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 permanent outdoor sculpture, is an organic form covered with etchings of hands, tools, toys, and other objects of everyday life. The conversation is moderated by visual arts assistant curator Victoria Sung.
About the Artists
Kinji Akagawa (b. 1940, Tokyo) begun studying design in Japan before continuing his studies at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Akagawa’s work has been referred to as “public sculpture” because it employs stunning natural materials in open places used by many people. The artist prefers to drop the “public,” as he insists on anyone’s right to use and think about art. And rather than make “things,” he asserts that 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 Midwestern landscape and contemporary American culture. 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.