehretu’s first solo museum exhibition,Drawing into Painting, in 2003.
Mehretu’s paintings begin with drawing; she then develops the works by incorporating techniques such as printing, digital collage, erasure, and painterly abstraction. She is inspired by a variety of sources, from cave paintings, cartography, Chinese calligraphy, and 17th-century landscape etchings to architectural renderings, graffiti, and news photography. Drawing on this vast archive, Mehretu explores how realities of the past and present can shape human consciousness. As the artist says, her visual language represents how “history is made: one layer on top of another, erasing itself, consuming itself, inventing something else from the same thing.”
This exhibition is organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Curators: Christine Y. Kim,curator of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; with Rujeko Hockley, assistant curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The Walker’s presentation is coordinated by Siri Engberg, senior curator, Visual Arts.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art: November 3, 2019–May 17, 2020
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York: June 26–September 20, 2020
High Museum of Art, Atlanta: October 24, 2020–January 31, 2021
Walker Art Center: March 14–July 11, 2021
Candice Lin, April 17–August 29, 2021. Gallery 7/Medtronic
Los Angeles–based artist Candice Lin (b. 1979) investigates the legacies of colonialism, racism, and sexism by mapping the trade routes and material histories of a range of colonial goods. Often taking shape as DIY apparatuses, or what have been described as “flayed circulatory systems,” her multilayered and sensorial sculptural installations combine commodities such as sugar, cochineal, and tea into liquid concoctions that circumnavigate the space of the gallery. Lin’s sculptures manifest as tangible inquiries into histories of exoticism, Western degradation of and desire for the Other, and the logic and legacy of oppressive structures and systems.
For her first US museum solo show, co-organized by the Walker Art Center and the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts (CCVA), Lin is creating a site-specific installation that responds to the space of the gallery at each institution, allowing the shape of the work to evolve over the course of its presentation. The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue documenting the artist’s research materials and process, copublished by the Walker and CCVA.
Curators: Victoria Sung, assistant curator, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center; and Dan Byers, John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Director, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University
Walker Art Center: April 17–August 29, 2021
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Cambridge, Massachusetts: October 14–December 30, 2021
The Expressionist Figure: The Miriam And Erwin Kelen Collection Of Drawings, November 17, 2019–April 19, 2020. Gallery C/Burnet
Celebrating the remarkable collection of drawings recently donated to the Walker by longtime patrons Miriam and Erwin Kelen, this exhibition explores the expressive potential of the human body. Richly varied in theme and style, the works on paper span more than a century of artistic experimentation. Featuring portraiture, social satire, erotica, and fantasy in mediums ranging from crayon, ink, and graphite to watercolor, pastel, and collage, the Kelens’ works are joined by a select group of related drawings and sculpture from the Walker’s current holdings. As a whole, The Expressionist Figure is not only a display of virtuoso artworks but also a testament to the pleasure of building a collection and the rewards of sharing it.
Among the artists in the exhibition are Max Beckmann, Chuck Close, Willem de Kooning, Edgar Degas, Jim Denomie, Otto Dix, Marlene Dumas, Arshile Gorky, George Grosz, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, William Kentridge, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Gustav Klimt, Sherrie Levine, René Magritte, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Emil Nolde, Claes Oldenburg, Elizabeth Peyton, Pablo Picasso, Sigmar Polke, Rowan Pope, Egon Schiele, Ben Shahn, Zak Smith, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol. Contains mature content.
Curator: Joan Rothfuss, guest curator, Visual Arts.
Carissa Rodriguez: The Maid, October 3, 2019–February 2, 2020. Gallery 7/Medtronic
New York–based artist Carissa Rodriguez (US, b. 1970) creates photography, sculpture, and moving image works that examine how art gets made, reproduced, collected, and consumed. In doing so, Rodriguez uncovers the complex and at times personal dynamics between artist, artwork, audience, and institution.
New to the Walker’s collection, The Maid is a short film that focuses on six sculptures residing in various locations—an auction house, museum storage space, and the homes of art collectors. Through the camera’s meditative gaze, Rodriguez invites viewers to closely attend to the works, highlighting the extraordinary care given to these objects. The film borrows its title from a 1913 short story by Robert Walser (1878–1956). In the paragraph-long tale, a maid spends 20 years searching for a lost child once in her care. When she finally finds her, the maid dies of joy. This journey, driven by love and responsibility, serves as a powerful allegory for the attentive custodianship of works of art.
The sculptures in Rodriguez’s film were created by Sherrie Levine (US, b. 1947) in the 1990s. Known for copying or appropriating works of other artists, Levine modeled her pieces from an early 20th-century sculpture by Constantin Brancusi (Romania, 1876–1957). Referred to as “the father of modern sculpture,” he aligned his artistic creation with birth using the title Le Nouveau Né (The Newborn). Levine challenges this patriarchal lineage, adopting the newborns as her own by casting multiple versions in crystal or black glass. Rodriguez searched the globe to locate Levine’s sculptures in public and private collections. Her film reunites several “siblings,” documenting the commercial, domestic, and institutional afterlives of these enduring artworks.
