Blogs Centerpoints Design

Bits & Pieces: Todd Haynes, WACPacks, prize artists, and more

Director Todd Haynes and his films have appeared at the Walker on a number of occasions, including a few weeks ago when he talked with his good friend Kelly Reichardt at the regional premiere of her new film Meek’s Cutoff. Now he’s gearing up to film a May 31 concert by My Morning Jacket — the […]

The Design Show also recognized the Walker for its exhibitions and catalogues for Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers and From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America (by designers Dante Carlos and Emmet Byrne). Click here for all the 2011 winners.

 

 

  • Some around here regarded Rachel Harrison’s recent Calder Prize with raised eyebrows; for others, it bolstered their appreciation of sculptures like Huffy Howler (below). Doesn’t this 2004  work, part of the Walker collection, suddenly seem a bit Calder-esque after that prize? The 2009 Calder Prize went to Tomás Saraceno, who exhibited here that same year.

  • Finally, here’s a first look at the poster soon to be featured on the Nice Ride bike rack outside the Walker’s Hennepin entrance:

 

 

 

 

Dwell: A Photo Caption Contest

To our wonderful, funny, and sarcastic readers and visitors– This month, Dwell features the Julie Snow-designed home of the Walker’s very own Andrew Blauvelt and Scott Winter. The first thing I did after I viewed the slideshow (or maybe even before) was pop over to the blog Unhappy Hipsters, whose sole purpose is to write […]

"Best to keep the gingers behind bars."--Unhappy Hipsters blog

To our wonderful, funny, and sarcastic readers and visitors–

This month, Dwell features the Julie Snow-designed home of the Walker’s very own Andrew Blauvelt and Scott Winter. The first thing I did after I viewed the slideshow (or maybe even before) was pop over to the blog Unhappy Hipsters, whose sole purpose is to write tongue-in-cheek melancholy narratives for the photos in modern home design publications. I was rewarded with the picture and caption above.

Now it is your turn to show off your caption-writing prowess. Take a look through the entire Blauvelt/Winter residence slideshow (shot by Dean Kaufman), pick an image, and write a caption. Leave a comment with your contact information, a link to which photo you are captioning, and your caption.

The winner receives two tickets to the Yves Klein After Hours Preview Party on October 22.

I think this one has some possibilities:

Play nice and happy writing!

Plant as Decorative Element in a Gallery

One aspect of my position as a photographer here at the Walker is to document the exhibitions. This has been an ongoing process dating back to the beginning of the Walker Art Center. While reviewing images of past exhibitions, I began to notice something now absent in the galleries, potted plants.  Up until the opening […]

One aspect of my position as a photographer here at the Walker is to document the exhibitions. This has been an ongoing process dating back to the beginning of the Walker Art Center. While reviewing images of past exhibitions, I began to notice something now absent in the galleries, potted plants.  Up until the opening of the Barnes building in 1971, potted plants were a staple in the galleries.  While there are few exhibition views containing patrons, the plants were always present.  In these images they seem to act as the stand-ins for the patrons, sometimes aloof and in the background or congregating around the radiator as if in discussion.  And then there are those that are really into the work, standing in front of a sculpture’s light, their shadows enveloping the work.

Due to a multitude of reasons, plants only reappear in the galleries if they are part of the artwork.  Many of the plants seem to have been around for many years and well taken care of by the staff.  Enjoy this look at Exhibition Photography and Plants from the Walker archives.

Sneak preview: Spring at Walker Shop

We are just back from the New York International Gift Fair and eager to share some of our favorite finds (and the people who created them). Watch for them their arrival in the Walker Shop this spring! (In the meantime, you can shop our current stock online.)

We are just back from the New York International Gift Fair and eager to share some of our favorite finds (and the people who created them). Watch for them their arrival in the Walker Shop this spring! (In the meantime, you can shop our current stock online.)

