The Walker Art Center’s exhibition schedule stretches backwards and forwards in time with solo shows and group exhibitions. The season’s opening exhibition Theaster Gates: Assembly Hall (September 5, 2019–January 12, 2020) brings Gates’s collections into a museum context for the first time for his first U.S. exhibition. The artist’s first outdoor commission, Black Vessel for a Saint, 2017 graces the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.Other upcoming highlights include: The Expressionist Figure: 100 Years Of Modern and Contemporary Drawing (November 17, 2019–April 19, 2020), an exhibition featuring some 100 drawings that explore the expressive potential of the human body and reflects a generous gift that will bolster the Walker’s extensive holdings of works on paper; An Art Of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960–2018 (February 16–September 20, 2020), a survey of six decades of Johns’ work in printmaking drawn from the Walker’s complete collection of the artists’ prints including intaglio, lithography, woodcut, linoleum cut, screenprinting, lead relief, and blind embossing; Still and Yet (April 18–July 26, 2020), an exhibition that rethinks the history of performance, featuring artists whose works include performative elements but also embrace acts, objects, and gestures that refer more to the inert qualities of traditional painting or sculpture than to true staged action. Additional exhibitions include Michaela Eichwald’s (June 13–November 8, 2020) first US solo museum presentation, bringing together painting, sculpture, and collage from across the past 10 years of her practice; Designs for Different Futures (September 12, 2020 – January 3, 2021)—a collaborative group show co-organized by the Walker Art Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago—brings together about 80 dynamic works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may encounter in the years, decades, and centuries to come; Rayyane Tabet: 1858–1958–2058 (December 12, 2020–April 18, 2021), a solo show by the Beirut-based multidisciplinary artist featuring a new installation for the Walker that begins with a time capsule discovered on the site of what was once an IBM manufacturing facility in Rochester, Minnesota, and Julie Mehretu, (March 14–July 11, 2021) the first-ever comprehensive retrospective on the work of the artist, a former Walker artist-in-residence.
Walker Executive Director Mary Ceruti comments, “Looking ahead to our upcoming exhibitions, it strikes me as uniquely Walker—the mix of emerging, mid-career, and established artists along with shows like Still and Yet, an example of our long commitment and contributions to interdisciplinary practice. Julie Mehretu first showed at the Walker in 2001, she had a residency and a solo exhibition at the Walker in 2003. It is exciting to welcome her back at such a high moment in her career and to have her share space on the calendar with a more emerging artist such as Rayyane Tabet. It is exactly this combination of historical continuity and bold experimentation that makes the Walker program so exciting.”
“How do we deal with abandonment, ruin, decay? How do we start to imagine ourselves as deeper caretakers of the things that exist in the world?” —Theaster Gates
Theaster Gates’s (US, b. 1973) multifaceted practice includes sculpture, installation, performance, and architectural interventions. An important aspect of his work entails reclaiming and revitalizing abandoned buildings in neighborhoods across Chicago’s South Side. These spaces, called Dorchester Projects and the Stony Island Arts Bank, have become catalysts for creative and cultural gatherings, and now serve as repositories for thousands of objects. Taking things that have been cast aside from libraries, archives, and collections, the artist asks us to consider what it means to invest objects with new meanings through the simple acts of conservation and care.
This exhibition brings a number of Gates’s collections into a museum context for the first time. The Walker’s galleries will be transformed into a Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art, which transposes the artist’s vast collections and studio environment into four immersive rooms, each infused with his own poetic intervention. Included are selections from 60,000 slides of art/architectural history from the University of Chicago Glass Lantern Slides Collection; 15,000 books and periodicals, furniture, and other ephemera from the Johnson Publishing Company Archives & Collections; 4,000 objects from the Edward J. Williams Collection of “Negrobilia”; and ceramic pots and other wares that the artist has made or collected over the past decade. Taken together, the objects on view speak to what Gates calls “the truth of the everyday” and demonstrate his “deep belief in the objects and histories of African American material culture.”
In 2017 Gates unveiled his first outdoor commission Black Vessel for a Saint (2017) in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Composed of custom-made black bricks, the temple-like structure provides a permanent home for a salvaged statue of Saint Laurence, the patron saint of librarians and archivists.
