Blogs Centerpoints In Other News

Congratulations, Trisha Brown – 2011 Gish Prize winner

Established in 1994, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize is given annually to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” Named after the silent film actresses, who left most of their estates to the arts, the $300,000 Gish […]

Brown performing at the Walker in 2008 as part of the exhibition "So That the Audience Does Not Know Whether I Have Stopped Dancing"

Established in 1994, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize is given annually to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” Named after the silent film actresses, who left most of their estates to the arts, the $300,000 Gish Prize is one of the largest in the arts and is meant to honor groundbreaking figures in all disciplines.

Receiving it in its 18th year, Brown joins a formidable and eclectic roster of artists — see below — many of whom, like Brown, have had lengthy associations with the Walker. Bill T. Jones, for instance, performed an open rehearsal with his company just last night; and the 10-day festival The Next Stage: Merce Cunningham at the Walker Art Center unfolds starting in late October.

In 2008, the Walker presented an exhibition of Brown’s drawings and other artworks integrating the performing and visual arts, along with several performances of her early work, in Trisha Brown: So That the Audience Does Not Know Whether I Have Stopped Dancing.

Congratulations to Ms. Brown on this latest honor in recognizing her work and its influence. More about the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize here.

Past Recipients of the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize
Frank Gehry, architect, 1994
Ingmar Bergman, film director, 1995
Robert Wilson, artist and director, 1996
Bob Dylan, singer/songwriter, 1997
Isabel Allende, author, 1998
Arthur Miller, author and playwright, 1999
Merce Cunningham, dancer and choreographer, 2000
Jennifer Tipton, lighting director, 2001
Lloyd Richards, theater director, 2002
Bill T. Jones, dancer and choreographer, 2003
Ornette Coleman, jazz innovator, 2004
Peter Sellars, theater, opera and festival director, 2005
Shirin Neshat, film maker, 2006
Laurie Anderson, artist, 2007
Robert Redford, actor, 2008
Pete Seeger, singer/songwriter, 2009
Chinua Achebe, author, 2010

 

Gather by D’Amico’s Chef Josh Brown: best tastes of late summer

Coming on the heels of two new reviews for Gather (City Pages, Star Tribune),  this story was originally published in the September/October issue of Walker magazine; it’s accompanied by a recipe for chef Josh Brown’s raw-and-cooked vegetable salad. Besides the not-inconsiderable task of presiding over Gather by D’Amico, the Walker’s new restaurant that launched in June, chef Josh Brown […]

Coming on the heels of two new reviews for Gather (City PagesStar Tribune),  this story was originally published in the September/October issue of Walker magazine; it’s accompanied by a recipe for chef Josh Brown’s raw-and-cooked vegetable salad.

Besides the not-inconsiderable task of presiding over Gather by D’Amico, the Walker’s new restaurant that launched in June, chef Josh Brown has been tending a new vegetable plot at home—his first of any size since he was a kid in rural Montana. “Watching everything growing has definitely been a source of inspiration for Gather,” he says.

Recently he sat down to talk seasonal food and look toward the summer transition into fall. For Brown, tomatoes are “one last end-of-summer hurrah” that, as he points out, can be had until early October. Rather than fuss with this fruit, he prefers to let its sweetness stand out: “I just eat them with salt, pepper, and olive oil, or I make my wife’s favorite dish: pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic, and parmesan. Of course, it only works with excellent tomatoes.” Leeks, another late-summer favorite that the chef enjoys braising and pairing with swordfish, also become available in late summer. As greens like chard and kale come into their own, he uses a simple preparation he picked up from a fellow cook: “Add salt and a pat of butter to boiling water before blanching your greens—the butter sticks to them and they’re delicious served with chicken or beef.”

Given the locally sourced and seasonal focus of Gather, Brown develops new dishes monthly as certain ingredients reach their peak. But the raw and cooked salad endures on the menu—not just because it’s one of his personal favorites, but because its components change depending on what’s freshest. “As summer ends, we’ll be trading out the beans and asparagus, probably with Brussels sprouts and a root vegetable,” he says.

As these items come into season, Brown turns on the oven. “Parsnips, turnips, kohlrabi, beets, and the like are really good as a hash, diced up small and slowroasted,” he says. Kohlrabi in particular, a lesser-known member of the cabbage family, takes him instantly back to that large garden of his childhood. “It has always stood out in my mind—something about the way it grows, watching my mother and grandmother picking it. Food sparks so many vivid memories for me; it’s one of the reasons I love cooking.”

