Art Beat // Is it real?

Lifelike exhibit opens at Walker Art Center

The Walker Art Center’s Faux Real event celebrated the opening of its Lifelike exhibit last Friday and will be on display through May 27.  

The galleries were filled late into the evening with a crowd in search of a fun and interesting way to spend a Friday night. They found it.

A celebration of realism in contemporary art, the show offers a surprise around every corner and causes viewers to think twice about the recognizable objects of everyday life.

Artists, students and contemporary art fans gathered near a gigantic milk carton and card table with chairs that towered high over their heads as they entered the Target and Friedman galleries to explore works by more than 50 artists from around the world.

Patron Lydia Malm stood transfixed by the precise details of an enlarged chest-up rendering of a man. “I can’t stop staring at him, look at his chest hairs,” she said.

Some of the works, like the larger-than-life bust of an aging man by South African artist Evan Penny, are so realistic some viewers said they were unnerved. Other pieces in the show seemed so realistic that visitors did not realize they were part of exhibition.  

“My job is to guard this because people have been running into it,” said Walker gallery guard Kate Shannon.  

Shannon referred to Jud Nelson’s work, “Hefty 2-Ply,” a marble sculpture that looked exactly like a white plastic trash bag.

Near “Hefty 2-Ply” is the entrance to Bremen Towne, a life-size model of a kitchen wallpapered in bold shades of metallic gold, olive green and salmon. A visitor to the exhibit opened a booklet that was lying on a table that was part of the exhibit. A guard kindly reminded him not to touch anything.

Abbey Kleinert is a student in the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Go See It

“Lifelike” runs through May 27 at Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave.