SIAH ARMAJANI: FOLLOW THIS LINE, September 9–December 30, 2018
*First US solo museum exhibition
September 9, 2018–December 30, 2018
Galleries 4, 5, 6, and 7
In Tehran, children walking home from school would scrape their pencils against the walls, tracing their paths through the city and chanting “follow this line.” Minneapolis-based artist Siah Armajani (US, b. Tehran, 1939) recounts that this simple gesture speaks to the desire to mark one’s presence in space. In the spirit of this act, this major retrospective asks visitors to follow the artist across a shifting terrain, first within the context of pre-revolution Iran, and later, postwar and present-day America. The exhibition is the first comprehensive US survey devoted to the artist’s work.
This major retrospective spans six decades and engages a wide range of references: from Persian calligraphy to the manifesto, letter, and talisman; from mathematical equations and computer programming to poetry; from the Abstract Expressionist canvas and American vernacular architecture to Bauhaus design and Russian constructivism. Though Armajani is best known today for his works of public art—bridges, gazebos, gardens, reading rooms—sited across the United States and Europe, including the landmark 375-foot Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge that connects Loring Park to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, this groundbreaking exhibition argues for a thoughtful reexamination of his entire practice as politically conscious and critically rich. A new Walker-produced catalogue, developed in close collaboration with the artist, is Armajani’s most comprehensive publication to date.
Siah Armajani: Follow This Line is organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Curators: Clare Davies, Assistant Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art (Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Victoria Sung, Assistant Curator, Visual Arts (Walker Art Center); with Jadine Collingwood, Curatorial Fellow, Visual Arts (Walker Art Center)
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis: September 9–December 30, 2018
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: February 20–June 2, 2019
October 25, 2018–February 17, 2019
Galleries A & B
Mario García Torres (Mexico, b. 1975) is one of the most compelling and inventive conceptual artists living today. His work investigates the mechanisms of production of artistic thought and explores the obscure points, unofficial or un-historicized, of intangible heritage; it is bound up with the facts, fictions, and live testimonials not listed in the official accounts of conceptual art, its gestures, figures, and practices. Appropriation, narrative, repetition, and reenactment are just a few of the strategies that the artist employs to delve into the often-blurred division between truth and fiction. To express his ideas and concepts García Torres uses a variety of mediums such as video, installation, photography, and sculpture. Each is carefully chosen to best address the subjectivity of historical records and the limitations of memory, which are always at the core of the artist’s projects.
Illusion Brought Me Here is the first US survey to focus on García Torres’s practice. Encompassing both galleries as well as the Bentson Mediatheque, the Walker’s self-select cinema, the exhibition features a selection of 35 works created over the past two decades, as well as two site-specific installations conceived exclusively for the Walker. A newly commissioned piece made from the soundtracks all of the artist’s media-based art serves as a dynamic audio framework to the show.
Organized by the Walker Art Center and copresented with WIELS, Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels. After the Walker’s presentation, Illusion Brought Me Here travels to WIELS in mid-2019.
The exhibition will be accompanied by the first publication to survey the artist’s work, produced by the Walker and WIELS and published by Walther König Verlag, Cologne.
Curator: Vincenzo de Bellis, Curator, Visual Arts; with Fabián Leyva-Barragan, Curatorial Fellow, Visual Arts
November 15, 2018–October 6, 2019
Established and emerging, historical and contemporary. Platforms: Collection and Commissions displays work across multiple interfaces—from the screen in the palm of your hand to the projection on the wall of the gallery. The show highlights key works from the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection juxtaposed with new commissions by 12 international contemporary artists. Together, the presentation creates a 10-month survey of the Walker Moving Image Commissions project. Throughout the exhibition, the gallery changes over to feature a different mix of films and videos, encouraging viewers to return and experience yet another perspective. These commissions will also be available online, accompanied by essays and material for deeper exploration.