Josh Brown’s Raw & Cooked Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 2. As Brown notes, this salad can change based on what’s in season, so swap out and add in vegetables — the key is freshness. 

3      sliced asparagus spears, lightly blanched
3 oz   fennel and fennel fronds
2 oz      sliced radish
3 oz   sliced haricot vert, lightly blanched
1 oz    Hong Kong scallion
lemon vinaigrette (see below)
1 oz    ricotta salata
6 slices     soft boiled egg (see below)

Eggs: Cover eggs in cold water in a saucepan; bring to a boil and turn the heat off. Let stand for 7 minutes, then put eggs into an ice bath.

Lemon vinaigrette (makes extra)
1/2 c.      lemon juice
1T        lemon zest
1T       Dijon mustard
2T        minced shallot
1C       extra-virgin olive oil
3T        chopped basil

Mix lemon, zest,Dijon, and shallot in a bowl; whisk in the olive oil, then add basil and season with salt and pepper.

Plate set up: Salt and pepper the eggs and place in triangles on two plates. Toss all vegetables with vinaigrette and place on the plates; top with ricotta salata.

 

 

Support artistic freedom: Help amass 1,001 chairs at the Walker on July 12

  Although authorities released artist Ai Weiwei on June 22, the Walker is moving forward with a planned event on July 12, which would have marked his 100th day of detention. As a message on the Facebook page dedicated to freeing Ai Weiwei puts it, “He may be out of prison, but he is not […]

 

Ai Weiwei portrait courtesy Mary Boone Gallery, New York

Although authorities released artist Ai Weiwei on June 22, the Walker is moving forward with a planned event on July 12, which would have marked his 100th day of detention.

As a message on the Facebook page dedicated to freeing Ai Weiwei puts it, “He may be out of prison, but he is not free. We must remember those who lack the most basic human rights and raise our voices in support of freedom.”

The public is invited to take part in the July 12 event, inspired by one of Ai’s works, Fairytale: 1001 Qing Dynasty Wooden Chairs, as a way to acknowledge both Ai and other artists in China and around the world who work under oppressive conditions where artistic freedom is compromised.

Fairytale is a monumental installation made up of the titular antique chairs (see image below) and was first presented at Documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany in 2007, as one part of an even larger project. In Minneapolis, people can bring a chair or chairs of any type to the Walker’s Open Field lawn on July 12. The goal is to amass 1,001 by 6 p.m (see details below).

“We believe that no artistic voice should ever be silenced in any society,” said Walker executive director Olga Viso.  “We envision the chairs on the Open Field as a reminder of artists across the world—artists we may not even know—who have been lost and who face repression and censorship every day. Weiwei’s art and his recent detainment have brought this reality into disturbing and important focus.”

Ai was detained April 3 by Chinese police at the Beijing airport while en route to Hong Kong. Though Chinese authorities have alleged that Ai is guilty of tax evasion, many in the international community believe the arrest was the government’s response to his politically-charged work and social activism – just as they believe that his release was brought about, at least in part, by international pressure.

Fairytale: 1001 Qing Dynasty Wooden Chairs

Named in 2011 as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, Ai is a sculptor, architect, installation artist, and filmmaker. He  is perhaps best known in the U.S. for helping conceive the design of the “Bird’s Nest” stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics (he later wrote an op-ed for the Guardian UK titled “Why I’ll stay away from the opening ceremony of the Olympics”). His work has been exhibited in more than a dozen countries; in May, just weeks after his detention, his Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads was installed at New York’s Grand Army Plaza, one of the gateways to Central Park.

PARTICIPATE IN THE EVENT:
Visitors can drop off chairs throughout the day on July 12 and can witness the culmination of the event at 6 p.m., when Viso will make brief remarks. Visitors can collect their chairs between 6:15 and 8 p.m. and unclaimed chairs will be donated to charity. The Walker will offer free gallery admission for the entire day, and galleries will remain open until 6 p.m., an hour past its usual closing time.

What does it take to spiff-up the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden?

  During Minnesota’s 2010 legislative session, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board—with the full support of the Walker Art Center—made a request to the legislature for funding to restore and preserve the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The project did not make it through the bonding process this year for a variety of reasons, but it did […]

 

During Minnesota’s 2010 legislative session, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board—with the full support of the Walker Art Center—made a request to the legislature for funding to restore and preserve the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The project did not make it through the bonding process this year for a variety of reasons, but it did draw attention to the need for a renovation of this 22-year-old gem, a centerpiece of the Minneapolis park system. It also stirred up a group of grassroots supporters—both park and art lovers—who sent a clear message to legislators.