Curator: Victoria Sung, assistant curator, Visual Arts
November 17, 2019–April 19, 2020
This exhibition features some 100 works on paper that explore the expressive potential of the human body. In this richly varied presentation, viewers will find portraiture, social satire, narrative, fantasy, and erotica in media ranging from crayon, ink, and graphite to watercolor, pastel, and collage. The drawings span more than a century of artistic experimentation, beginning with an exquisite charcoal study of a bather by the French Impressionist Edgar Degas, executed around 1900, to a mordant parody ofThe Wizard of Oz made in 2015 by the Minnesota-based Anishinabe artist Jim Denomie. Because many of the drawings are part of a gift to the Walker from an important private collector, the exhibition is not only a presentation of virtuoso artworks but also a testament to the pleasure of building a collection and the rewards of sharing it.
Among the 65 artists in the exhibition are Chuck Close, Brent Cook Dizney, Willem de Kooning, Otto Dix, Marlene Dumas, Arshile Gorky, Jasper Johns, William Kentridge, Paul Klee, Gustav Klimt, René Magritte, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Chris Ofili, Elizabeth Peyton, Pablo Picasso, Egon Schiele, Ben Shahn, Rosemarie Trockel, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol.
Curators: Joan Rothfuss, guest curator, Visual Arts
AN ART OF CHANGES: JASPER JOHNS PRINTS, 1960–2018
February 16–September 20, 2020
When Jasper Johns’s paintings of flags and targets debuted in 1958, they brought him instant acclaim and established him as a critical link between Abstract Expressionism and Pop art. In the ensuing 60 years, Johns (US, b. 1930) has continued to astonish viewers with the beauty and complexity of his paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints. Today, he is today considered one of the 20th century’s greatest American artists.
An Art of Changes surveys six decades of Johns’s work in printmaking through a selection of some 90 works in intaglio, lithography, woodcut, linoleum cut, screenprinting, lead relief, and blind embossing —all drawn from the Walker’s complete collection of the artist’s prints. Organized in four thematic, roughly chronological sections, the exhibition follows Johns as he revises and recycles key motifs over time. Viewers will see examples of his familiar flags and targets as well as images that explore artists’ tools, materials, and techniques of mark-making; abstract works based on motifs known as flagstones and hatch marks; and later works that teem with autobiographical and personal imagery. To underscore Johns’s fascination with the changes that occur when an image is reworked in another medium, the prints will be augmented by a small selection of paintings and sculptures. After its presentation at the Walker, the exhibition will travel to three US venues.
Curators: Joan Rothfuss, guest curator, Visual Arts
April 18–July 26, 2020
Presenting works from the early 20th century to today, Still and Yet examines the notion of stillness as both a performative and visual gesture, featuring artists who have constructed static or near-static experiments that hover somewhere between action and representation as they are experienced in the gallery.Stillness and permanence are qualities typically seen as inherent to painting and sculpture—consider the frozen gestures of a historical tableau, the timelessness of a still life painting, or the unyielding solidity of a bronze or marble figure. Still and Yet, however, expands the artwork’s quality of stillness to accommodate uncertain temporalities and physical states. The exhibition rethinks the history of performance, featuring artists whose works include performative elements but also embrace acts, objects, and gestures that refer more to the inert qualities of traditional painting or sculpture than to true staged action. Investigating the interplay between the fixed image and the live body, this major group exhibition showcases some 100 works by approximately 70 artists, including live performances of works by Francesco Arena, Simone Forti, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Anthea Hamilton, Maria Hassabi, Pierre Huyghe, Anne Imhof, Joan Jonas, Goshka Macuga, Senga Nengudi, Roman Ondák, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Tino Sehgal, Cally Spooner, and Franz Erhard Walther.
Curators: Vincenzo de Bellis, curator and associate director of programs, Visual Arts; with Jadine Collingwood, curatorial fellow, Visual Arts
June 4–November 8, 2020
Trained in literature and philosophy, Berlin-based artist and writer Michaela Eichwald (Germany, b. 1967) works predominantly as a painter. This exhibition, the artist’s first US solo museum presentation, brings together painting, sculpture, and collage from across the past 10 years of her practice.Bridging abstraction and figuration, Eichwald’s densely layered paintings refuse to easily subscribe to a particular style or historical movement. Their extraordinary surfaces—printed canvas or imitation leather—bear an alchemical combination of acrylic, oil, tempera, spray paint, mordant, graphite, varnish, and lacquer. Whether in large- or small-scale formats, her works combine smooth paint strokes and quick smudges, from which occasionally emerge figurative forms and snippets of text. While gestural and rough mark-making might recall postwar painting styles such as Tachisme, Neo-Expressionism, or Japanese Gutai, her paintings resist simple reference to a particular time or lineage, instead amalgamating and churning through the history of painterly styles and techniques.To create her sculptures, Eichwald pours resin into bags, rubber gloves, and plastic bottles, in which she captures uncommon and dissonant materials, such as chicken bones, erasers, jewelry, chalk, mushrooms, fishing tackle, needles, potato sprouts, candy, small drawings, and hardboiled eggs. At once repulsive and alluring, grotesque and seductive, the resultant artworks are somewhere between trophies, tchotchkes, and time capsules, suggestive of pieces of amber or digesting stomachs. Filled with humor and wit, Eichwald’s works draw on references to theology, philosophy, and art history as well as her immediate surroundings, everyday thinking, reading, life, and friends.
