MINNEAPOLIS, January 21 2016—The Walker Art Center announces an expansive new program of acquisitions and commissions by leading international contemporary artists for the redeveloped Walker campus and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The works will be installed following completion of the first substantial update to the 19-acre campus in more than a decade, with the Garden set to reopen to the public in June 2017.
The Walker opens this new chapter by adding 16 artworks in the Garden and throughout the campus via commissions, gifts, and purchases. Artists included are: Nairy Baghramian, Frank Big Bear, Tony Cragg, Sam Durant, Katharina Fritsch, Theaster Gates, Robert Indiana, Kcho, Liz Larner, Sol LeWitt, Mark Manders, Matthew Monahan, Philippe Parreno, Eva Rothschild, Monika Sosnowska, and Aaron Spangler. These artists bring a range of diverse, global voices from seven countries, increase the number of women artists represented, and include many notable career firsts. Commissions include the first permanent outdoor works by artists Nairy Baghramian, Theaster Gates, Mark Manders, Philippe Parreno, and Aaron Spangler. Each of the commissioned works is site-specific, establishing a new contemporary dialogue with existing works and building upon the Sculpture Garden’s strong historic presentation of both figurative and geometric abstract works.
First created through the vision of the Walker’s Director Emeritus Martin Friedman nearly 30 years ago as a partnership between the Walker and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was the first public/private urban sculpture park of its kind and has served as a model for urban sculpture parks nationwide. Anchored by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry, the Garden has welcomed more than nine million visitors since first opening in 1988, showcasing more than 40 works from the Walker’s internationally renowned collection ranging from figurative, abstract, and historically notable sculpture. Part of the institution’s 75th anniversary as a public art center, the campus renovation and Garden reconstruction includes: a new entrance pavilion, indoor and outdoor dining, expanded green space next to the Walker and along Hennepin Avenue, five added acres for artwork, modernization of outdoor spaces with sustainable technologies, and a seamless integration of the Walker and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
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