Challenged, Surprised, Captivated

Immerse yourself in this Walker Art Center sculpture exhibit

Photographer: Sophie Stephens

A stunning new exhibit at the Walker Art Center blurs the line between artwork and viewer.

Déformation Professionnelle is an exclusive art exhibit brought to the Twin Cities by artist Nairy Baghramian. The exhibit is unique, packed full of brand new sculptures that reflect upon and transform some of Baghramian’s previous artworks. Admittedly, I’m not an art aficionado, but I found myself enthralled as I paced through the gallery. The beautiful collection can be seen at the Walker Art Center until February 4, 2018, and is displayed in galleries 4, 5, and 6.

The first thing I noticed was the sheer size of the stark, white rooms that host the exhibition. I felt lost in another world as I stood in the middle of the massive exhibit and gazed at my surroundings. After coming back to reality, I realized that each display space also functions as another sculpture in the collection. Wide walls, vaulted ceilings, and marble flooring provide the perfect backdrop for the ambiguous sculptures strewn carefully about each room. The empty spaces that dominate each gallery appear to be as meticulously calculated as the placement of each individual sculpture. Color contrasting also delights the eyes as bright pastel figures clash with earth tone structures against the backdrop of the bleached surroundings. Meanwhile, the open layout of each room encourages the viewer to carelessly lose themselves in the large space. Having each structural element within arm’s reach provides a real sense of submersion as you find yourself blissfully sutured into the artwork.

After taking a moment to soak everything in, I asked myself a seemingly simple question: How do I feel about this exhibit? It was very difficult to summarize my emotions and I wrote down several words that finally came to mind: challenged, intrigued, surprised, curious, captivated. My mind had officially been blown by art. Transcendent works of art challenge emotions and force you to think critically about the profound meaning that the artwork is trying to convey. Déformation Professionelle is a striking exhibit that does exactly that–all while facilitating a relationship between the viewer, the artwork, and the architectural space that houses the experience itself.

Learn more about the exhibit here.