How does art change with a changing world? In a major initiative funded by the Bush Foundation, Walker curators and educators spent four years doing research and meeting with artists and scholars in countries where social and political upheavals have radically informed and stimulated artistic activity and generated new curatorial practices. Advised by a global committee made up of curators and scholars from Brazil, China, India, Japan, South Africa, Turkey, and the United States, the group sought a new method of engaging with the world’s artists. Over the past year, the Walker presented the culmination of this study, an examination of globalization’s impact on today’s visual, new media, film/video, and performing arts. The Walker’s Bush Global Initiative—comprised of a yearlong presentation of films, performances, and Web-based art from around the world; the exhibition How Latitudes Become Forms: Art in a Global Age; and an array of educational and interpretive programs—aimed to explode expectations of what art is and can be, across borders and artistic disciplines.
Throughout the year, the Walker’s Visual Arts Department has made a priority of exploring the international, diverse, and multidisciplinary nature of 20th- and 21st-century art. In July, the Walker hosted the landmark One Planet under a Groove: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art, organized by the Bronx Museum of the Arts. The Minneapolis presentation of the exhibition was made possible by Best Buy Co., Inc. In August, the Walker opened To/From: Rivane Neuenschwander, the largest solo exhibition in the United States to date by this Brazilian artist. Ultrabaroque: Aspects of Post–Latin American Art, which explored the influence and impact of the Baroque on a broad range of contemporary art of the Americas, was presented in October. This exhibition was originated by the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, and was accompanied by a bilingual catalogue. Also shown in the fall, Manuel Álvarez Bravo: Optical Parables, an exhibition of more than 100 rare photographs organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, was presented with support from Harry M. Drake. The Greenberg Foundation, Daniel Greenberg, and Susan Steinhauser provided additional support for interpretive programs. A special thank-you to Walker Board member Esperanza Guerrero-Anderson, whose company Milestone Growth Fund supported the opening events. Promotional assistance was provided by LCN Media. In December, with support from the Jerome Foundation, Dialogues: Amy Cutler/David Rathman brought together two artists who explored the role of myths and fables in our culture through figurative drawings.