Flight 001 travel products – one of our favorite shops in the Village is Flight 001. Now Walker Shop will have these exclusively in Minnesota! ($6 - $46)

“Teabag” porcelain mug (and other pieces) from Bailey Doesn’t Bark. ($38 mug)

Bailey Doesn’t Bark designer Re Jin Lee, or “RJ,” shares her drawings and designs on consciously produced home and life accessories.

Ever Bamboo charcoal purifiers – minimally and beautifully packaged bamboo charcoal deodorizers that are sustainable, reusable, and recyclable - Minnesota exclusive ($9.99 – 14.99)

Shine Labs sonic classic woodblock clock – This wood veneer alarm clock features two internally powered speakers for your connected portable device. LED clock features 6-cycle snooze and night economic power mode. And, by the way, Shine Labs' president Jim Henderson is great-grandson of Walker founder T.B. Walker! ($128)

“Y-Grinder” twin-chamber salt and pepper mill – from Joseph Joseph, with adjustable grind ($48)

“Orb” 3-piece mortar and pestle – from Joseph Joseph, made from non-absorbent vitrified porcelain. Base and lid can be used for crushing and grinding. ($48)

Tea infuser – Stainless steel extra-fine “brew-in-mug” tea infuser with silicone-rimmed lid. Flip the lid and it becomes a holder for infuser. ($19.99)

mt masking tape set – Set of 20 colors of narrow masking tape from Japan. ($40)

Hadas Shaham jewelry – Contemporary jewelry in sterling silver, gold, concrete, and lava, handcrafted by Tel Aviv jewelry artist Hadas Shaham. ($45 - $195)

Impressionable Youth

I really enjoyed Walker photographer Gene Pittman’s recent post about his portrait of skateboard videographer Ty Evans.  I immediately got excited when I saw that old school Powell Peralta ripper graphic, and I commented that the graphic was one of the images that got me interested in art.  As a fiery young dork imprisoned in […]

I really enjoyed Walker photographer Gene Pittman’s recent post about his portrait of skateboard videographer Ty Evans.  I immediately got excited when I saw that old school Powell Peralta ripper graphic, and I commented that the graphic was one of the images that got me interested in art.  As a fiery young dork imprisoned in small town USA, I was riveted by the danger and recklessness that the image represented.  As an added bonus, Ma absolutely HATED it.  It got me thinking about other images that inspired my creative path in life.  Here are some, in no particular order:

 Picasso's Guernica

barrel

Oh no, what have I started?  I had better stop now.  What are your influential images?  Post them in reply.

Finds from the planet’s biggest gift shop

Walker staff members Nancy Gross and Michele Tobin have been on the mother of all shopping trips in New York – including, first and foremost, several days at the New York International Gift Fair. With several thousand designers, artisans, craftspeople, etc. exhibiting their wares, this gargantuan buyers’ mart takes up not just the entire Javits […]

Walker staff members Nancy Gross and Michele Tobin have been on the mother of all shopping trips in New York – including, first and foremost, several days at the New York International Gift Fair. With several thousand designers, artisans, craftspeople, etc. exhibiting their wares, this gargantuan buyers’ mart takes up not just the entire Javits Center, but also Piers 90, 92, & 94. Nancy just sent this update as they prepared to make their final rounds at the Fair before returning to Minneapolis tonight:

“In spite of the current state of they economy, and light attendance at the show by vendors and buyers, we have found some great new merchandise for spring and summer. Some highlights include Alessi’s adding to its already successful line of “Banana Brothers” products by Stephano Giovannoni. We loved the collection, including the placecards, corkscrews, canisters, toothpick holders, etc.

Monday evening, we were invited to a special dinner event hosted by Alessi. We enjoyed connecting with our colleagues from Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (Mark and Maxine) and our Alessi rep, Diane O’Donnel. And for the pasta course, the chef demonstrated Alessi’s ingenious “Pasta Pot”: a crock-pot-like appliance designed by chef Alain Ducasse and designer Patrick Jouin, which allows vegetables, pasta and sauce to cook together and go straight to your table.

