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Goshka Macuga: It Broke from Within

In recent years, Goshka Macuga has become internationally known for using institutional histories as staging grounds for complex proposals. For her first solo museum exhibition in the United States, the London-based Polish artist seizes upon the Walker’s financial underpinnings in the lumber business of its founder, T. B. Walker, and considers the forest as a metaphor for American freedom. She links the history of contemporary art and its museums with the economic and nationalist mythologies of the American landscape, drawing upon a suite of lumber industry publicity photographs that a Walker-family company commissioned from Berenice Abbott in the 1940s.

Among a digressive range of topics, Macuga finds speculative relationships between Abbott’s heroic capitalist picturesque and current Tea Party rhetoric, represented in photographs she took at a rally at the Minnesota state capitol. Within an exhibition architecture of her design, Macuga sets elements from the Walker collections and archives—including works by Carl Andre, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Duchamp, and Sherrie Levine—against a monumental new tapestry depicting a famous pine forest in northern Minnesota that accidentally survived the original logging of the state.

Goshka Macuga: It Broke from Within is organized by the Walker Art Center.

Curators: Peter Eleey, Curator, MoMA PS1 and Bartholomew Ryan, Assistant Curator, Walker Art Center.