Organized by Walker Art Center, Avant Garden is an annual benefit. The proceeds support the Walkers’s artistic and educational programming.
The theme of each Avant Garden coincides with Walker Art Center’s agenda — this year’s event will mark the opening of the Walker’s new entry pavilion and the exhibition Question the Wall Itself, curated by artistic director Fionn Meade. The event will also reveal site-specific commissions by artists Frank Big Bear, Philippe Parreno, and Aaron Spangler.
After a long campus renovation, Walker Arts Center will reopen with expanded lobby, restaurant and new acquisitions. Coinciding with the museum’s expansion, the identity for Avant Garden (AG) 2016 is based on the Walker’s outstanding architecture, which has many unique construction elements such as skylights, windows, and slanted walls.
The design process started with gathering images of the building and architecture plans. I outlined the windows and skylights from the images and filled them with a pattern similar to the rainbow terrazzo/marble stone used on the Walker’s floors. This flexible pattern used at various scales evokes associations with confetti and the various architectural elements of the Walker’s interior architecture. The colors are taken from diverse aspects of the building and from the new acquisitions in the lobby and Sculpture Garden: the yellow and copper from a new illuminating entrance, the oranges and pinks from a Frank Big Bear work, and the Reflex blue from a Katharina Fritsch sculpture.
The chosen serif typeface, Gletscher, balances the playful and illustrative feeling of the architecture-inspired pattern, giving a more elegant feel to the identity. Developed by Heavyweight Studio from Czech Republic, Gletscher is very geometrical with sharp and strong serifs, similar to the angles used in the Walker’s architecture. The proportions between the thin and thick elements of Gletscher’s letterforms, successfully balance between modern and classical, between known and new. Each character is wide and airy, reflecting the new building at the Walker, which will be constructed with floor-to-ceiling glass allowing a view of the surrounding landscape. The secondary typeface sans-serif Dia Typeface, drawn by Schick-Toikka. —relates to the diagonals used in the dramatically sculptured ceiling skylights.
Combining these two typefaces and a new Walker window-terrazzo pattern makes the identity of Avant Garden 2016: modern, elegant, exiting. This event celebrating opening of the new illuminated museum entrance, definitely will be the one of the most remarkable party this autumn in Minneapolis.
Photos and design: Gabriela Baka