So what’s going on with the Sculpture Garden that needs spiffing up? It’s not the sorts of things that make for great photo ops, like brightening the cherry atop Spoonbridge and Cherry with fresh coats of paint, or Windexing the mirrored scales of Frank Gehry’s fish in the Cowles Conservatory.

In fact, the work involved in renovating a landscape or garden is most always quite subtle — less visible or even invisible — but it’s nonetheless important, even crucial. The pictures here zoom in on some of the ways that more than two decades — and the enjoyment of more than 7 million visitors — have taken their toll on the Garden.

For starters, the linden trees in the image at left would be trimmed to open up views and create the kind of experience intended by the original design. Another experience involves what’s underfoot: If you’ve walked around the Garden in the springtime after the snow has melted or after a heavy rain, you’ve probably noticed how muddy and squishy it is. That’s because the green spaces currently lack adequate drainage and the pathways were originally installed with baseball diamond clay. 

A renovation would include a cistern to collect water runoff so the Park Board can keep the Garden watered in a sustainable way, plus pathways would be resurfaced and replaced with porous materials that would dry more quickly. (While the current odds are already negligible, chances of catching an errant baseball are reduced as well.) Other work on the pond and lawns would prevent storm water pollution, improve filtration and reduce off-site drainage and overall water use.

 

Many trees in the Garden, including the arbor vitae "walls" of its four "galleries," are at the end of their natural life cycles.

The same goes for some of the evergreen border trees.

Granite slabs used for paving, walls, and steps need re-setting, replacement or repair.

Existing wheelchair ramps would be made compliant with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (the Garden opened in 1988), with wider clearance and a gentler slope.

Lighting for evening strolls will be brighter and more energy efficient, new emergency call stations will be installed, and the HVAC/mechanical systems in the Cowles Conservatory would be updated, drastically reducing energy use (and operating expenses). And dying or dead trees would be replaced with live, healthy ones. (Hey, why not?)

Even if you’re not a landscape architect, HVAC technician, or soil specialist, you can help restore the Garden by becoming an advocate. We are building our initial group of supporters into a strong, statewide collection of voices who can help by doing a couple easy things — like contacting legislators at times when it will make the biggest impact (we’ll cue you). Find out more here, and  sign up for the Action E-List today.

Outside notes on coming (& current) attractions

Alec Soth, whose survey From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America opens at the Walker in September, has an exhibition focusing on his portraits at the American Academy in Rome. The New York Times just published a portrait of the utterly charming Eiko and Koma as they prepare for their three-year Retrospective Project, which brings […]

Alec Soth, "Mother and Daughter, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1999"

Alec Soth, whose survey From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America opens at the Walker in September, has an exhibition focusing on his portraits at the American Academy in Rome.

The New York Times just published a portrait of the utterly charming Eiko and Koma as they prepare for their three-year Retrospective Project, which brings them to the Walker this fall. The story’s reference to the “moving-painting” quality of their choreography is apt, since here the duo will perform a dance/visual art installation in Gallery 2 of the ongoing Event Horizon exhibition — for the entire month of November. That piece, Naked, is a new commission; they’ll perform another new work, Raven, a centerpiece of their multiyear retrospective project, at Free First Saturday on October 2.

Co-organized by the Walker, Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers opened last week at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., and arrives here in October; the first rave review is in, at the Washington Post.

Modern Art Notes’ Tyler Green greatly admires the Chuck Close: Life, the new biography by Christopher Finch — particularly for the full chapter that Finch devotes to Big Self-Portrait, a key piece in the Walker collection and the first work that Close sold. Check out our related item last fall about Chuck, Christopher, and Linda — wife of Christopher, who sat for Chuck in 1971. Big Self-Portrait is currently a highlight of Benches & Binoculars, on view through November 21.

Finally, take a little photo tour of the art scenes in Berlin and Leipzig or, closer to home, the Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines, IA, via two recent Walker Patrons’ Circle trips.

