"Through her work and words, she became something like a muse, teacher, mother, clairvoyant, and judge. Always a presence urging me on." Kara Walker on her portrait of Toni Morrison for the cover of the New Yorker.
“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” Toni Morrison, the Nobel Prize-winning author of Beloved and The Bluest Eye, has passed away at age 83.
“The images are not dead images—they are alive with power and deserve a structure that is as equally alive." Artist Theaster Gates on news that four foundations have acquired the archives of Ebony and Jet magazines.
Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, co-founder of the radical architectural firm Superstudio, has died at 78. The collective's avant-garde work was featured in the Walker's Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia in 2015.
“Graphic design is such a wonderfully flexible medium, and you can tell such rich stories through it.” Juliet Kinchin, Alexander Tochilovsky, and Staci Steinberger discuss museums and graphic design as a more expanded field.
“It's a mistake to have a style. We architects, we work in too many different places, too many different uses. We need to be more responsive to what we do." Cesar Pelli, architect of the iconic Wells Fargo Center, has died at 92.
Arguing that climate change should be addressed as a national emergency, directors of the Tate pledged to "interrogate our systems, our values and our programs, and look for ways to become more adaptive and responsible."
In this age of xenophobic governmental policies, community-based art house cinemas have a responsibility, writes AHC's Alison Kozberg, to "denounce racist rhetoric and actions" and create "spaces of healing and collaboration."
"It was impossible, some argued, to rank art. It was also impossible to select just 10." Two curators and three artists—including Rirkrit Tiravanija and Martha Rosler—discuss on 25 works of art that define the contemporary age.
Rights groups say prolonged lack of human contact and sensory deprivation experienced by inmates in solitary confinement qualifies as torture. It's a problem the artist-run project Photo Requests from Solitary aims to alleviate.
"His uncanny ability to syncopate his vocal delivery, while keeping a simple groove was his trademark sound—several others tried to imitate him, with no success." João Gilberto, architect of Bossa Nova, has died at age 88.
Hailed for offering "innovative solutions to the needs for housing, worship, work or leisure," eight Frank Lloyd Wright designs are now recognized as historically and culturally significant by the World Heritage Committee.
“It’s 2019 and we're in the middle of a renaissance in black artistic production," tweets art critic Antwaun Sargent. "And you are telling me the best people to evaluate that are the same ones who basically ignored black artists?"
"It has become impossible to write the history of postmodern art without referring at least once to his criticism." Douglas Crimp, whose writings have explored topics from institutional critique to art and AIDS, has died at 74.
"Arts organizations and artists are increasingly self-censoring," notes Jodie Ginsburg. "They’re frightened of either the mob reaction that could come through social media, or reactions such as a funder pulling its support."
“It’s like they set us up to fail—all they wanted was to be able to pat themselves on the back like they did something," says Darnell Martin of the tokenization and disenfranchisement of Black filmmakers in the 1990s and 2000s.
Charles Ginnever—whose Cor-Ten steel sculpture Nautilus (1976), long a favorite in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (and now sited in Gold Medal Park on Minneapolis's riverfront)—has passed away at age 87.
"How have colonial histories affected the way in which we design? And what can we do to adjust our mindset and practices?" Anoushka Khandwala on how decolonizing design must go far beyond diversity.
Los Angeles–based sculptor Robert Therrien, whose whimsical works include an outsized table and folding chairs featured in the 2012 Walker exhibition Lifelike, has passed away at age 71.
"It’s a piece that challenges all the norms of how you produce opera.” Yuval Sharon on producing Meredith Monk's 1991 opera Atlas—the first artist Monk has entrusted to perform her work—in LA June 11–14.
“Evidence of the damage fossil fuels cause to the climate, and especially to poor, marginalised and vulnerable communities, is irrefutable.” Gary Hume and others call on the UK's National Portrait Gallery to cut ties with BP.
Kehinde Wiley’s artists’ residency program in Dakar offers not only financial support and collaborative openings for visual artists, writers, and filmmakers: it aims to help rejuvenate African creative traditions.
