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The Walker’s Most Popular Articles of 2012: Haring, Hodges, and a Giant Folding Chair

Since relaunching last December as a hub for sharing original ideas about art and contemporary culture, the Walker homepage has published more than 100 original pieces, from articles and interviews to slideshows and visual essays. Here’s the work that our readers responded to most over the last 12 months. 1. Buoyant Boulders: The addition of […]

Since relaunching last December as a hub for sharing original ideas about art and contemporary culture, the Walker homepage has published more than 100 original pieces, from articles and interviews to slideshows and visual essays. Here’s the work that our readers responded to most over the last 12 months.

Jim Hodges, Untitled (2011)

Jim Hodges, Untitled (2011)

1. Buoyant Boulders: The addition of four, shining steel-clad boulders to the Walker hillside has brought us a new icon, and the announcement of the acquisition of Jim Hodges’ Untitled (2011) presaged later looks at the installation and thinking behind the mammoth works. Dubbed “buoyant monoliths” by executive director Olga Viso, the works were purchased in advance of a 2014 retrospective of Hodges’ work, organized by the Walker and the Dallas Museum of Art.

Installing Robert Therrien’s giant folding table and chairs

Installing Robert Therrien’s giant folding table and chairs

2. More Real than Real: From a gigantic church-basement folding table and chair set to a tiny replica of a bee, works in the Walker-organized exhibition Lifelike entranced visitors with art that questions the nature of “the real.” Julie Caniglia’s keystone essay captured readers as well, traversing both through art history and through the exhibition, from Ron Mueck’s crouching boy to Ai Weiwei’s sunflower seeds, Jonathan Seligman’s gigantic sculptural homage to a carton of Vitamin D milk to a tiny (functioning) elevator by Maurizio Cattelan.

Keith Haring in front of his mural, Walker Art Center, 1984

Keith Haring in front of his mural, Walker Art Center, 1984

3. Haring in the House: Created a few months after the debut of Apple’s first Macintosh, Keith Haring’s mural of a computer-headed creature now seems prescient. This account of the residency that brought the famed NYC graffiti artist to the Walker 28 years ago includes a quick video of Haring at work, plus a Walker staffer remembering how Haring “drew a radiant baby in the schmutz on the back of my hatchback.”

Young Jean Lee, Untitled Feminist Show, 2012

Young Jean Lee, Untitled Feminist Show, 2012

4. Hot Couture: Costuming was one of many challenges faced by Obie-winning Out There 24 artist Young Jean Lee when creating the text-free–and ultimately clothing-free–work Untitled Feminist Show. “Nudity was the only way for us to de-objectify the performers,” she says in this interview. “No matter what we had them wear—say, if we had them wearing really frumpy clothes—that could be hot, too. We had them wearing these astronaut uniforms, and that was hot. Everything we put them in was hot, and I wanted them to be people and not these hot women.”

Candy Chang, Before I Die, 2011

Candy Chang, Before I Die, 2011

5. Fill-in-the-Blank: A graphic designer, guerrilla artist, and urban planner, Candy Chang has spearheaded interactive fill-in-the-blank projects from the Before I Die wall (installed on a vacant building in post-Katrina New Orleans) to her latest, Neighborland (in which residents can share their dreams for their neighborhoods, online and in the streets). How she answered for us one of her signature questions: “Before I die I want to hole up and read books in soulful hotels.”

Other popular stories from 2012:

Design’s “Dark Lord” Discusses the Walker’s Black-Metal Logo

Orbital Geography: Trevor Paglen’s Cave Painting for Space

Cindy Sherman: Interview with a Chameleon

Unconventionally Real: Nine Artists Discuss Their Work in Lifelike

dOCUMENTA (13): The Uncommodifiable Quinquennial

How Warhol Did Not Murder Painting but Masterminded the Killing of Content

Tombstone for Phùng Vo

What Can Saddam Teach Us About Democracy? Or, Why Did Paul Chan Publish a Book About a Dictator’s Speeches?

Postcards from America: A Creative Road Trip with Alec Soth and Magnum Photographers

JoAnn Verburg on Newspapers as Portals to the Political

 

Related: The Walker’s Most Popular Blog Posts of 2012: Cats!