Bits & Pieces: art & inspiration

Inspiration as taste sensation: Many a diner has been delighted by “Spoon, Cube, and Cherry,” the dessert at the Walker’s 20.21 that pays tribute to the Spoonbridge and Cherry centerpiece in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. In similar fashion, San Francisco pastry chef Caitlin Williams Freeman has gone on a bender with the art collection at the San Francisco […]

“Michael Jackson & Bubbles” by Jeff Koons, with “Jeff Koons White-Hot Chocolate” dessert by Caitlin Williams Freeman

Inspiration as taste sensation: Many a diner has been delighted by “Spoon, Cube, and Cherry,” the dessert at the Walker’s 20.21 that pays tribute to the Spoonbridge and Cherry centerpiece in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. In similar fashion, San Francisco pastry chef Caitlin Williams Freeman has gone on a bender with the art collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Along with a Mondrian cake and the slyly named Koons-inspired dessert drink above, she’s concocted “works” for SFMOMA’s coffee bar that include a plate of cookies which, before consuming, you assemble into your own mini Richard Serra sculpture; a fudgsicle shaped like an Ellsworth Kelly sculpture; a Richard Diebenkorn parfait; and more. It’s a treat just to look at the spread on Readymade magazine’s website. Should it get you dreaming of a future career in pastry, browse the ArtsConnectEd website and tell us below which Walker artworks you’d turn into delectable edibles. (Dessert image above by Charlie Villyard.)

What inspires Alec Soth? The photographer, whose first survey opens at the Walker in September, just uploaded the second video for his “Continental Picture Show,” which is part of the New York Times’ Opinionator blog. People are, accordingly, quite opinionated about it. As part of its new MN Original program, Twin Cities Public Television also recently broadcast an interview with and a segment on Soth, which includes Walker curator Siri Engberg.

One city inspires another: Minneapolitans take a lot of ribbing for supposedly being slaves to New York — but today’s Wall Street Journal has a story about how the first-ever New York Gallery Week was inspired by one art dealer’s visit to the “Minneapple” –and The Quick and the Dead exhibition at the Walker:

“The week was conceived by Casey Kaplan—owner of an eponymous art gallery on West 21st Street—after experiencing the buoyant vibe in Minneapolis, where industry types congregated to see the Walker Art Center’s exhibit “The Quick and the Dead” last year.

‘You really felt a community in Minneapolis,’ Mr. Kaplan said. ‘A lot of gallery owners had flown in. There were people from MoMA. Every one was enthusiastic and wanting to be in the moment. It was such a contrast from New York.’ “

So was it just about New Yorkers transplanting themselves, for a moment, into our idyllic Midwestern metropolis, or is something more going on? Read the full story here.

Inspired to show off: On another photographic note: a couple of weeks ago, we invited people to step into David Lamelas’ spotlight, on view in The Talent Show exhibition, for a portrait. Check out all of the results here.

Bits & Pieces: a Tino Sehgal tell-all, “The Subconscious Shelf,” and more

A new kind of art speak: Now that Tino Sehgal’s This Progress exhibition at the Guggenheim is over, its flesh-and-blood artworks are talking, giving the inside scoop on working a Tino Sehgal gig and “the pressure of nonstop thoughtful conversation.” A new kind of literary analysis: The New Yorker’s book bloggers have a nifty new service […]

A new kind of art speak: Now that Tino Sehgal’s This Progress exhibition at the Guggenheim is over, its flesh-and-blood artworks are talking, giving the inside scoop on working a Tino Sehgal gig and “the pressure of nonstop thoughtful conversation.”

A new kind of literary analysis: The New Yorker’s book bloggers have a nifty new service analyzing photos of readers’ bookshelves.

Image submitted to "The Subconscious Shelf"

What does last-minute airfare to Germany cost these days? James Turrell’s Wolfsburg Project, his largest-ever museum installation, closes April 5 at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg. Here’s a video, if you can’t hop the pond. Or come console yourself in Turrell’s Sky Pesher at the Walker

James Turrell, Bridget's Bardo, 2009; © James Turrell, Foto: Florian Holzherr, 2009

A magical encounter with Dolphin Oracle II: read the account from Santa Fe artist and designer Amy Conway.

 

LOVE PREVAILS

In cold and barren February, we notice the Sun’s brilliance burning a little longer into the afternoon, hinting at the warmth peeking just (months) around the corner.  Similarly, in the sometimes austere and modernist environs of the Walker Art Center, a passionate heat churns just beneath the surface.  Is it possible to fertilize the seeds […]

In cold and barren February, we notice the Sun’s brilliance burning a little longer into the afternoon, hinting at the warmth peeking just (months) around the corner.  Similarly, in the sometimes austere and modernist environs of the Walker Art Center, a passionate heat churns just beneath the surface.  Is it possible to fertilize the seeds of love at the Walker?  It’s possible, and evidence abounds.  Take, for example, this article describing James Turrell’s Sky Pesher as the best make out spot in town.  Kissing in the surrounds of ‘pigmented cast concrete?’  Very steamy.  One should take note, however, of the security camera watching every move.  No matter.  An adventurous lover knows that eyes are always watching, yet she boldly proceeds. 

