Two years ago, it was raining so we didn’t do our tour of the sculpture garden. Today was a lovely day. I thoroughly enjoyed the walk around the garden and learning about a few of the pieces in it.
The Walker Art Center is known for contemporary art. Even the building itself looks modern. We started with a walk around the building to see how the architects (Herzog & de Meuron) handled the 2005 addition to the existing building. They were able to incorporate the existing external brick to the internal part of the building and add on a contemporary part that housed a few more venues for art appreciation. If you would like to read about specifics of the building and design, click here.
We walked around the building and our docent was talking about this artist, James Turrell, whose work is now being “discovered” by the masses. Apparently there was an article in the New York Times just this past Sunday. The Walker has one of his pieces and apparently we were going to see it. She leads us around back and we check out the rear of the building and then walk into this “tunnel” in the hillside. When we get through the tunnel, we sit down in this room.
I didn’t get it. What were we there to see? Where is this artwork? Then I looked up.
When you look up, the white walls and ceiling literally frame the sky. It was very cool and I had no idea it was there. I would have been afraid to go into the thing, thinking that I was trespassing or breaking some rule… Now that I know about it, I’d make sure to take visitors there. Apparently James Turrell is known for pieces like this one. I haven’t read the article linked above yet, but I think it will be interesting to explain the artist’s perspective.
Standing Glass Fish is in the conservatory and is done by Frank Gehry. He designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. And a little closer to home, he designed the Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus. If you click on his name, I linked you to the wikipedia page about him.
Arikidea is by Mark di Suvero. The title comes from the word, arachnid, inferring it’s a spider. It’s a statue that actually moves and children often play on it.
In another area of the garden, there were wind chimes hung in the trees. There were many day camp groups today, so the chimes weren’t so easy to hear. But it would be nice to come back at a quieter time.
Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen was made for this location. Normally there is a spray of water coming out of the cherry stem. But I noticed from today’s newspaper that the spoon was painted yesterday.
I think another visit to the sculpture garden this summer is in order. They have a mini golf course set up and the holes are designed by artists. I think it would be a fun activity to do with my nieces and nephew when they’re in town. Plus, the sculpture garden is a fantastic photo opportunity!