“A few years ago, thinking about transparency and the multi-vectored gaps in pay, I started sharing my salaries for each job I’ve had,” writes curator Michelle Millar Fisher. Thousands in the art world are following suit.
I.M. Pei, the celebrated modernist architect who designed iconic buildings including the Louvre pyramid, East Building of the National Gallery of Art, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, has passed away at age 102.
"Let’s go back to our bodies." In receiving the 2019 Isamu Noguchi Award on May 2, Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo spoke of her collaboration with dancemaker Merce Cunningham on 1997's Scenario.
Jeff Chang's We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation—excerpted on Walker Reader in 2016—has been turned into a 4-part docuseries premiering May 14 on the Indie Lens Storycast channel and Facebook Watch.
"I asked him, 'What should be on your gravestone?' And he gave a wonderful answer: 'We tried.'" Werner Herzog talks with On the Media about his film on perestroika architect Mikhail Gorbachev, a man "with a very deep soul."
“'I think I’m a patriot,' he said, with doubt in his voice—but an American who has serious doubts about what, ethically, American means, particularly now." Holland Cotter profiles Martin Puryear on the eve of the Venice Bienalle.
Trevor Paglen's Orbital Reflector, a satellite launched Dec. 2018, was created to ask: who gets to use space? But the government shutdown stymied its full deployment, sparking deeper questions about the politics of space.
Marking the April 16 centennial of Merce Cunningham's birth, dancers in NY, LA, and London will perform 100 solos—all livestreamed on the Cunningham Trust site—in hopes of opening up the dance icon's work to a new generation.
Flames tore through the 850-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral April 15, destroying the spire and spreading to the historic bell towers of the gothic masterpiece. No one was injured, but priceless artworks are feared lost in the blaze.
Filmmakers around the world—including Martin Scorsese, JR, and Barry Jenkins—are mourning the death at age 90 of French New Wave pioneer Agnès Vardes, maker of classics like Cleo From 5 to 7 and The Gleaners and I.
On the 50th anniversary of Yoko Ono and John Lennon's Bed-In for Peace at an Amsterdam hotel, photographer Govert De Roos (who was only 15 at the time) recalls how he captured his iconic photos—by faking a press pass.
"Once on the margins, older African-American artists are suddenly a hot commodity," writes Hilarie M. Sheets. But for artists like Melvin Edwards, Lorraine O’Grady, and McArthur Binion, the overdue recognition comes with a price.
“I hope there is a domino effect now; there needs to be.” Artist Nan Goldin on the UK's National Portrait Gallery declining a £1M donation from the Sacklers over the family's ties, via Purdue Pharma, to the opioid crisis.
The Walker's Siah Armajani show, now at Met Breuer, is "well-timed for an era of sundering moral confusion and offers ways forward from it," writes Holland Cotter, who calls the artist a "a wry metaphysician."
"If I don’t share what’s deeply personal then I don’t learn the deeply personal of others." AM Homes shares an intimate interview with experimental queer filmmaker Barbara Hammer, who passed away Mar. 16 at age 89.
Hailed for art that "addresses history and identity with a powerful directness, but also with great understanding, nuance and wit," Kara Walker has been selected as the next artist to fill Tate Modern's massive Turbine Hall.
"One of the leaders of the free curatorial world," Okwui Enwezor—the first African-born curator of the Venice Biennale, former director of Haus der Kunst in Munich, and curator of Documenta XI—has passed away at age 55.
After a year spent in contemplation—and not making pictures of people—Alec Soth has returned, with a new perspective and a new body of work featuring in-home portraits of individuals who “know how to inhabit space.”
Feminist multidisciplinary artist Carolee Schneemann—who broke taboos around gender, sex, and the body through performative works like Meat Joy and Interior Scroll—has died at age 79.
The US Postal Service will honor Ellsworth Kelly with a series of postage stamps bearing images of the abstractionist's most iconic works. Kelly, who died in 2015, is the only visual artist to be featured on US stamps in 2019.
After its 1970 Minneapolis debut, Siah Armajani's Bridge Over Tree is on view for a second time, now in Brooklyn Bridge Park, as a complement to Follow This Line, the Walker-co-organized show at Met Breuer.