The first installment of the exhibition, Leslie Thornton’s (US, b. 1959) commission They Were Just People (2016), is a dark, personal response to Crossroads (1976), Bruce Conner’s iconic film of the 1946 Bikini Atoll nuclear test. Thornton’s piece is a chilling exploration of the purpose and repurposing of memory during wartime, combining manipulated footage of the La Brea Tar Pits in California with an oral account describing moments in the immediate aftermath of the 1945 US atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. The installment also features the collaborative work Crossing (2016) by Leslie Thornton and James Richards.
The exhibition will conclude with two new commissions produced in 2018 by filmmakers Kevin Jerome Everson and Deborah Stratman, working in response to William Klein and Maya Deren.
Platforms: Collection and Commissions continues in 2019.
Curator: Sheryl Mousley, Senior Curator, Moving Image; with Ruth Hodgins, Bentson Archivist/Assistant Curator, Moving Image
January 8–February 24
Harun Farocki’s Interface (Schnittstelle) (1995)
Yto Barrada’s Ether Reveries (Suite for Thérèse Rivière no.2) (2017) and Renée Green’s ED/HF (2017)
February 26–April 14
Marcel Broodthaers’s Figures of Wax (1974)
Shahryar Nashat’s Present Sore (2016) and Uri Aran’s Two Things About Suffering (2016)
April 16–June 2
Derek Jarman’s Blue (1993)
Moyra Davey’s Notes on Blue (2015) and James Richards’s Radio at Night (2015)
June 4–July 21
Harun Farocki’s Inextinguishable Fire (1969)
Marwa Arsanios’s Who is afraid of ideology? Part I (2017) and Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz’s Telepathic Improvisation (2017)
July 23–October 6
William Klein’s The Little Richard Story (1980)
New commission by Kevin Jerome Everson
Work by Maya Deren
New commission by Deborah Stratman
December 8, 2018–June 30, 2019
London-based artist Elizabeth Price (UK, b. 1966) creates richly layered, moving image works made specifically for gallery settings. Composed of a broad range of imagery sourced from analogue and digital photography, animation, and motion graphics, her works are often accompanied by scrolling text, narrated by a computerized voice and paired with music.
Marking the artist’s first commission for a US museum, this solo exhibition features two new moving image works—FELT TIPP and KOHL (both 2018)—conceived in response to the architecture and history of the Walker’s Gallery D.
Projected floor to ceiling at more than 15 feet, FELT TIPP focuses on design motifs of men’s neckties from the 1970s and 80s with patterns that evoke electronic networks and digital systems.
Exploring the tie as both a sign of professional distinction and a sexually charged object, the work weaves together narratives of early computer technologies in the workplace and the gendered distinctions of its workforce.
In KOHL, four fictional characters tell stories related to coal: its links to ink, writing, and the archive as well as its uses as a source of fuel and as a cosmetic. Seen together, Price’s new works take motifs of dress and body adornment to reflect upon the relationship between the material and digital, sites of labor, and markers of class.
Curator: Pavel Pyś, Curator, Visual Arts; with Jadine Collingwood, Curatorial Fellow, Visual Arts
Co-commissioned and produced by Film and Video Umbrella (FVU). Making moving image works by artists for three decades, FVU has championed new creative talent and innovative ideas working in collaboration with a range of venues in the UK and internationally. To find out more, visit fvu.co.uk.
February 14, 2019–September 19, 2021
Galleries 4, 5, and 6
This exhibition, drawn from the Walker’s world-renowned collections, looks backward and forward at contemporary art in our time, showcasing both cornerstone works that have built the collection and works by a younger generation that point to new strengths and directions. Since the 1960s, one of the hallmarks of the Walker’s collection has been its representation of multiple works by individual artists, affording the opportunity to examine an artist’s practice through time. The exhibition will feature a number of works by artists with whom the Walker has had enduring relationships, which will be presented alongside another generation of artists exploring similar concerns.
Like the Walker’s wide-ranging collection, the exhibition assembles work in a broad variety of media, from painting and sculpture to drawing, collage, video, photography and installation work. In so doing, the exhibition will present new conversations around several thematic areas: portraiture; still life and the everyday; landscape and the observed environment; the interior scene; and approaches toward abstraction, areas that serve as thematic sections for unexpected groupings of works from the collection.
