Wider White Space, Walker Without Walker (Part 2)

Next stop on the student-curated exhibition class at California College of the Arts is The Walker Art Institute. Just to refresh your memory, students in this class—a combination of undergraduate graphic design and graduate design students—collaborate in small groups to create a series of exhibitions. The goal of which is to explore the dual idea of creating a narrative for a particular designer/studio space that considers how to visually present it within an exhibition context.

Walker isn’t a typical design studio, but rather an in-house design team whose only “client” is the art museum. The students explained the exhibition, Walker Without Walker, as “an examination of design within the world of fine art”—or more specifically, the in-house design studio of Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center, one of the leading contemporary art museums in the country.

The challenge, then, for this exhibition was trying to parse the identity of a studio that so completely embodies the Walker’s own diverse and expansive programming. We examined the materials and considered what would happen if any evidence of “art” was taken away from the designed matter—essentially, subtracting the Walker museum from the Walker studio. The result is an overwhelming graphic array that captures the multivalent applications of the Walker’s design. As the studio’s work is so challenging to look at comprehensively, both due to its prolificacy and commitment to versatile Modernist practices, we wanted to reflect that experience in this presentation.

The wall panels created specifically for this display present the graphic work of the studio, minus any image pertaining to the museum. These pop-out panels play with the color, texture, and dimensionality of the physical pieces that the Walker Art studio produces.

The eliminated images have been placed in the vitrines, in piles, mimicking the act of physically removing image from “graphic work.”

Next up we work with Project Projects!

All photos courtesy of Renée Walker.

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