"The wonderful thing about dying is the interesting processes." Anticipating her death from cancer, feminist filmmaker Barbara Hammer sits for an "exit interview" with her spouse, Florrie Burke, and writer Masha Gessen.
Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and longtime Minnesotan Dominick Argento has died at 91. The Masque of Angels was commissioned by the Walker as the inaugural opera of the Center Opera Company (now Minnesota Opera).
75 artists—including Jeffrey Gibson, Barbara Hammer, and Wangechi Mutu—will participate in the 2019 Whitney Biennial. One, Michael Rakowitz, has withdrawn in protest of a Whitney vice chair's ownership of a tear gas manufacturer.
As the UK moves toward a possible "no deal" exit from the EU on March 29, the art world is preparing for likely administrative hassles, customs fees, and delays related to shipping art to Europe post-Brexit.
For its next annual show, opening in April, NYC's High Line is focusing on a medium less prevalent in public art: painting. Eight artists—including Daniel Buren, Ei Arakawa, and Lubaina Himid—will be part of En Plein Air.
28 years after her lauded directorial debut with Daughters of the Dust, Julie Dash has announced her second feature. She revealed at Sundance that she'll be directing a biopic on civil rights leader Dr. Angela Davis.
Influential experimental filmmaker Jonas Mekas—co-founder of Anthology Film Archives and Film Culture magazine and creator of the award-winning documentary The Brig (1964)—has died at age 96.
After the SVA's Masters in Branding Program named the #MeToo movement “Brand of the Year," Billie Muraben asks: Do we risk over-simplifying complex social movements, or do awards like these keep the the activist spirit alive?"
“Access to culture is just as much a right as any other, and the president seems intent on scuttling this right too.” Dawoud Bey on the ongoing government shutdown that has closed many federally funded museums.
“If you don't know about God, art is the only thing that can set you free.It challenges the human spirit to accept a deeper reality.” Sister Wendy Beckett, a cloistered Carmelite nun turned TV art historian, has died at age 88.
Tania Bruguera is among those arrested on Dec. 3 for planning a sit-in protest at the Ministry of Culture in Havana over Decree 349, a proposed legislation that "would essentially give the state the power to censor art at will."
On museums and #MeToo: “When your organization has a code of conduct and a mission statement, it does a public good to acknowledge the artists you choose to place in your gallery that do not live up to those principles."
"Instead of the Warhol who said 'I want to be a machine,' and tended to bleed his own ideas dry through repetition, the impression you get is of relentless artistic soul-searching." Ben Davis on the Whitney's new Warhol survey.
Despite leaders dropping plans to sell a mural he made for a Chicago library, Kerry James Marshall says he's done making public art: he doesn't want art created out of "civic pride" to be seem "as nothing but cash on the wall."
Ntozake Shange—the author of 50 novels, children’s books, poetry collections, and plays, including her celebrated 1976 debut For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf—has died at age 70.
“It’s tragic and sad that there is still resonance on these issues.” Barbara Kruger has created a new version of her incisive, flag-like mural Untitled (Questions)(1990–192) at LA's MOCA Geffen in time for the midterms.
"I want my music, my presence, to be a permanent resistance to whatever anti-democratic feature may come out of a probable Bolsonaro government." Legendary Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso on his country's authoritarian turn.
Choreographer/performer Okwui Okpokwasili is among eight artists named 2018 MacArthur Fellows. Other "genius" grant recipients include: artist/curator Julie Ault, painter Titus Kaphar, and performance artist Wu Tsang.
Exploring the “positive aspects of migration and the power of community action,” Tania Bruguera's new Tate installation includes a small, symbolic element: she renamed the museum's Boiler House after local activist Natalie Bell.
“Literature has been infected by the long arm of colonialism." Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq discusses her new role as author: her new book offers a mythobiographic glimpse into "what it feels like to be an Indigenous woman."
"I don’t think you can say ‘African American art’ without saying ‘Thelma Golden.' You can’t say 'contemporary art' without saying 'Thelma Golden.'" Carolina Miranda profiles the Studio Museum director and 2018 Getty Medal winner.