Curators: Pavel Pyś, curator, Visual Arts
DESIGNS FOR DIFFERENT FUTURES
September 12, 2020–January 3, 2021
The role of designers in shaping how we think about the future is the subject of Designs for Different Futures, a major exhibition organized by the Walker Art Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition brings together some 80 dynamic works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may encounter in the years, decades, and centuries ahead.
Thinking about the future has always been part of the human condition. It has also been a perennial field of inquiry for designers and architects whose speculations on this subject—ranging from the concrete to the whimsical—can profoundly affect how we imagine what is to come. Among the questions today’s designers seek to answer are: What role can technology play in augmenting or replacing a broad range of human activities? Can intimacy be maintained at a distance? How can we negotiate privacy in a world in which the sharing and use of personal information has blurred traditional boundaries? How might we use design to help heal or transform ourselves, bodily and psychologically? How will we feed an ever-growing population?
While no one can precisely predict the future, the works in the exhibition provide design solutions for a number of speculative scenarios. In some instances, these proposals are borne from a sense of anxiety, and in others of a sense of excitement over the possibilities that innovative materials, new technologies, and fresh ideas can afford.
The exhibition is divided into eleven thematic sections: Work, Cities, Intimacies, Bodies, Powers, Off Earth, Foods, Materials, Generations, Informations, and Resources and features an international array of designers from all fields. Among the many forward-looking projects on view, visitors to Designs for Different Futures will encounter lab-grown food, robotic companions, digital kiss messengers, textiles made of seaweed, a typeface that thwarts algorithmic surveillance, a series of books that will only be available 100 years from now, an affordable gene-editing toolbox, a shoe grown from sweat, a couture dress made with a 3D printer, and a system that learns from our sewers.
Each of these projects—from small product innovations to large-scale system proposals—asks us to imagine a future different than what we expect, and in doing so, helps us craft a fascinating portrait of our diverse and turbulent present.
Designs for Different Futures is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Designs for Different Futures is accompanied by a major, full-illustrated publication overseen by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, designed by the Walker Art Center, and distributed by Yale University Press. Through new contributions by the exhibition’s curatorial team and a broad range of scholars and designers, the catalogue delves into the themes of the exhibition, including human-digital interaction, climate change, political and social inequality, resource scarcity, transportation, and infrastructure.
Philadelphia Museum of Art: October 22, 2019-March 8, 2020
Walker Art Center: September 12, 2020–January 3, 2021
Art Institute of Chicago: February 6 –May 16, 2021
The curatorial team is comprised of Emmet Byrne, Design Director and Associate Curator of Design, Walker Art Center; Kathryn B. Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator and Michelle Millar Fisher, formerly The Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant Curator in the department of European Decorative Arts after 1700, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design, and Zoë Ryan, the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design, the Art Institute of Chicago. Consulting curators are Andrew Blauvelt, Director, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and Curator-at-Large, Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Colin Fanning, Independent Scholar, Bard Graduate Center, New York; and Orkan Telhan, Associate Professor of Fine Arts (Emerging Design Practices), University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia.
RAYYANE TABET: 1858–1958–2058
December 12, 2020–April 18, 2021
Drawing from lived experience and self-directed research, Beirut-based multidisciplinary artist Rayyane Tabet offers alternative understandings of major sociopolitical events through the exploration of individual narratives. Informed by his training in architecture and sculpture, his work investigates paradoxes in the built environment and its history through installations that play with the perception of physical and temporal distance.
His works include the ongoing series Fragments, a body of work begun in 2016 that takes as its starting point an early 20th-century archaeological dig in Tell Halaf, Syria, where the artist’s great-grandfather served as a translator during the excavation. Weaving together family stories with official accounts, Tabet offers a window into understanding complex contemporary geopolitics—in particular, questions surrounding the preservation of cultural artifacts and migration patterns—through the lens of the historical past.
For this exhibition, Tabet is creating a new installation for the Walker that begins with a time capsule discovered on the site of what was once an IBM manufacturing facility in Rochester, Minnesota. From there, he weaves together an array of subjects—Minnesota’s founding; the rise, decline, and reinvention of IBM computing technology; the industrywide shift from hardware to software; and elements of modernist architecture and design—to tell a story that spans two centuries: 1858–1958–2058.
