Rock the garden

LOWRY HILL — The first major outdoor sculpture installed at the Walker Art Center since 2005 was lifted into place with a crane April 11.

Jim Hodges’ “Untitled” consists of four large boulders, each partially covered in a veneer of brightly colored and glossy stainless steel. It’s the first permanent addition to the museum’s outdoor space since James Turrell’s bunker-with-a-view, “Sky Pesher, 2005,” opened around the same time as the museum’s Herzog & de Meuron-designed expansion seven years ago.

Like the Turrell piece, “Untitled” is located not in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden across Vineland Place from the museum but on the long, sloping lawn right next door, the former site of the Guthrie Theater.

“We’ve been wanting to do something on the green space and wanting to also add something as we’re gearing up for the 25th anniversary of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which is in September 2013,” said Walker Director Olga Viso.

The installation also anticipates a retrospective for Hodges, a multi-faceted artist known for his films, sculptures and installations. It is set to open at the Dallas Museum of Art in fall 2013 and travel to the Walker the following year.

Viso is one of the curators working on the career survey, and she was the one who urged Hodges to turn a drawing hanging on his studio wall into the latest addition to the Walker’s collection.

“I saw this thing on his wall, asked him about it, and here we are a little more than a year later,” she said.

Viso hinted that the Walker’s outdoor spaces might undergo some more changes prior to next year’s sculpture garden anniversary. A recent museum benefit raised funds to commission new works for the garden, she said.

“So, yes, it is a harbinger of things to come, but I’m not going to commit to the timing,” Viso said.

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