Playing by the Bridge

The Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge spans 17 lanes of busy street and interstate highway to connect the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with Loring Park just west of downtown Minneapolis. Unlike the industrial style pedestrian bridges built in the 1960s and 1970s, the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge is a somewhat whimsical structure that was designed to be a piece of artwork as well as being a functional bridge. The result is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Twin Cities, one that is as fun as it is functional.

A mother and child play by the bridge …

Playing by the Bridge

September Room

September Room (room with two reclining figures and composition with long verticals) at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Mark Manders combines human figures and architectural elements to evoke the past and present, the familiar and unfamiliar. Three monumental heads recall classical Greek sculpture, yet seem to be trapped between boards or beams. With their delicately textured surfaces, these pieces at first appear to be modeled in wood or wet clay, but are actually cast in metal. The title September Room suggests a living space.

September Room


September Room Vertical

A Rooster at Church

Towering nearly 25 feet over the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Katharina Fritsch’s blue rooster is at once lifelike and completely unreal. Animals and everyday objects have long been subjects for the artist, who makes them otherworldly and extraordinary through bold shifts in scale, color, and material. The rooster can be a symbol of pride, power, and courage or posturing and macho prowess. Fritsch has admitted that she enjoys “games with language,” and the sculpture’s tongue-in-cheek title knowingly plays on its double meaning. Like Spoonbridge and Cherry,(image posted here yesterday) Hahn/Cock presents an unexpected take on the idea of a traditional public monument. Together, these two landmarks show how ordinary objects can become iconic and deeply symbolic.

The Basilica of Saint Mary adds a perspective on changing art over time.

A Rooster at Church

Spoonbridge and Cherry

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is an 11-acre park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the United States. It is located near the Walker Art Center.

Claes Oldenburg became a key voice in Pop Art, a 1960s movement that saw many artists turning to advertising and consumer products for subject matter. Spoonbridge and Cherry is one of their most celebrated collaborations. It was the first work commissioned for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which opened in 1988.

The fountain-sculpture was inspired by a novelty item Oldenburg had collected in 1962, featuring a spoon resting on an “island” of plastic chocolate. From
this, the artists envisioned a gigantic utensil as a fanciful bridge over a pond.
In considering Minnesota as a site, they compared the spoon’s raised bowl to the prow of a Viking ship or a duck bobbing in a lake. Van Bruggen added the cherry, a personal symbol recalling happy moments in a childhood clouded by World War II. At more than 50 feet long, Spoonbridge and Cherry has delighted visitors ever since and is now a familiar and iconic symbol for the Twin Cities.

Spoonbridge and Cherry