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Celebrating 75 Years of Innovative Art

"75 Gifts for 75 Years" and other current exhibits celebrate the community art staple that is The Walker Art Center


Robert Indiana's "Love" sculpture on display at The Walker in the "75 Gifts for 75 Years" exhibit, on view through July 26.

Photo By Kelcie McKenney

The Walker Art Center, known for its creative and innovative approaches to contemporary art and as a staple to the Minneapolis art scene, has been celebrating its 75th anniversary.

To commemorate the celebration, the exhibition “75 Gifts for 75 Years” was developed and curated with the intention of focusing on how important gifts and donations of art have been in helping the museum build their collection. The curators solicited 75 donors to give from their personal collections to create the exhibition.

With a combination of gifts of painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, video and print, the exhibition shows pieces from the past and present and even some by artists who haven’t been shown in The Walker before.

From the Robert Indiana “Love” sculpture on display—a favorite photo-opp for visitors—to a truck bed backed horizontally up a wall or a print of Kara Walker’s “Cut” from 1998, the eclectic yet cohesive exhibit showcases the past 75 years of The Walker and, with the addition of several up-and-coming artists, the excitement of what’s to come.

The “75 Gifts for 75 Years” exhibition only runs through July 26, so a visit is strongly encouraged before the anniversary showcase closes. Consider stopping by on a Thursday night when admission is free from 5-9 p.m.

The celebration doesn’t end there. Also part of the 75th anniversary is the exhibition “Art at the Center: Recent Acquisitions.” Located in the Burnet Gallery, everything on display is a recent addition to the museum of diverse art from a range of artists.

One of the included pieces is the video “Heavy Rotation” by Chris Larson, a local Minneapolis artist and instructor at the University of Minnesota’s art department. The short film puts the viewer in the middle of a curious journey through a space built and designed by Larson himself as he pushes the viewer to question dimension and space as well as how the mind perceives it.

"The most significant change in my work in the past few years is in the way I approach my video work,” Larson explained. “I started out as a sculptor, and I still consider myself first and foremost a sculptor in the way I use video and photography.”

With a long list of recognized sculpture installations and video work, as well as a number of awards behind him, Larson’s development as an artist has been recently noted in the community.

“Years ago, when I started using film and video in my work, the camera was used to film the objects and spaces that I built,” Larson said. “Now I am building spaces and objects based on what I see through the eye of the camera."

The “Art at the Center: Recent Acquisitions” exhibit is open through Oct. 25, with Larson’s “Heavy Rotation” and a number of works from other global and local artists on display. 

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