The exhibition will present groupings of works by artists with whom the Walker has had enduring relationships, such as Robert Gober, Dan Graham, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Sherrie Levine, Glenn Ligon, Joan Mitchell, Claes Oldenburg, Sigmar Polke, George Segal, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol. Laying an important foundation for the Walker’s focus on collecting works by artists who embrace a wide range of media and approaches across disciplines, these pieces will be shown alongside examples acquired in more recent years—including works by Nairy Baghramian, Theaster Gates, Leslie Hewitt, Lee Kit, Elad Lassry, Mark Manders, Julie Mehretu, Dianna Molzan, Gedi Sibony, and Haegue Yang—who are leading the collection forward in bold and exciting ways.
In the area of portraiture, the collection has great variety and depth. Contemporary artists have mined this genre—favored by artists throughout history—as a rich arena within which to explore the self, identity, and the body. This section includes portraits—many of them self-portraits, and many made in unexpected ways—by a range of artists, including Joseph Beuys, Glenn Ligon, Ana Mendieta, Alice Neel, Yoko Ono, Howardena Pindell, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, and Andy Warhol.
Objects or scenes that are a part of everyday life are the subject of this section of the exhibition, which includes artists whose work celebrate the ordinary. Some of the artists on view, such as Louise Nevelson, consider the convention of the still life or assemblage as a way to explore ordinary objects. Others, like Claes Oldenburg, change scale or materials to make the everyday seem unfamiliar, while still others, such as Rachel Harrison, create provocative narratives using vernacular forms.
This section of the exhibition explores work inspired by the natural world. None of the works on view, however, are “landscapes” in the traditional sense, but instead observe the natural world through its overlooked details, unconventional scenes, or through abstraction. On view are works by artists including Vija Celmins, Theaster Gates, Alexa Horochowski, Ellsworth Kelly, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Joan Mitchell, Catherine Opie, Julie Mehretu, and JoAnn Verburg among others.
A perennial theme throughout the history of art has been the interior, both as a reflection of the artist’s creative environment, and as a site for observing life. This section of the exhibition presents a range of interior spaces, from domestic settings to artists’ studios. On view are works by artists including Leslie Hewitt, David Hockney, Sherrie Levine, Roy Lichtenstein, Mark Manders, George Segal, and Laurie Simmons.
Line, form, color, accumulation, and dissociation from the observed world are key to the works of artists who embrace abstraction. This section of the exhibition includes a range of abstract works by artists who explore gesture, hue, and pure forms in their work. On view are works by Tomma Abts, Anni Albers, Tauba Auerbach, Nairy Baghramian, Sarah Crowner, Lee Bontecou, Helen Frankenthaler, Caroline Kent, Dianna Molzan, Lari Pittman, and Martin Puryear.
The exhibition’s structure, which allows familiar points of entry a wide range of artistic practices, is geared with a general museum audience in mind. With works that are both visitor favorites and newer acquisitions by more emerging artists, the exhibition will afford the opportunity for new approaches to interpretation for the average visitor, and for schools and tours. Many of the works by an older generation have not been on view for decades, while works by more emerging artists show a continued persistence toward reinventing those genres we thought we knew.
Curator: Siri Engberg, Senior Curator, Visual Arts; with Jadine Collingwood, Curatorial Fellow, Visual Arts
February 14–December 1, 2019
Based in Puerto Rico, collaborators Jennifer Allora (b. 1974) and Guillermo Calzadilla (b. 1971) create works that reach across sculpture, video, performance, and photography. Chalk (1998) is an ongoing art project in which the artists place human-size sticks of chalk—each piece measuring 64 inches in length—in public spaces for passers-by to use as they choose. Previously installed in Lima, Peru; Paris; Boston; and New York, the work takes on a new personal and political identity in each new location.
The exhibition will be presented in the Walker’s Gallery 7, a space adjacent to the museum’s outdoor terraces, which are a hub for seasonal programming. Treated with a special chalk-friendly paint, the gallery will serve as a center of activity for audiences of all ages, encouraging participation. Visitors will be invited to draw or write with the chalk on the gallery’s floor and walls, transforming the space into an immersive site for self-expression.