The exhibition also includes Rodriguez’s All the Best Memories are Hers (2018), a series of photographs that brings artistic reproduction into dialogue with biological reproduction. As the artist describes, “By juxtaposing biological time with the eternal life of the art object, my works examine the interstices between subject and object, person and property, and delve into the structures of modern kinship and personhood.”
Curators: Mary Ceruti, executive director; with Jadine Collingwood, curatorial fellow, Visual Arts.
Five Ways In: Themes From The Collection, February 14, 2019–October 3, 2021. Galleries 4, 5, and 6
Does a portrait need to resemble its subject? Can a sculpture also be a landscape? The Walker’s newest collection exhibition takes a look at these and other questions through an exciting selection of works from the not-so-distant past and the current moment. The presentation is organized by five familiar themes: portraiture, the interior scene, landscape, still life, and abstraction. Each of these areas features a diverse range of artists whose approaches to their subjects are often unconventional, innovative, and even surprising.
With more than 100 works—painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and video installations—the exhibition Five Ways In: Themes from the Collection invites us to become reacquainted with favorites from the collection and discover new pieces by artists who are reinventing genres we thought we knew.
Self: Long used by artists as way to explore the self, identity, and the body, portraits have a unique capacity to capture the essence of an individual. This section includes both traditional portraits and others made in unexpected ways.
Inside: The indoor space can be a reflection of the artist’s creative environment and a site for observing the complexities or pleasures of life. Highlighted here are various takes on the subject of the interior, from domestic settings to public places to artists’ studios.
Outside: Many artists have reconsidered and expanded the notion of the landscape to include deeper meditations on the natural world—detailed observations of the outdoor environment that range from the specific to the abstract.
Everyday: Considering work by artists who celebrate the ordinary, this section brings together intriguing still lifes, singular takes on everyday language, and works that make the commonplace seem unfamiliar through changes in scale or materials.
Everything: Line, form, color, and shape are key to artists who embrace abstraction. The works here explore pure gesture and the physical properties of materials in compelling and inventive ways.
Curators: Siri Engberg, senior curator, Visual Arts; with Jadine Collingwood, curatorial fellow, Visual Arts; and Alexandra Nicome, interpretation fellow, Education and Public Programs.
Elizabeth Price, December 8, 2018–March 1, 2020. Gallery D/Perlman
London-based artist Elizabeth Price (UK, b. 1966) creates richly layered, moving image works made specifically for gallery settings. Composed of a broad range of imagery sourced from analog and digital photography, animation, and motion graphics, her works are often accompanied by scrolling text, narrated by a computerized voice and paired with music.
Conceived in response to the architecture and past history of the Walker’s gallery, this solo exhibition features two new moving image works—FELT TIP and KOHL (both 2018)—marking the artist’s first commission for a US museum. Projected floor to ceiling at over 15 feet, FELT TIP focuses on design motifs of men’s neckties from the 1970s and ’80s with patterns that evoke electronic networks and digital systems. Exploring the tie as both a sign of professional distinction and a sexually charged object, the work weaves together narratives of early computer technologies in the workplace and the gendered distinctions of its workforce. Conceived as a ghost story, KOHL describes a vast and unseen underground liquid network that hosts mysterious apparitions called “visitants,” who hint at ways that the mining of coal has underpinned much of our present social reality. Seen together, Price’s new works take motifs of dress and body adornment to reflect upon the relationship between the material and digital, sites of labor, and markers of class.
Curators: Pavel Pyś, curator, Visual Arts; with Jadine Collingwood, curatorial fellow, Visual Arts.
Elizabeth Price’s FELT TIP (2018) is commissioned by the Walker Art Center, Film and Video Umbrella, and Nottingham Contemporary with support from Arts Council England.
I Am You, You Are Too, September 7, 2017–March 1, 2020. Galleries 1, 2, and 3
At a time of heightened uncertainty, division, and geopolitical tensions, I am you, you are too foregrounds works from the Walker’s collections that explore contemporary life through themes of citizenship and belonging, borders and barriers, and ways in which everyday life informs our understanding of ourselves. Bringing together an international group of artists, the exhibition questions how we memorialize the past and understand the social, geographic, and political structures that shape us.
The show’s title is taken from I M U U R 2 (2013), a room-scaled installation by Danh Vo that considers how collected objects, such as knickknacks and souvenirs, can communicate who we are. Monuments and shared public space play a key role for Francis Alÿs, Song Dong, and Robert Longo, whose works examine the relationship between the individual and the state. Chantal Akerman and Julie Mehretu reflect upon shifting geographical borders and changing political systems, while Postcommodity and Wolfgang Tillmans reference debates on the Mexico-US border and Brexit, respectively. While some artists draw on recognizable places and known stories, others turn to abstraction to elicit themes of the place of the home, the city, and national belonging.
In presenting a broad range of artistic approaches, I am you, you are too draws out timely questions of national identity, shifting political borders, and international and intercultural dialogue.
Curators: Vincenzo de Bellis, curator and associate director of programs, Visual Arts; Adrienne Edwards, curator at large, Visual Arts; Pavel Pyś, curator, Visual Arts.