June 20, 2015 - Walker Art Center - The Living Collections Catalogue: Art Expanded, 1958–1978
June 20, 2015

The Living Collections Catalogue: Art Expanded, 1958–1978

The Walker Art Center’s The Living Collections Catalogue: Art Expanded, 1958–1978.

The Living Collections Catalogue: Art Expanded, 1958–1978

Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403


The Walker Art Center is pleased to announce the launch of the second volume of its Living Collections Catalogue, an online serial publication dedicated to collections-based research. Focusing on two of the most fervent and experimental decades in recent art history, Art Expanded, 1958–1978 delves into a transformational period when artists around the world collectively began to challenge, critique, and upend traditional media and disciplines. As a complement to the Walker’s recent exhibition of the same name, curated by Eric Crosby, this second volume of the online catalogue offers new critical histories of works in the institution’s collections as well as deep access to its unique archival materials. 

Edited by Eric Crosby with Liz Glass, Art Expanded, 1958–1978 presents new scholarship, incorporating multimedia assets and archival resources in a flexible platform that allows for deep engagement with objects, events, moments, and artists from the period. Highlighting objects in the collection as well as capturing ephemeral events and actions that defined the Walker in this era, the volume includes a trove of archival materials and images related to Allan Kaprow‘s 1962 happening Mushroom, which was made for the institution and performed over a fall weekend in St. Paul; documentation of kinetic artworks shown at the Walker in 1967 and collected after the visionary exhibition Light/Motion/Space; and rare film recordings and photographs of Lynda Benglis at work on a poured polyurethane commission for the Walker’s new Edward Larrabee Barnes building in 1971.

In addition to these archival resources, the volume’s essays speak to the continued fascination these pivotal decades hold for a new generation of scholars and curators. While art historian Natilee Harren reframes the term “intermedia” by looking closely at scores and publications by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins, Maja Wismer approaches the manifold multiples of Joseph Beuys, unpacking the various ways that these editioned objects transformed and expanded his practice. Abigail Sebaly considers the life of a single prop chosen from the Walker’s four-thousand object Merce Cunningham Dance Company Collection; and contributing scholar Mike Maizels examines Barry Le Va‘sclandestine powder-diffusion work in the Walker’s now-demolished 1927 building. New writings on works by Tony Conrad, Jack Smith, and Niki de Saint Phalle by Liz Glass, Isla Leaver-Yap, and Nicole L. Woods, respectively, further testify to the era’s innovations and its unruly spirit of artistic reinvention.

Art Expanded, 1958–1978 is the second publication in the Walker’s Living Collections Catalogue series which replaces the conventional museum collection catalogue with an ever-expanding, flexible digital platform. Developed with the support of the Getty Foundation, the Living Collections Catalogue is an ongoing project allowing insight and access into the Walker’s interdisciplinary holdings. The first volume of the Living Collections Catalogue, On Performativity launched in June 2014, and looks at artistic practices grounded in the performative act, raising questions and propositions about how these practices might be preserved, translated, and collected. Both volumes are free and accessible on the Walker’s website

The Living Collections Catalogue is made possible by grants from the Getty Foundation as part of its Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI). Launched in 2009, this initiative is a partnership of nine major art institutions in the US and UK working together to make the transition from print catalogues to widely accessible online publications for the digital age. The tools developed and lessons learned from the OSCI collaboration are openly shared by the Getty Foundation with the museum community. Partnering OSCI institutions, in addition to the Walker, are the Art Institute of Chicago, the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Seattle Art Museum, and Tate.

Walker Art Center
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