One of our favorite companies, Kid-O toys (mentioned in our last blog post), introduced a new, well-designed wooden memory game and also an interactive depth perception toy. Look for them in the Walker Shop in June.

Some other fun things we found were a Ipod speaker with a Lego-like look, a roll of packing tape with Shepard Fairey-inspired graphics, real “Wee Plants” the size of a fingernail that grow in a glass vial, and specialized lenses for your camera phone that create special effects (wide angle, kaleidoscope,etc.).


A fresh color trend we found was citrine yellow combined with grey – a look that we’ve incorporated into our spring assortment of Chilewich placemats. Turns out that Michelle Obama’s Inauguration Day outfit was right on trend!”

What are those Walker architects up to now?

Last month Kristina Fong provided an entertaining tour of the latest works by Herzog & de Meuron, architects of the Walker’s 2005 expansion. Now we can add one more stop: On the heels of a spectacular performance by their “Bird’s Nest” stadium at the Beijing Olympics, the Swiss team has revealed the design for a […]

Last month Kristina Fong provided an entertaining tour of the latest works by Herzog & de Meuron, architects of the Walker’s 2005 expansion. Now we can add one more stop: On the heels of a spectacular performance by their “Bird’s Nest” stadium at the Beijing Olympics, the Swiss team has revealed the design for a new building in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood. Moving from a globally scaled gathering space to this project – the firm’s first residential tower – represents quite a shift in scale. But with its series of glass boxes cantilevered one over another, stacked to reach 57 stories, the building promises drama of a different order.

“I wanted a Titian and all I got was a lump of lard”

What happens when an art lover tiles his bathroom? You may have seen work by graphic designer Christoph Niemann in Wired magazine, the New York Times, or the New Yorker (he’s done a number of covers for that last publication). Like most illustrators, he’s developed a range of styles, one of which involves rendering images […]

What happens when an art lover tiles his bathroom?

You may have seen work by graphic designer Christoph Niemann in Wired magazine, the New York Times, or the New Yorker (he’s done a number of covers for that last publication). Like most illustrators, he’s developed a range of styles, one of which involves rendering images in pixel form.

So in designing a bathroom for their home, Niemann and his wife decided it’d be fun to translate a famous piece of art into pixel form, then render that image using colored ceramic tiles. The hard part, as you’ll see from his post on the process, was deciding which artwork to use (after all, it’s not like they could just take down this “art” if they got tired of it).

Turns out they considered works by a host of artists – Richter, Indiana, Hockney, Rothko, and others – who’ve shown at the Walker, and/or who have works in our permanent collection. The winning work for their shower tiles was this Pop classic from the collection, on view in The Shape of Time through November 16.

For the tub, they translated a more esoteric work, Corner of Fat, by another Walker favorite, Joseph Beuys (his works are also on view in the Friedman Gallery through next summer). Niemann thought it was a “terrifyingly perfect” idea to do a bathroom-tile version of this work, which originally involved several pounds of butter; his wife’s reaction, he reports, was the quote used in this post’s headline. Luckily, she came around and agreed. Bathroom tiles are one of those crucial matrimonial decisions.

Answers, and Eero Dynamic Furniture

I’m pretty excited to announce that out of the plethora of answers to the game I posted, nobody got all the answers right. I’m happy to report that this black and white interior picture (fig. 1) stumped everybody. I’m lucky to have found it; there aren’t many pictures available online of the interior of Monsanto’s […]

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I’m pretty excited to announce that out of the plethora of answers to the game I posted, nobody got all the answers right. I’m happy to report that this black and white interior picture (fig. 1) stumped everybody. I’m lucky to have found it; there aren’t many pictures available online of the interior of Monsanto’s House of the Future. Opened in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland in 1957, it was demolished in 1967, when they decided, ten years later, the white, plastic, Modernist future previously depicted was just not tomorrow enough.

