with walking paths
Hahn / Cock
Katharina Fritsch (German, 2013/2017)
Made of fiberglass, polyester resin and stainless steel, and painted ultramarine blue, the 10-foot-tall bird — perched atop a gray, 15-ton steel pedestal — stands proudly at the garden’s new north entrance. As with Marcel Duchamp and his “readymades,” the German artist is inspired by commercial objects that she exaggerates, resizing and recoloring them until they become something uncanny yet immediately recognizable. Fritsch is also interested in work that serves as an “intervention” into a city’s landscape. A companion to this sculpture overlooks the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Black Vessel for a Saint
Theaster Gates (U.S., 2017)
The Chicago artist focuses on urban revitalization and under-served communities. This piece is twofold: a 20-foot-tall, circular brick structure inspired by a Renaissance temple form, and a sculpture of St. Laurence — patron saint of libraries and archivists — salvaged from a South Side Chicago church. It’s a space for contemplation, small gatherings and performances.
Robert Indiana (U.S., 1966-98)
Who doesn’t love love?! Various versions of this word-sculpture by the Pop Art master can be seen all over the world, contributing to the literal idea that love is everywhere, although this structure actually has roots in Indiana’s religious upbringing. Best known for letterform sculptural works, he donated this steel version of the four-letter sculpture for the garden.
Eva Rothschild (Irish, 2011)
When reimagining the garden, the Walker took care to add female sculptors to what was a male-dominated space. This large work evokes the monumental archways that typically offer passages in park spaces, but with its spidery nature and black-, green- and red-striped multidirectional steel poles, “Empire” offers multiple non-linear paths, with a tongue-in-cheek title to boot.
Kcho (Cuban, 1999/2005)
One of Cuba’s most important artists, Kcho uses found objects that recall his childhood on Isla de Juventud, south of the Cuban mainland. His sculptures abound with objects associated with the sea. “La Soledad,” originally made in the 1990s, is a tall chair with legs made of oars. He subsequently re-created it in bronze, a material difficult to work with in Cuba.
Matthew Monahan (U.S., 2013)
Monahan’s work often reimagines historical figures. This bronze-and-steel piece portrays the Greek god of smiths, who use fire to shape metal. Yet the figure appears to be in ruins; his golden face, arms and torso seem charred or shredded. Previously this space was occupied by Jacques Lipchitz’s bronze “Prometheus,” another god whom Hephaestus chained to a rock for giving mankind fire; that work is now at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Kiki Smith (U.S., 2001)
A woman cast in bronze emerges from the ripped belly of a wolf, laid on its back, paws dangling in the air. The New York artist’s piece references the folkloric Big Bad Wolf, as well as St. Genevieve, patron saint of Paris. Smith’s work deals with the human condition and the natural world, often integrating mythology and folklore with spirituality and sexuality.
Tony Cragg (British, 2007)
Cragg plays with the supposed separation of humanity and nature, suggesting there’s really no separation at all. His bronze sculpture could be a chunk of rock ripped from some structure, or a column of stones, positioned in a precarious pile. Actually, the piece is created from people’s facial profiles, abstracted into what appears to be a natural form.
Back of Snowman
Gary Hume (British, 2001)
Bronze sculptures rule an entire walkway of the Sculpture Garden. Part of a series of glossy painted double-bubble snowmen by Hume, “Back of Snowman” is literally a rear view from any angle, bringing a humorous edge to the accomplishment of enduring winter. Ten bucks says that someone will build their own snowman next to this one, and photograph the two.
Mark Manders (Dutch, 2017)
The faces in this ginormous Sphinx-like sculpture of two heads are feminine and androgynous, yet reminiscent of Greek kouroi (male nude youth). Arranged side-by-side, sliced through the middle of their faces, they suggest a duality. Visitors to the grassy quad can sit in bronze lawn chairs (the artist’s father was a furniture maker). Under one is an old-school bronze-cast record player.
Monika Sosnowska (Polish, 2014)
From one angle, it looks like a twisted array of wires, wrapped around one another until they have fused. It is curved and bent, circular and straight, angular and open, yet out of reach. Influenced by the Brutalist architecture of Poland, Sosnowska morphs handrails, fences, walls, corridors and playground structures into one conglomerate glob, creating an intangible memory.