Curator: Victoria Sung, Assistant Curator, Visual Arts
March 28, 2019–August 4, 2019
Galleries A & B
In an age dominated by digital technology, The Body Electric explores themes of the real and virtual, the organic and artificial, moving from the world into the screen and back again. Looking across the past 60 years, the exhibition presents an intergenerational and international group of artists who have seized upon the screen as a place to rethink the body and identity, with a particular emphasis on questions of gender, sexuality, class, and race. The Body Electric contextualizes a group of contemporary artists engaging today with digital technology and the influence of the internet within a broader art historical narrative to explore the shared interests that emerge across generations, despite differing technological means.
The presentation begins with a generation of artists active in the mid-1960s—Shigeko Kubota, Charlotte Moorman, Nam June Paik, and Wolf Vostell—for whom the television was both the subject and object of their expanded practices spanning performance, sculpture, and the moving image. Reimagined for the exhibition, newly created installations by Joan Jonas and the Wooster Group conflate the physical world and its representation, doubling and fracturing imagery of the body on screen. Works by Bruce Nauman, Cindy Sherman, and Amalia Ulman chart a history of artists turning the lens of the camera onto their own bodies, creating personal spaces of performance, whether via the 1960s Portapak camera or today’s selfie. Disembodied beings and digital avatars populate contributions by Laurie Anderson, Ed Atkins, and Pierre Huyghe, while sculptures by Trisha Baga, Robert Gober, Helen Marten, and Anicka Yi explore the slippery ambiguity of materials poised between the digital and analog, the real and rendered. For Juliana Huxtable, Lynn Hershman Leeson, and Martine Syms, the lens of the camera creates space to rethink the representation of sociopolitical identities and to question the structures that govern our understanding of race, gender, class, and sexuality.
Charting the embrace and manipulation of technology across generations, The Body Electric examines how the screen has increasingly shifted the way we picture ourselves and understand our place in the world.
Curators: Pavel Pyś, Curator, Visual Arts; with Jadine Collingwood, Curatorial Fellow, Visual Arts
September 7, 2017–January 19, 2020
Galleries 1, 2, 3, and D
At a time of heightened uncertainty, division, and geopolitical tensions, I am you, you are too foregrounds works from the Walker’s collections that explore contemporary life through themes of citizenship and belonging, borders and barriers, and ways in which everyday life informs our understanding of ourselves. Bringing together a diverse, multigenerational, and international group of artists, the exhibition questions how we memorialize the past and understand the social, geographic, and political structures that shape us.
The show’s title is taken from I M U U R 2 (2013), a room-scaled installation by Danh Vo that considers how collected objects, such as knickknacks and souvenirs, can communicate who we are. Monuments and shared public space play a key role for Francis Alÿs, Song Dong, and Robert Longo, whose works examine the relationship between the individual and the state. Chantal Akerman and Julie Mehretu reflect upon shifting geographical borders and changing political systems, while Postcommodity and Wolfgang Tillmans reference debates on the Mexico-US border and Brexit, respectively. While some artists draw on recognizable places and known stories, others turn to abstraction to elicit themes of the place of the home, the city, and national belonging.
In the exhibition’s final gallery, a selection of works from the collection hang against wallpapers by Yto Barrada, Yoko Ono, and Adam Pendleton, forming unexpected juxtapositions across generations, geographies, and mediums. Seen together, these pieces chart ways that artists have challenged prevailing systems, including gender, race, and sexual orientation. In presenting a broad range of artistic approaches, I am you, you are too draws out timely questions of national identity, shifting political borders, and international and intercultural dialogue.