Curator: Victoria Sung, assistant curator, Visual Arts
March 14–July 11, 2021
This exhibition marks the first-ever comprehensive retrospective on the work of Julie Mehretu. Known for her large-scale abstract canvases, Mehretu uses painting techniques that range from precisely drawn lines and layering of various media to brushed, scratched, and rubbed marks to balletic gestures of varying weight and viscosity. Within her superimposed picture planes is imagery that expresses the complexities of our civilization—examining history, colonialism, capitalism, geopolitics, war, diaspora, and displacement—in all of its chaos and beauty.
Julie Mehretu covers the full arc of the artist’s career, from her early work featuring architectural and graphic elements, geographical schema, and plans for public spaces to her recent bold canvases with figurative elements layered amid pixelated, printed, sprayed, and drawn gestures. The exhibition brings together some 35 large-scale paintings with 35 prints and drawings dating from 1996 to the present. Mehretu’s play with scale, from her intricate drawings and prints to her large canvases, will be explored in depth, as will her techniques of combining color, line, and brushstrokes to create her unique surfaces.
Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1970, Julie Mehretu was raised in East Lansing, Michigan. Since 1999, she has lived and worked in New York, establishing herself as one of the most exciting painters working in the United States. She is a recipient of the US State Department’s National Medal of Arts (2015) and a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant” (2005), among other awards and honors. In 2002–2003, Mehretu participated in a yearlong residency at the Walker Art Center.
Julie Mehretu is co-organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The Walker’s presentation of the exhibition will be the final destination on a national tour, originating at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (November 3, 2019–May 17, 2020) and continuing to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (June 26–September 20, 2020) and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta (October 24, 2020–January 31, 2021).
Curators: Christine Y. Kim, associate curator of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; with Rujeko Hockley, assistant curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
The Walker’s presentation is coordinated by Siri Engberg, senior curator, Visual Arts.
March 30–July 21, 2019
In an age dominated by digital technology, The Body Electric explores themes of the real and virtual, the organic and artificial, moving from the physical world to the screen and back again. Looking across the past 50 years, the exhibition presents works by 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.Video cameras record private moments and public spectacles, photographs capture alternate personas, and digital avatars simulate human behavior. Together, they reveal ways that technology changes our collective understanding of the body, everyday life, and sense of self. From the inviting and familiar to the provocative and unsettling, the works in the exhibition move nimbly from the material world to the space of the screen and back again.
The exhibition begins with a pioneering 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, a newly created installation by Joan Jonas conflates the physical world and its representation, while footage of performances by the Wooster Group offers a frenetic meditation on the all-pervasive presence of technology and the fusion of body and screen.
Works by Sanja Iveković, Howardena Pindell, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, 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, Pierre Huyghe, and Sidsel Meineche Hansen, while sculptures by Robert Gober and Anicka Yi as well as an immersive installation by Trisha Baga explore the slippery ambiguity of materials poised between the digital and analog, the real and rendered.For Lynn Hershman Leeson, Sondra Perry, and Martine Syms, the lens of the camera creates a space to rethink the representation of sociopolitical identities and to question the structures that govern our understanding of race and gender. The presentation concludes with works by Josh Kline, Carolyn Lazard, Candice Lin and Patrick Staff, and Marianna Simnett that reflect on the malleability of the body, speaking to themes of care, surgical intervention, and chemical and biological processes imperceptible to the human eye.The exhibition continues in the Main Lobby with Zach Blas’s Icosahedron (2019), an artificially intelligent crystal ball.After the Walker’s presentation, the exhibition will travel to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco: September 6, 2019–January 26, 2020.
FIVE WAYS IN: THEMES FROM THE COLLECTION
February 14, 2019–September 5, 2021
Does a portrait need to resemble its subject? Can a sculpture also be a landscape? The Walker’s newest collection exhibition takes a look at these and other questions through an exciting selection of works from the not-so-distant past and the current moment. The presentation is organized by five familiar themes: portraiture, the interior scene, landscape, still life, and abstraction. Each of these areas features a diverse range of artists whose approaches to their subjects are often unconventional, innovative, and even surprising.
With more than 100 works—painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and video installations—the exhibition Five Ways In: Themes from the Collection invites us to become reacquainted with favorites from the collection and discover new pieces by artists who are reinventing genres we thought we knew.
Long used by artists as way to explore the self, identity, and the body, portraits have a unique capacity to capture the essence of an individual. This section includes both traditional portraits and others made in unexpected ways.