With mounting tensions between Iran and the West, trade sanctions, and Trump’s Muslim travel ban, some fear that Iran's recent art boom may halt—or even be reversed. CNN Style's Alice McCool reports.
Pritzker Prize–winning architect Robert Venturi has passed away at age 93. The author of Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, he espoused an architecture "guided not by habit but by a conscious sense of the past."
Having removed the word "dance" from his eponymous company's name, Bill T. Jones is exploring expanded forms in his new Analogy Trilogy, which melds movement, dance, storytelling, and oral history.
"These are exactly the types of three-dimensional stories that a misogynist and xenophobe would be scared of." Organizers of Minneapolis's Arab Film Festival decried Trump's travel ban after three of its guest were denied visas.
Christian Marclay on the eureka moment that sparked The Clock, his 24-hour montage film: "What if, in the history of film, I could find every minute of 24 hours? But it would take for ever—it’s an impossible task!"
Calling the Met Breuer show an "extraordinary journey in three dimensions through art, culture, time and personal experience," Roberta Smith looks at an unexpected trove of sculpture by the late Jack Whitten, a celebrated painter.
"There’s no point looking at a movie on your laptop on your own at home,” says 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen, who returns to the big screen with Widows. “It’s a communal experience. That’s what cinema is."
Minneapolis's Wing Young Huie, subject of the 1999 Walker exhibition Dialogues: Paul Beatty/Wing Young Huie, has been named 2018's McKnight Distinguished Artist, the first time the honor has gone to a photographer.
Martin Puryear—whose Gog & Magog (Ampersand) marks the entrance to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden—has been confirmed as the artist who'll represent the United States at the 2019 Venice Biennale, which opens in May.
To commemorate the opening of Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, Carrie Mae Weems was tapped to shoot imagery, including the cover, for TIME's Aug 20 issue. But it's not the first time the two artists have crossed paths.
Set in a high-tech Shanghai warehouse, Cao Fei's Asia One is a "mournfully beautiful hybrid of economic forecast and tragic love story," writes critic Jason Farago, who watches the video with China reporter David Barboza.
ACT UP is claiming a “major victory” at the Whitney Museum, which has changed a wall label in its David Wojnarowicz retrospective to forefront the artist's activism and underscore that ongoing nature of the AIDS crisis.
"We think of composition as the diving board, and the improvisation is the swim. And then we climb back out and we dive again." Jason Moran discusses improv jazz, visual art, and his Walker exhibition.
"Works were damaged due to the unannounced attack on the studio. There was no caution taken." Ai Weiwei's Beijing studio was demolished Aug. 4 as part of redevelopment the dissident artist says has also wiped out migrant housing.
"Why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive?” Confirming news he shared with Walker Reader in 2016, Robert Redford says that after his new movie, The Old Man & The Gun, he's retiring from acting.
"Sometimes I wonder: if women had the position they deserved, would things be the same? Would we be as greedy, as corrupt, as non-caring, as warring?" Theaster Gates on strong women, a theme in his new Kustmuseum Basel show.
Inclusive design, like The Beam at the de Young Museum, arises from a view of "disability not in terms of health, but as a mismatch between ability and the (designed) environment," writes Monica Westin.
The Trump Baby protest blimp, set to hover in London's skies during the US president's visit, is part of a rich tradition of inflatable protest art by the likes of Ai Weiwei, Lee Bul, Mark Leckey, Jeremy Deller, and others.
Missing since 1978, a 1967 painting by Robert Motherwell has been returned to the late artist's foundation. It was found in a garage in upstate NY by the son of a man who once worked for a moving company employed by Motherwell.
"The List is not an artwork in itself—the art lies in its dissemination." On World Refugee Day, download the list used by artist Banu Cennetoğlu of the 34,361 migrants and refugees who've died trying to get into the EU.
A 700-pound sculpture of a spoon, bent the way addicts do to cook heroin before injecting it, has been left outside the HQ of Purdue Pharma. Now removed, the work aimed to shame the OxyContin maker's role in the opioid epidemic.
A new survey on the attitudes and realities of financial stability for visual artists finds that the median income of the 1000+ respondents was $20–30K per year, with nearly 60% reporting income of less than $30K per year.
