'Spectacular of Vernacular' opens at the Walker Art Center

Categories: Art
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Untitled (Looking Back Buck); Marc Swanson, 2004
The newest exhibition at the Walker Art Center has a title fit for Dr. Seuss. "The Spectacular of Vernacular" is an showing of art with a homespun quality, but pieces are far from anything you'd find in grandma's hope chest.

The show includes 26 artists inspired by architecture, photographs, and homemade items. The collection, featuring pieces created from the 1970s to the present, has been described by the Walker as a "road trip through the emblems and eyesores of everyday culture, replete with tourist destinations and outmoded hotels."

Mike Kelley's tapestry is a scramble of colorful, handmade stuffed animals and afghans. Dario Robleto's piece, Demonstrations of Sailor's Valentines, is made from paper, seashells, foam core, and glue. It's a kitchy show, but there is comfort in these items that loosely resemble projects any of us could have brought home from school.

Mike Kelley

And then there are pieces that don't fall into this category. Recalling taxidermied animal heads found in lodges over the hearth, artist Marc Swanson has embellished the art form by creating a mounted deer head out of polyurethane foam that looks more like a disco-ball than an animal.

"The Spectacular of Vernacular" opens Saturday, January 29 and will be on view through May 8. On Friday, January 28 there will be a Walker After Hours Preview Party. It's an indoor-outdoor celebration where visitors are invited to wear their warmest winter sweaters and enjoy hot cocoa, hot dish appetizers, live music, and a one-of-a-kind ice bar on the plaza. The party goes from 9 to midnight. Tickets cost $30.

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Dario Robleto, Demonstrations of Sailor's Valentines
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Untitled #30; Lari Pittman, 1994


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