Artists in the Exhibition
Vito Acconci, Chantal Akerman, Francis Alÿs, Giovanni Anselmo, Siah Armajani, John Baldessari, Yto Barrada, Harriet Bart, Joseph Beuys, Alighiero Boetti, Mark Bradford, Stanley Brouwn, James Lee Byars, Luis Camnitzer, Sarah Charlesworth, Bruce Conner, Hanne Darboven, Michael Dean, Song Dong, Stan Douglas, Lara Favaretto, Leon Ferrari, Ellen Gallagher, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Dan Graham, Steven Gwon, David Hammons, Leslie Hewitt, Douglas Huebler, Alfredo Jaar, Ronald Jones, On Kawara, Nobuaki Kojima, Tetsumi Kudo, Yayoi Kusama, Ralph Lemon, Sherrie Levine, Sol LeWitt, Glenn Ligon, Robert Longo, Kerry James Marshall, Paul McCarthy, Dave McKenzie, Julie Mehretu, Cildo Meireles, Ana Mendieta, George Morrison, Nástio Mosquito, Bruce Nauman, Shirin Neshat, Rivane Neuenschwander, Lorraine O’Grady, Yoko Ono, Gabriel Orozco, Adam Pendleton, Howardena Pindell, Adrian Piper, Pope.L, Postcommodity, Walid Raad, Charles Ray, Gerhard Richter, Paul Sharits, Gary Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Robert Smithson, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Kwong Chi Tseng, Danh Vo, Andy Warhol, Rachel Whiteread, Christopher Williams, Carey Young
Curators: Vincenzo de Bellis, Curator, Visual Arts; Adrienne Edwards, Curator at Large, Visual Arts; Pavel Pyś, Curator, Visual Arts
March 17–July 29, 2018
Galleries 4, 5, 6, and 7
This major retrospective presents the work of Allen Ruppersberg (US, b. 1944), the artist’s first comprehensive US survey in more than 30 years. One of the most rigorous and inventive practitioners to emerge from the Conceptual art movement in the late 1960s, Ruppersberg has explored a wide range of media and approaches, rooted in language, images, and ideas filtered through the lens of mass culture. His projects consistently focus on the American vernacular—its books, music, popular images, and everyday ephemera—uncovering the visual details and unsung conventions that encourage a rediscovery of the past. Often participatory, Ruppersberg’s works invite a layered experience for the viewer through words and accumulated elements.
The exhibition offers an opportunity to experience the artist’s work with unprecedented breadth and depth. Many of the pieces—from private and public collections in Europe and elsewhere—have never before been exhibited in US museums. Featured artworks include early installations such as Al’s Cafe and Al’s Grand Hotel, his groundbreaking participatory projects of the late 1960s; photo-based narratives combining text and image; and more recent installations containing his commercial letterpress posters, ephemera, drawings, and films. The show will also include a selection of artist’s books. The exhibition is accompanied by a major catalogue published by the Walker Art Center.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Ruppersberg’s You & Me (2013)—a public artwork first shown as a billboard at the High Line, New York—is featured in the Target Project Space, adjacent to the Walker’s restaurant Esker Grove.
Curator: Siri Engberg, Senior Curator, Visual Arts; with Fabián Leyva-Barragán, Curatorial Fellow, Visual Arts
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis: March 17–July 29, 2018
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles: February 10–May 12, 2019
April 26–August 26, 2018
Galleries A & B
The work of interdisciplinary artist Jason Moran (US, b. 1975) is grounded in musical composition, yet bridges the visual and performing arts through stagecraft. Moran is known for using personal experience to create dynamic musical compositions that challenge the conventional form of the medium. His experimental approach to art-making embraces the intersection of objects and sound, pushing beyond the traditional staged concert or sculpture and drawing to amplify ways that both are inherently theatrical. This exhibition, the artist’s first museum show, features the range of work Moran has explored, from his own sculptural pieces and collaborations with visual artists to performances.
In all aspects of his work, Moran’s creative process is informed by one of the essential tenets of jazz music: the “set,” in which musicians come together to engage in a collaborative process of improvisation, riffing off of one another to create the musical experience. The exhibition highlights Moran’s mixed-media set installations STAGED: Savoy Ballroom 1 and STAGED: Three Deuces (both 2015), sculptural vignettes based on storied music venues from past eras that were his acclaimed contributions to the 2015 Venice Biennale. The presentation includes the premiere of a new sculptural commission from this series that takes inspiration from the celebrated New York jazz venue Slugs’ Saloon, which was open from 1964 to the early 1970s. Also featured will be a selection of Moran’s most recent charcoal drawings and time-based media works from his long-standing collaborations with visual artists including Theaster Gates, Joan Jonas, Glenn Ligon, Julie Mehretu, Lorna Simpson, and Kara Walker, each of whom also has an extensive relationship to the Walker.