Meet Ellie, one such bold adventurer.  The object of her affections is the roguish Scotty.  Her family-approved plan (Dad accompanied) was to ask Scotty to her high school’s Sadie Hawkins dance during a visit to the Walker.  Ellie had prepared a sign for her beau, a masterpiece worthy of the Louvre which implored, “Sweet Hearts? With Me, My Scotty” (sic).  Ellie presented me the sign to me in the snowy afternoon, asking where she could hang it. 

My colleagues and I discussed the matter,  chose a suitable place, and the sign was hung.  It was decided that I document the event, so I lay in wait for the magic moment. 

 

The tension was immense.  The unwitting Scotty approached and…

YES

 

Love prevails.

 

Note: Scotty was surprised by Ellie’s sign, but even more surprised by my prescence.  I explained, “I…uh.  I have to do this for work,”  then quickly fled.  Tender moments, cherished forever.

Bits & Pieces: From “Twilight” to “Zaire,” and points in between

Robert Pattinson’s got nothing on Francis Bacon! Who needs fan sites and movie trailers when you have ArtsConnectEd.org? See the slideshow presentation created by a Twilight fan, who uses artworks by Bacon and others to illustrate an outline of this, uh, literary sensation. It’s not too early to get a start on next year’s Halloween […]

robert pattinson Bacon - head in grey
Robert Pattinson’s got nothing on Francis Bacon! Who needs fan sites and movie trailers when you have ArtsConnectEd.org? See the slideshow presentation created by a Twilight fan, who uses artworks by Bacon and others to illustrate an outline of this, uh, literary sensation.


big head costume

It’s not too early to get a start on next year’s Halloween costume: Take inspiration from this paper-crafted self-portrait-as-helmet by 3D artist Eric Testroete, inspired by “big-head mode seen in videogames” See more pictures here. (via printeresting.org)

NYC Mayor Bloomberg only narrowly won re-election — and now this. After 66 years in Manhattan, the nonprofit American Craft Council has had it with the cost of doing business there. It is quitting the New York — and following a long trail of artists to greener, more fertile, and far cheaper pastures of Minneapolis, where it will take up residence next summer.

Minneapolis artist David Rathman, who showed here in 2003, has branched out from paintings and drawings to video, with stunning results. See below — best viewed in full screen!


Installation view of Pierre Huyghe’s Wind Chime (after “Dream”) (1997/2009) in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden © 2008 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGPThe Quick and the Dead lives on. Three works from the highly regarded exhibition were recently acquired by the Walker for its collection. Probably the most familiar is Pierre Huyghe’s Wind Chime (After “Dream”) (left), which became a favorite in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden over the summer. We’ll All Go Together, a sound piece by Susan Philipsz, was an oddly comforting yet slightly eery presence in the underground parking garage (where it kept company with a battered, oil-leaking Buick — a surprise artwork by Trisha Donnelly that appeared the day before the show opened). And Mark Manders’ Life-size Scene with Revealed Figure is an enigmatic work that suggests any number of functions – an alterpiece, an obsolete projector, a stationary puppet — though its ultimate purpose remains mysterious.

Look who’s hanging in the White House

The Huffington Post has an AP story today about the contemporary art revolution that has taken place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue since the Obamas took up residence there. There have been a few reports on this development since the election — including excited reactions from gallery owners and museum directors — but with today’s story […]

The Huffington Post has an AP story today about the contemporary art revolution that has taken place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue since the Obamas took up residence there. There have been a few reports on this development since the election — including excited reactions from gallery owners and museum directors — but with today’s story it would appear that the checklist has been finalized (or at least the First Lady’s office released a list earlier this week).

Work by Glenn Ligon and Ed Ruscha, both of whom are important to the Walker’s collection, is on view (at left is a Ligon piece from the Walker – not the White House!), along with pieces Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, and Richard Diebenkorn; the HP story has a pretty extensive slide show of some of the selections, but the Washington Post’s has even more (along with a review of sorts by critic Black Gopnik).

Next