Visual Arts

Aug 28, 2013
Corndogs and Trembling: This Sickness Unto Fair
Sean Smuda

Sean Smuda was the judge for the 2011 photography class of the State Fair's 100th annual Fine Arts exhibition. Read on for his no-holds-barred behind-the-scenes take on the experience.
Aug 28, 2013
The Escape Artist
Jay Orff

Consider Samantha French's bright, Impressionistic paintings of a summer idyll: When so much contemporary art seeks to shock and surprise, to push boundaries, is such an unabashedly pleasant, familiar style of work still relevant to the conversation?
Aug 13, 2013
Exchange: A Conversation on Painting with Bruce Tapola
Ruben Nusz

In this informal, artist-to-artist interview on studio practice, originally published in 2010, Ruben Nusz and Bruce Tapola chat about painting - the uncertain terrain of critical value and success, material inspirations and the benefits of "slow looking."
Aug 13, 2013
Repetition & Repair
Miranda Trimmier

Miranda Trimmier asks, how can we repair the wearisome effects of endless novelty? Her modest but surprisingly transgressive tonic? Simple repetition as a sort of detoxifying reparation for our shared cultural attraction to the easily blurbed.
Jul 23, 2013
What's the Meaning of All This?
Nathan Young

Considering the art of interpretation by way of three shows at Pete Driessen's TuckUnder space, where the art stands alone - no labels, no explanations. But when is such silence about artwork intellectual largesse, and when is it cover for timidity?
Jul 16, 2013
The Secret Grace of Summer Camp for Socially Awkward Storytellers
Ira Brooker

Thanks to Alec Soth and the team of Little Brown Mushroom, a group of international artists and writers find themselves immersed in finding the stories hiding in plain sight within the marvelous mundanities of the Midwest.
Jul 13, 2013
Something Borrowed, Something Blue: "Trio" at Northern Prints Gallery
Julia Durst

Julia Durst caught “Trio” at Northern Prints Gallery in Duluth. She was most impressed with the work of Rob Quisling. The show is up through July 30, at 318 N. 14th Ave E, Duluth. Call 218-724-3089 for more information.
Jul 2, 2013
This Art Show Dares You to Participate
Nathan Young

If there are no labels on the wall, no readily available didactics, how does a viewer navigate oblique, conceptual art to figure out what they're seeing? A new sculpture show at the Soap Factory aims to find out (with mixed results).
May 24, 2013
Digital Culture and Art(ists) on the Verge
Sheila Dickinson

Sheila Dickinson reviews the latest "Art(ists) on the Verge" exhibition at the Soap Factory, featuring five Minnesota artists whose work addresses new media and technology: Chris Houltberg, Sarah Julson, Mad King Thomas, Asia Ward, Anthony Warnick
May 22, 2013
Dancing Naked in Public
Camille LeFevre

New York mag's art critic Jerry Saltz describes what artists and critics do as "dancing naked in public," when they produce, present and publish. And, he added at a recent appearance at Minneapolis' Public Functionary, it’s also why we need each other.
Apr 22, 2013
Reality Show
Julie Caniglia

Contemporary life blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy - we're accustomed, even numb to that fact. "More Real?" at the MIA takes a direct dive into this murky territory, where such questions and conundrums abound.
Mar 29, 2013
The Grocery Store as Gallery
Jay Orff

Jay Orff asks, "Is food packaging art?" From Warhol's famous soup cans to the minimalist design of the boxes of tea for sale at his neighborhood co-op, he considers the confluence of aesthetics, commerce and creativity in our grocery aisles.
Mar 27, 2013
Lies Like Truth
Nathaniel Smith

Nathaniel Smith explores the illusions and play on perspective in the two shows up in the MIA's MAEP Galleries through March 31: Brett Smith's cinephilic "Superimpostor" and David Bowen's trippy simulation of Lake Superior waves, "underwater."
Mar 22, 2013
Warhol and the Art of Making Money
Nathaniel Smith

Inspired by 'Andy Warhol in Minneapolis,' with a medium at his side and a bunch of questions about art, funding and politics, Nathaniel Smith peers into the hereafter to get the Prince of Pop Art's take on how work is bought and sold, in his own words.
Mar 14, 2013
Exchange: A Conversation on Painting with Joe Smith
Ruben Nusz

Painters Joe Smith and Ruben Nusz sit down for a far-ranging conversation, about self-help and primal gestures, blankets and childhood, making and seeing things in the unfixed, unnamed moment before language.
Mar 6, 2013
Currents of Memory
Sheila Regan

Writer Sheila Regan reviews Nina Canell's exhibition, "Stray Warmings," at Midway Contemporary Art in Minneapolis through April 6.
Mar 1, 2013
To Dream of a New Kind of Making
Ann Klefstad

Cecilia Ramon and Carla Stetson set out to create a work together, collaborating on every detail from conception to installation. Ann Klefstad writes on the results, on view at the Duluth Art Institute's "Confluence/Confluencia" show.
Feb 13, 2013
Please Touch the Art (As Directed)
Jay Orff

Usually the rules of going to a gallery are simple: Don’t touch anything, don’t even get particularly close. But at the Walker Art Center's "The Living Years: Art after 1989," ways of seeing the art quickly get more complicated.
Feb 6, 2013
Why is the College of Visual Arts Closing, and What Comes Next?
Camille LeFevre

Camille LeFevre digs behind the official talking points, speaking to CVA's interim president, faculty and alumni about the college's money troubles, sinking enrollment, and community concerns about management, plus grassroots efforts to save CVA.
Jan 31, 2013
Why Is Cindy Sherman Making Faces?
Lightsey Darst

Lightsey Darst says the Cindy Sherman show is one of the most important bodies of feminist art today, but not for any of the reasons cited on the wall in didactics accompanying the artist's retrospective (at the Walker through Feb. 17).
Jan 25, 2013
Dress Meets Dancing Body
Camille LeFevre

Rei Kawakubo’s costumes for Merce Cunningham’s company created a best-case scenario: a classic in the annals of modern dance, artistic collaboration and fashion history.
Dec 28, 2012
At a Coffee Shop in 'City of Seals'
Jay Orff

Jay Orff aims to find a fresh path through "City of Seals" (at David Petersen Gallery in Minneapolis through January 12), to see the work by Kristopher Benedict and Fabienne Lasserre on its own terms, in this poetic little dispatch from the gallery.
Dec 14, 2012
The State of the Arts
Nathaniel Smith

Nathaniel Smith tweaks the usual year-end list by assessing the state of the arts here in MN, beginning with the pros and cons of pop-up galleries, art and craft fairs and the financial domination of the MCAD Art Sale in the Twin Cities scene.
Nov 15, 2012
What Do You See When You Turn Out the Lights?
Stephen Tapscott

Poet, professor and art historian Stephen Tapscott gives a close reading of the bold new photographic work by Tucker Hollingsworth, situating it in the larger context of Modernist "self-consciousness" about creative process, technique and materials.
Nov 9, 2012
A Cat Lady Walks Into a Bar
Katie Czarniecki Hill

Katie Czarniecki Hill - art historian, staffer and an organizer of this year's Internet Cat Video Festival at the Walker -- seriously considers Jaime Carrera's recent "Dummies" exhibition of cat prints at Palmer's Bar in Minneapolis.


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