"In the moment I couldn't event say what was happening." Jazz pianist Jason Moran, the Upright Citizens Brigade's Andy Bustillos and Alex Song, and others weigh in on the science and practice of improvisation.
Decolonization isn't "something to be done by, about and for people of colour," clarifies Sarah Jilani. "Decolonization is different from diversification: it demands fundamental change rather than mere representation."
Justin Vernon and The National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner have launched PEOPLE, a listening platform for "all the raw, the unpackaged, the experiments and the evolved ideas"—including tracks by Poliça, the Dessners, and Bon Iver.
"In the same sense as gender is fluid, the future and the past are both exploratory, invented spaces where there is no grand narrative and their is not 'other.'" Ryan Trecartin on gender fluidity in his new sci-fi–adjacent short.
Most radical about Patrick's Cabaret, says Patrick Scully of the queer-friendly performance venue he founded, is that it "was a rainbow umbrella that said anybody who wants to stand underneath this umbrella is welcome to be here."
Robert Indiana, whose art has been dubbed “Pop poetry of the highway,” has died at age 89. His sculptural renderings of the word "love" have become one of the most recognizable artworks of the 20th century.
"I have no desire to be Julian Schnabel or Jeff Koons. I prefer the periphery in that sense." In a wide-ranging interview, Allen Ruppersberg discusses his art career, attention to location, and approach to his source materials.
"In Bohemia, in the natural world of the artist, there exists an economy of creative abundance, because this is a world of gift giving." Burning Man founder Larry Harvey, who spoke at the Walker in 2000, has died at age 70.
Just released, the 2018 Turner Prize shortlist features nominees who are "tackling the most pressing political and humanitarian issues of today”: Forensic Architecture, Naeem Mohaiemen, Charlotte Prodger, and Luke Willis Thompson
Best known for photos of her own nude body in nature and patrons of an east LA lesbian bar, Laura Aguilar has died at 58. Her art was "decades ahead of its time," both conceptually and in its address of race and the male gaze.
“The history of jazz and the history of sound is the history of man." Jason Moran discusses his cross-disciplinary Walker exhibition, which features his artwork along sidework by Glenn Ligon, Joan Jonas, Kara Walker, and others.
Two years after Prince's passing, photographer Alec Soth—who lived next door to the music icon when he was 15—and writer Rebecca Bengal search the Twin Cities for the "impressions" he left behind.
Jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington: "Someone like Donald Trump can't control the way I show love to my brother. He can't control the way I feel about my neighbors. I'm trying to make the music bigger than the politics."
To commemorate the centennial of choreographer Merce Cunningham's birth, the trust created in his name will offer a multi-part, multimedia celebration, concluding April 19, 2019—the artist's birthday—with a "Night of 100 Solos."
"She gave us hope and a recipe for how to evolve as anthropogenic agents of our own precarious future." Helen Mayer Harrison, who partnered with husband Newton on ecological artworks including Portable Orchard, has died.
"As misconduct and abuses of power are brought to light, how are cultural institutions to respond? ICA Boston hosts an "open forum" for staff—named and anonymous—to weigh in on allegations against artist Nicholas Nixon.
Cameraman Yasser Murtaja was shot dead by Israeli troops April 6 while covering demonstrations in Gaza. The founder of the Ain Media collective, he worked on Ai Weiwei's Human Flow and Basma Alsharif’s Ouroboros.
Remembering MLK's assassination 50 years ago, The Atlantic shares LaToya Ruby Frazier's aerial photos of sites in Memphis, Chicago, and Baltimore where key Civil Rights protests of the past half century took place.
"Cecil is of jazz, and also beyond it." Free jazz icon Cecil Taylor has died at age 89. "He played the piano with a furious attack, using the entire range of the instrument to create a unique musical language," writes Tom Vitale.
Already printed on posters, a billboard, and newspapers, Rirkrit Tiravanija's statement "FEAR EATS THE SOUL" is now flying on flags at 21 institutions across 16 states as part of Creative Time's Pledges of Allegiance project.
