Seven new shows, all organized by Walker Art Center's curatorial staff, will showcase international artists, graphic design and Merce Cunningham dance memorabilia at the Minneapolis museum in the exhibition season that runs from August 2011 through May 2012.
The season opens with "Baby Marx," a multimedia project by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes, who uses handmade puppets, children's stories and elaborate video and film sets to explore an ideological confrontation between capitalism and communism. (Aug. 11-Nov. 27)
With bird sculpture and videos, Swedish-born clay animation artist Nathalie Djurberg pokes about in the darker recesses of human psychology -- lust, revenge, submission and gluttony. Accompanied with music by Hans Berg, her partner and collaborator, the exhibit promises new films and a "ceremonial throng of birds." (Sept. 8-Dec. 31)
Since 2000, graphic design has expanded from a refined professional niche to a public-access product, thanks in part to new software, publishing and distribution systems. "Graphic Design: Now in Production," co-curated with the Cooper-Hewitt museum in New York, will survey the international field, including print products (magazines, newspapers, books, posters); branding programs (corporate, national, cultural); typographic expressions (digital, cinematic, televised), and more. (Oct. 22-Jan. 22, 2012)
Two exhibits will showcase sculptural constructions designed for Merce Cunningham dance performances. The objects are drawn from a trove of Cunningham memorabilia acquired recently this year by the Walker. "Dance Works 1: Merce Cunningham/Robert Rauschenberg" will feature backdrops, props and costumes created for 10 performances on which the dancer and artist collaborated between 1954 and 1964. (Nov. 3-April 8, 2012)
"Dance Works 11: Merce Cunningham/Ernesto Neto)" will spotlight aerial sculptures made of translucent white nylon that Neto designed for a 2004 Cunningham dance. (Dec. 15-July 1, 2012)
The career of Minneapolis-based painter Frank Gaard will be surveyed in 40 portraits of friends, family and fellow artists, plus a new suite of pony-themed paintings and illustrations from the Art Police, a zine Gaard published from 1974 to 1994. (Jan. 19-May 6, 2012)
In "Lifelike," more than 35 artists fabricate persuasive illusions of "startlingly realistic, often playful, and sometimes surreal" objects and situations. The show will include paintings, sculpture, photos, videos, drawings and installations that surprise the eye and tease the mind. (Feb. 25-May 27, 2012)