Anna Werner offers us a look at what’s new in art:
In the land of Paul Bunyan, Babe the Blue Ox is king. But step aside, Babe — in Minneapolis, a giant sculpture in royal blue now commands all the attention: A giant rooster.
“A cockerel,” said museum director Olga Viso. “It’s like a general on a horseback. Instead of a general on horseback, you have this rooster, right?”
“The piece really stands out,” said Werner. “You can see it from the highway.”
“You can see it from all directions, yup. Yeah. It’s definitely a destination piece that people love to come see and stand by.”
This big bird anchors the renovated Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center, where Viso oversaw the year-long, $10 million project that features 49 sculptures in provocative shapes and sizes.
Werner asked, “Do you find that having the sculpture garden pulls visitors into a museum they might not have otherwise visited?”
“Yeah, exactly. It makes the museum more accessible, more human, more approachable,” Viso replied.
Works by some recognizable names fill the 19- acre space: Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana, Alexander Calder and Ellsworth Kelly … and the museum seeded some new works on the grounds here as well, commissioning installations by artists including Theaster Gates, Nairy Baghramian and Mark Manders — pieces that welcome visitors in for a stroll.
One work visitors won’t see here: the sculpture “Scaffold,” a piece representing historic executions sanctioned by the U.S. government, including the hangings of 38 Dakotas at the end of the tribe’s war with the United States in 1862. Native American leaders protested its inclusion, leading to the museum’s decision to remove it.
“Is that caving to public pressure, because you’re worried about bad publicity?” Werner asked.
“No, I think it’s being responsive to the Dakota community here and what it represented,” Viso said.
That hasn’t stopped visitors from streaming in by the thousands.
And this isn’t the only museum sure to attract crowds this fall.
In Ohio, “Rodin…