“Adrian Piper taught me the words ‘artist’ and ‘citizen’ are synonymous.” Glenn Ligon on the influence of the celebrated artist, whose 50-year retrospective is on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
"At a time when the status quo in the US is government-sanctioned racism and xenophobia, it is all the more urgent that museums acknowledge their political histories and adopt stances on contemporary issues."
"The man who has been called 'one of the most dangerous Indians alive' has walked on." James Luna, a performance artist of Puyukitchum, Ipai, and Mexican American descent, passed away March 4 at 68.
Laura Raicovich: "If we truly want to create spaces that are more equitable and, indeed, spaces for the ‘free and open exchange of ideas’ that so many arts institutions proclaim, how can we refuse to be art space sanctuaries?"
Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels (1973–1976), four hollow concrete cylinders situated in Utah’s Great Basin desert, has been acquired by the Dia Art Foundation—its first such work by a woman.
“I think it gets lost that a lot of what I actually do is look and listen, rather than scream and shout.” Ted Loos profiles "citizen-poet" Adam Pendleton and his Black Dada framework for artmaking.
"Among the most topical and controversial developments in the dance world today are works which question the types of bodies that perform on stage," writes Astrid Kaminski.
"I’ve always appreciated things that are undervalued or overlooked—the kinds of things that disappear. So there’s always going to be a melancholy aspect." Allen Ruppersberg on his impulse to collect.
“As long as museums continue on this path of being spaces of entitlement and privilege, they are going to be targets." Art museum leaders weigh in on how protest is changing the field.
Through a single interface, an array of voices are invited to respond to pressing questions that surround the work of making, presenting, understanding, and living with art today.
“If the music was changing, why wasn’t the format of the jazz magazine shifting around?” Straight from the mind of polymath musician/artist Jason Moran comes a new kind of music publication.
A series of commissioned opinion pieces featuring provocative reactions to the headlines by Ron Athey, Gordon Hall, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Postcommodity, Ana Tijoux, Jack Whitten, and others.
UNLICENSED investigates contemporary culture’s obsession with bootlegging by turning to designers and artists who exploit this phenomenon in their practices.
To commemorate the year that was, we invited an array of artists, writers, designers, and filmmakers to share a list of the most noteworthy ideas, events, and objects they encountered in 2018.
Through short interactive narratives, this ongoing series presents behind-the-scenes tours of your favorite outdoor sculptures.
A program of commissioned moving image works by artists—including James Marwa Arsanios, Yto Barrada, Renée Green, and Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz—who respond to work in the Ruben/Bentson Collection.
Ben Davis, Sabaah Folayan, RaMell Ross, and Eric Schlosser consider "truth" in light of Werner Herzog's Trump-era update to the 1999 Minnesota Declaration on truth and fact in documentary cinema.
An editorial supplement to the conference Superscript: Arts Journalism and Criticism in a Digital Age, featuring commissioned essays by Kimberly Drew, Alexandra Lange, An Xiao Mina, and others.
Offering perspectives from those closest to the art, this recurring video series gives voice-of-the-artist perspectives on work on view.
An ongoing series of essays, translations, interviews, and excerpts examining the past, present, and future of art education, presented by the Walker Education and Public Programs staff.
The Walker Dialogue and Retrospective Series brings together some of the most innovative and influential filmmakers of our time with leading critics, writers, and historians.
A memoir series by the late Walker director Martin Friedman, recounting his encounters with artists including Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp, and John Cage.
In serial form, a 10-part curatorial essay from the 2014 exhibition 9 Artists, which featured Yael Bartana, Liam Gillick, Hito Steyerl, Danh Vo, and others.
On September 28 and 29, 2015 the Walker Art Center hosted an invitational curatorial research convening focused on pressing areas of inquiry facing the field of curating contemporary performance.
Avant Museology is a two-day symposium exploring the practices and sociopolitical implications of contemporary museology.
Experimental Jetset, Lucky Dragons, Tomás Saraceno, and others share how 1960s artists featured in the exhibition Hippie Modernism have influenced their work and thinking today.
In interviews with Laurie Anderson, Paul Chan, Trevor Paglen, JoAnn Verburg, and others, this series examines artists' approaches to small-p politics—issues of power, inequality, and participation.