Extra Credit: Familiar Faces at The Walker Arts Center (Jenna Speare)

I recently took a trip to Minneapolis to visit an old friend. Being that is was my first time in this city, I requested that my friend take me to two places: Mall of America and The Walker Arts Center. After fulfilling my childhood dreams of walking inside the American Girl Doll Store, I spent most of my day finding that I was familiar with many of the pieces exhibited at the Walker Arts Center, many of which we have learned about in this class.

The piece I was most excited to recognize was a lone Clyfford Still Painting, standing tall at the top of the staircase. I could pick it out from across the room and knew immediately that it was his. The Clyfford Still Piece, Untitled, 1950, like many of his other paintings, was large scale, bold colors, with two primary colors taking over a majority of the panel. In this case it was a vivid red, overlaying black with touches of maroon and royal blue.

Other familiar pieces that I recognized were by artists such as Gerard Richter, Charles Ray, Chuck Close, Richard Tuttle, Cindy Sherman and more specifically: Laurence Weiner and Ernesto Neto.

Laurence Weiner has one of his famous text pieces on the side of the Walker Arts Center reading, “BITS & PIECES PUT TOGETHER TO PRESENT A SEMBLANCE OF A WHOLE”, 2001. I didn’t notice the piece as it was not visible on my drive in, but ended up running around the side of the building when I noticed employees with the text on their t-shirts.

Ernesto Neto, who we learned about last class, had an installation originally created for a dance performance in the Walker Arts Center, still hanging high. I wasn’t aware of his work at the time, but after learning about his work in lecture, I am glad I spent a good amount of time looking at this piece. It is called Dance Works II, and was put together in correlation with Merce Cunningham. While it does not contain the fabric tunnels we were shown in class, there are large masses falling from the ceiling, contained in a thin transparent fabric, and there is one mass of fabric sitting in the center of the room.

My visit to the Walker Arts Center was definitely enhanced by being an Art Student at CU and taking this Contemporary Art Survey this semester. I have learned so much and I was able to pass that knowledge onto my friends.

Please!! If you ever get the chance, go check out this museum, it was absolutely amazing. Take what you can from this class, it has already opened my eyes to pieces of work that I might not have even glanced at before, but now that I have learned about theses artists and their history, I am more open to viewing new artists when I go to museums or galleries, but I am also searching for the pieces of art that came into my vocabulary this semester!

For those of you who havent had the chance to visit this art museum, here are some of the works that you might see while you are there:

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