Liz Larner (U.S., 2013)
The upturned and inside-out stainless steel X greets visitors at the Walker’s new entry. Based in L.A., Larner is most interested in the relationship between humans and their environments. “X” at once appears to be a structure, an experiment with the built environment, and an intervention into the built landscape. Yet it’s also oddly decorative, evoking a sense of oversized ornaments.
Arcs From Four Corners
Sol Lewitt, U.S. (1988/2016)
Originally a crosswalk on Vineland when the garden opened in 1988, this geometric array of white, brown and black granite has been reinstalled on the Walker roof. As with all of the minimalist/conceptualist’s pieces, the title is a literal explanation. Another LeWitt, “X With Columns Sculpture,” hovers above viewers, while Liz Larner’s shiny “X” on the plaza below amplifies the conversation.
Aaron Spangler (U.S., 2017)
A homegrown Minnesotan who returned after making a name for himself in Brooklyn, Spangler shows a dedication to craft in his sculptures, often hand-carving them with a variety of tools. Commissioned by the Walker, “Bog Walker” was carved from basswood, then cast in bronze. It is mystical, towering, monumental, its patterning influenced by the natural world and American culture.
Nairy Baghramian (Iran, 2011/17)
As Magritte taught us, “Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe” — not all objects are what they appear to be. This Berlin-based artist creates fictions out of object realities. A piece of steel, covered in epoxy and resin, is twisted and placed on the ground just so, with a seeming flexibility that suggests it is made of rubber. This photo is of a representative work; the actual piece won’t arrive until September, to coincide with a solo exhibit.
The Walker Collage, Multiverse #10
Frank Big Bear (U.S., 2016)
Raised on the White Earth Reservation, the Minnesota artist layers worlds on top of worlds in this wall-sized collage in the new lobby. The work is composed of 432 rectangular panels referencing myriad subjects. In one, an image of smoke and fire billowing out of the Twin Towers is overlaid with Christ hanging, cross-less, and the Pope strolling somewhere.
The Marquis and the Sisters
Philippe Parreno (France, 2016-17)
As with the 2015 work shown here, Parreno enters a space and creates installations that markedly change the space itself. There are no images yet of the new work, coming in September to the Walker’s Cargill Lounge that overlooks the hillside garden. It will feature two key elements: An illuminated, vintage-theater-like marquee, and window blinds offering a camera-like view onto the landscape.
Spoonbridge and Cherry
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen (1985-88)
The garden would be incomplete without this playful sculpture, which subverts the idea of a traditional garden fountain. The work was moved to a central spot, the cherry repainted and the pond converted from city water to rainwater (stored in an underground cistern that also is used for irrigation), making the piece more environmentally friendly — and less prone to staining.
Selections from the Living Series
Jenny Holzer (1989)
Each of Holzer’s 28 white granite benches is engraved with a different haunting “truism” — one-liners written by Holzer in the form of advertising taglines, that deliver political messages in public spaces. Formerly arranged in a square around one of the garden’s quads, the benches now line the walkway from Vineland Place.
James Turrell (2005)
It never really left, but with the reopening of the garden this light-filled, sky illumination viewing space appears as if anew. Turrell was part of a group of L.A. artists fascinated by the possibility of experiencing light and space rather than just perceiving it. Visitors enter “Sky Pesher,” then sit on benches and look up through a square opening, which reframes the sky, offering a space for meditation.
For Whom ...
Kris Martin (2012)
The title is a semi-hilarious gesture to the silence of the sculpture’s bell, built for a German church in the 1920s but decommissioned because it didn’t have the right tone. The bell has no clapper, and while it swings every hour on the hour along with the nearby cathedral bells, the only sound heard is the wind swishing around it. Martin, a Belgian artist with a wry sense of humor, enjoys working with a sense of absence where there normally isn’t one.
Wind Chime (After “Dream”)
Pierre Huyghe (1997/2009)
Every spring, the Walker brings out this collection of 47 wind chimes (288 tubes in all), tuned to a John Cage score that is activated by chance when the wind blows. Imagine gently sitting on the ground underneath the cottonwood tree on a gusty day. The French artist is known for works that exist in a given environment absent of control.