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Alec Soth in Five Ways In: Themes from the Collection

Does a portrait need to resemble its subject? Can a sculpture also be a landscape? The Walker’s newest collection exhibition takes a look at these and other questions through an exciting selection of works from the not-so-distant past and the current moment. The presentation is organized by five familiar themes: portraiture, the interior scene, landscape, still life, and abstraction. Each of these areas features a diverse range of artists whose approaches to their subjects are often unconventional, innovative, and even surprising.

With more than 100 works—painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and video installations—the exhibition Five Ways In: Themes from the Collection invites us to become reacquainted with favorites from the collection and discover new pieces by artists who are reinventing genres we thought we knew.

Self
Long used by artists as way to explore the self, identity, and the body, portraits have a unique capacity to capture the essence of an individual. This section includes both traditional portraits and others made in unexpected ways.

Inside
The indoor space can be a reflection of the artist’s creative environment and a site for observing the complexities or pleasures of life. Highlighted here are various takes on the subject of the interior, from domestic settings to public places to artists’ studios.

Outside
Many artists have reconsidered and expanded the notion of the landscape to include deeper meditations on the natural world—detailed observations of the outdoor environment that range from the specific to the abstract.

Everyday
Considering work by artists who celebrate the ordinary, this section brings together intriguing still lifes, singular takes on everyday language, and works that make the commonplace seem unfamiliar through changes in scale or materials.

Everything
Line, form, color, and shape are key to artists who embrace abstraction. The works here explore pure gesture and the physical properties of materials in compelling and inventive ways.

Curator: Siri Engberg, senior curator, Visual Arts; with Jadine Collingwood, curatorial fellow, Visual Arts; and Alexandra Nicome, interpretation fellow, Education and Public Programs

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