Join artists Kinji Akagawa and Aaron Spangler as they discuss their sculptures in the newly opened Wurtele Upper Garden. Akagawa’s Garden Seating, Reading, Thinking (1987/2017) was commissioned for the 1988 opening of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and has been a favorite spot for visitors to rest, read, and reflect. Spangler’s newly commissioned Bog Walker (2017), the artist’s first outdoor sculpture, is a totem-like form covered with etchings of tools, machine parts, and other objects of everyday life. The conversation is led by visual arts curatorial assistant Victoria Sung.
About the Artists
Kinji Akagawa (b. 1940, Tokyo) begun study in design in his native Japan, then was urged by a US mentor to continue studies at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Akagawa’s own work is referred to by others as “public sculpture” because it employs stunning natural materials in open places used by many. The artist prefers to drop the “public,” as he insists on anyone’s right to use and think about art. And rather than making “things”, he claims he works on “quality-of-life” installations and experiences. Akagawa has received commissions for site-specific installations in parks and public spaces throughout the United States. The artist lives and works in Afton, Minnesota.
Aaron Spangler (b. 1971, Minneapolis) reimagines the technique of woodcarving to create works that speak to a collective consciousness grounded in the history, myths, and present day realities of rural America. Starting with solid blocks of basswood, Spangler carves detailed scenes and motifs into large bas-reliefs and freestanding sculptures that are at once abstract and figural. Spangler received a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He lives and works in Park Rapids, Minnesota.