The indoor space can be a reflection of the artist’s creative environment and a site for observing the complexities or pleasures of life. Highlighted here are various takes on the subject of the interior, from domestic settings to public places to artists’ studios.
Many artists have reconsidered and expanded the notion of the landscape to include deeper meditations on the natural world—detailed observations of the outdoor environment that range from the specific to the abstract.
Considering work by artists who celebrate the ordinary, this section brings together intriguing still lifes, singular takes on everyday language, and works that make the commonplace seem unfamiliar through changes in scale or materials.
Line, form, color, and shape are key to artists who embrace abstraction. The works here explore pure gesture and the physical properties of materials in compelling and inventive ways.
Curator: Siri Engberg, senior curator, Visual Arts; with Jadine Collingwood, curatorial fellow, Visual Arts; and Alexandra Nicome, interpretation fellow, Education and Public Programs
ALLORA & CALZADILLA: CHALK
February 14, 2019–September 8, 2019
“We could say that the trace is our medium; at once a poetic trope and a set of material operations, the trace links presence and absence, inscription and erasure, preservation and destruction, and appearance and disappearance.” —Allora & Calzadilla
Human-size sticks of chalk—each 64 inches long and approximately 120 pounds—fill Gallery 7, which has been transformed into an environment open to spontaneous mark-making. With a chalkboard spanning the walls and floor, this art installation by collaborators Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla has been presented in cities around the world, including Lima, Peru; Zapopan, Mexico; Sydney; Paris; Boston; and New York. Chalk provides a physical forum for participants to exchange ideas, evolving into a social and political portrait of the community.
Puerto Rico–based Allora & Calzadilla have collaborated since 1995, creating works that reach across sculpture, video, performance, and photography. Through their incisive practice, they engage with questions of history, culture, and geopolitics.
Curator: Victoria Sung, assistant curator, Visual Arts
I AM YOU, YOU ARE TOO
September 7, 2017–March 1, 2020
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 an 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 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.
Curators: Vincenzo de Bellis, curator and associate director of programs, Visual Arts; Adrienne Edwards, curator at large, Visual Arts; Pavel Pyś, curator, Visual Arts
PLATFORMS: COLLECTION AND COMMISSIONS
November 15, 2018–August 25, 2019
Established and emerging artists, historical and contemporary themes: Platforms juxtaposes moving image works from the Walker’s collection with new commissions by 12 international artists. The films and videos on view cover a wide range of political and cultural issues—from atomic bomb testing on Bikini Atoll to telepathic improvisation—all while staying at the forefront of the avant-garde. The new works bridge generations: the contemporary artists each create a piece inspired by the work of a specific predecessor. The dynamic initiative weaves together production, scholarship, distribution, and archival research.Platforms is divided into six rotations, each presenting a single landmark film from the collection, alongside the commissions it inspired. Viewers are encouraged to visit the exhibition multiple times to experience yet another new perspective.
1. Exchanging Histories, November 15 January 6: Bruce Conner, James Richards, Leslie Thornton
2. Shared Cultures, January 8–February 24: Yto Barrada, Harun Farocki, Renée Green
3. Inhabited Figures, February 26–April 14: Uri Aran, Marcel Broodthaers, Shahryar Nashat
4. Sonic Landscapes, April 16–June 2: Moyra Davey, Derek Jarman, James Richards
5. Political Presence, June 4–July 21: Marwa Arsanios, Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, Harun Farocki
6. Reimagining Life, July 23–August 25: Maya Deren, Kevin Jerome Everson, William Klein, Deborah Stratman
Curators: Sheryl Mousley, senior curator, Moving Image; and Ruth Hodgins, Bentson archivist/assistant curator, Moving Image
December 8, 2018–March 1, 2020
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 analog and digital photography, animation, and motion graphics, her works are often accompanied by scrolling text, narrated by a computerized voice and paired with music.
Conceived in response to the architecture and past history of the Walker’s gallery, this solo exhibition features two new moving image works—FELT TIP and KOHL (both 2018)—marking the artist’s first commission for a US museum. Projected floor to ceiling at over 15 feet, FELT TIP 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. Conceived as a ghost story, KOHL describes a vast and unseen underground liquid network that hosts mysterious apparitions called “visitants,” who hint at ways that the mining of coal has underpinned much of our present social reality. 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.
Curators: Pavel Pyś, curator, Visual Arts; with Jadine Collingwood, curatorial fellow, Visual Arts
Elizabeth Price’s FELT TIP (2018) is commissioned by the Walker Art Center, Film and Video Umbrella, and Nottingham Contemporary with support from Arts Council England.