In-gallery musical performances, activating the sculptures, are orchestrated during the run of the show to complement the gallery presentation. On the occasion of his museum debut, the artist returned to the McGuire Theater stage to premiere a new commissioned work, The Last Jazz Fest, his second performance to be commissioned by the Walker. The exhibition complements the Walker’s long and meaningful history in the performing arts with Moran, which began in 2001 and includes a residency and five engagements to date.
Contains mature content.
Curated by Adrienne Edwards, Curator at Large, Visual Arts; with Danielle Jackson, Mellon Interdisciplinary Fellow, Visual Arts
Institute of Contemporary Arts, Boston: September 19, 2018 through January 21, 2019
Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio: June 1 to August 11, 2019
April 12–October 14, 2018
Scavenged, arranged, and transformed. The artworks in this exhibition bring everyday objects into the museum—and in doing so, reveal a process by which bits of life become art. The show’s title is borrowed from artist duo Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s video The Way Things Go (1987), which follows a contraption made of car tires, balloons, fireworks, and other ordinary things that carry out a sequence of chain reactions. Here, a selection of works drawn from the Walker’s collection encourages us to find the poetry in the mundane by focusing on artists’ experiments with humble materials.
Many of these works were made using techniques of collage or assemblage, in which various elements are combined into a single whole. In this way, familiar and commonplace items take on new forms or meanings. A ball of modeling clay rolled through New York streets, strips of steel salvaged from a junkyard, motorcycle helmets, a bottle of lotion—artists’ unlikely combinations of overlooked things and consumer goods open new possibilities for the scraps and substance of everyday life.
The presentation highlights recent acquisitions and includes pieces by Robert Breer, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Wade Guyton, Rachel Harrison, Rosy Keyser, Cady Noland, Gabriel Orozco, Laure Prouvost, Robert Rauschenberg, Jason Rhoades, and Gedi Sibony.
Curators: Victoria Sung, Assistant Curator, Visual Arts, and Jadine Collingwood, Curatorial Fellow, Visual Arts
June 26–October 7, 2018
Sailboat Race: Bde Maka Ska, Minneapolis (Saturday, June 23)
Installation: Cowles Pavilion, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
This summer, experience Voile/Toile – Toile/Voile (Sail/Canvas – Canvas/Sail), the US premiere of a major public artwork by conceptual artist Daniel Buren (France, b. 1938). For more than 50 years, Buren has been expanding the possibilities of painting by placing boldly striped works in public spaces around the world—in galleries, city squares, and train stations; on monuments, bridges, and billboards. His two-part project Sail/Canvas – Canvas/Sail, which includes a sailboat race and an installation, marks the first presentation of the work in the United States.
The race (June 23) on Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis featured nine sailboats outfitted with the artist’s signature custom-made, striped sails with a crew of students from the Minneapolis Sailing Center. An outdoor installation of the sails as artworks is presented in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden’s Cowles Pavilion on the Walker campus. For this display, the order was determined by each team’s placement in the competition. Conceived especially for Minneapolis, the “City of Lakes,” Buren’s artwork will become part of the Walker’s collection this fall—and Sail/Canvas – Canvas/Sail will be on the lake again in the future.
The title is a play on words that emphasizes the dual nature of the striped canvases as both painting and sail, removing painting from its lofty tradition and inserting it into a discourse of utility. For this work, Buren considers the sail to be a painting and the water to be its exhibition space. When the sails are put on display, the artist describes, “They are canvases that sail the wall. They expose and exhibit themselves as such. But if you go back to their source, they are and will be for a long time to come, painting setting sail.”
Curator: Pavel Pyś, Curator, Visual Arts; with Fabián Leyva-Barragán, Curatorial Fellow, Visual Arts