Paper Trail: A Decade of Acquisitions from the Walker Art Center


Over the past decade the boundaries between different art forms have become increasingly fluid. The shift is particularly evident with works of paper. In the spirit of innovation and experimentation, contemporary artists have explored the aesthetic possibilities of printmaking, drawing, collage, and other paper-based methods. This exhibition features a wide range of prints and drawings that address complex social and cultural issues.

Employing everything from pen and ink to elaborately layered, multimedia compositions, artists have given new life to their medium by creating conceptually rich works that challenge the viewer's perception of the world. Ellen Gallagher for example examines race and gender by incorporating unconventional materials such as Plasticine, glitter, and magazine cutouts to her mural-scaled tableaux while the German artist Thomas Hirschhorn comments on global culture by creating collages from found materials and images. The English artist Rachel Whiteread, best known for her large, life-scale casts of spaces, addresses the urban landscape in her photolithographs of London buildings in various stages of demolition while Elizabeth Peyton's intimate drawings of famous celebrities function as social commentaries highlighting the brittle artifice of life in the limelight.

Only recently acquired by the Walker, many works in this exhibition have not been exhibited until now. The museum has a history of forging artist relationships, often collecting early works, then adding pieces across media over the years. The Walker is home to bodies of works by some of the most important artists of our time. This exhibition offers the Figge visitor a rare opportunity to explore and experience the creativity and ingenuity of an international and multigenerational roster of artists.

Paper Trail is organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and is made possible by support from U.S. Bank, Michael J. Peterman and David A. Wilson, and the Fifth Floor Foundation.