Earlier this year, a set of drawings used for the planning of the House of the Future showed up on Ebay(and sold for $8000.) All the twitter about this find on various blogs notes the strong Eames influence evident in the drawings. They are quite gorgeous, and just like many fashion sketches, look more stunning on paper than they did in practice (fig. 2.)

monsantoeames.jpgSaarinen was a long-time collaborator and lifetime friend with Charles Eames. In fact, Eames was inspired by Eliel Saarinen, Eero’s father, and was invited by him to attend Cranbrook to further study architecture. The group at Cranbrook at that time included Florence Knoll and Ralph Rapson (of Guthrie fame). For their first collaboration, Eames and the younger Saarinen designed a winning entry, a molded plywood chair (fig. 3) for an organic design competition organized by the Museum of Modern Art in 1940. The influence of the basic industrial structure of this chair’s design can be seen in the rest of both the designers’ careers.

Saarinen created a range of beautiful furniture with Florence Knoll. They designed such staples as the Tulip Chair and the Womb Chair, which will look familiar to millions and millions of people because of their inclusion in the best-selling PC game of all time: The Sims, a human-life simulation game. Stay with me, here–Imoldedplywood1940.jpg can’t remember exactly how and when I became familiar with the Eames furniture by name; it might have been from visiting various museums as a child, or maybe some art history 101, but I do know that to millions of people who have never heard the names Saarinen, Knoll, or Eames, this modernist furniture is going to look very familiar. There is no doubt that IKEA has been evoking 40s and 50s furniture design in their extremely streamlined and industrial giant European operations, and that might give people a point of entry, but I swear I’ve furnished some of my Sims’ houses with a Knoll Saarinen Coffee Table, Tulip Chairs, and Stools multiple times (fig. 4.) Of course, these items aren’t named like so, but they are essentially identical. I don’t own the game anymore because my computer is too old, and the Walker decided not to buy a new graphics card for me even though it’s for work-related purposes so I don’t have any images of my perfect modernist house, but I sure wish I did.

Notably, however, people have taken it upon themselves to teach the Sims-playing world about the history of furniture design. There are millions of downloads available online for people who create their own furniture for the Sims, to be imported into the game and played with. Shino & KCR, a featured ‘artist’ at one of the biggest download sites, The Sims Resource, has a whole line of Eames inspired furniture (fig. 5). The Sims, already one of the biggest blurs between reality and technology, has recently engineered deals with H&M and more recntly, IKEA, to bring clothes that are available in real life and furniture that is available to purchase for your own home, into the game so you can purchase them for your own home. But on the computer.

And, with the steep dollar prices that accompany any Saarinen-designed furniture, a tulip chair in The Sims will only cost you a couple hundred Simoleons.

Extra, extra: This amazing featurette on Monsanto’s House of the Future. Part 1 and Part 2.

Answers: A, D, E, G, and H are Disneyland. B, C, F, I, J are Saarinen.

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Eero Saarinen or Disneyland?

Here’s a fun game I came up with as an introduction to the upcoming Eero Saarinen exhibition. To play: Guess if each image shows a) something designed by Saarinen or b) something in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. A little bit of introductory information: Eero Saarinen, known as a key modernist designer and architect in the 20th century. […]

Here’s a fun game I came up with as an introduction to the upcoming Eero Saarinen exhibition.

To play:

Guess if each image shows a) something designed by Saarinen or b) something in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland.

A little bit of introductory information:

Eero Saarinen, known as a key modernist designer and architect in the 20th century. He often collaborated with Charles Eames and famously used sweeping architectural arches and curves.

Disneyland opened in 1955 and Tomorrowland was given a total makeover in 1967. The new Tomorrowland famously used sweeping architectural arches and curves to reflect the modernist view of the future.

Leave your guesses in the comment section!

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b.b.jpg (more…)

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