May 18, 2009

Gallery Visit- Jennifer's Group

I went to see the work of one of my high school classmates during the St. Paul art crawl, Kelsey Anderson. She showed her paintings with one of her friends, an african artist.
She had eight paintings left when I arrived, having sold quite a few during the day. I noticed a lot of pallette-knife technique, and she replied that she used that exclusively! Even the tiny details on the piece that I bought a print of, a tropical boat scene from her honeymoon in Thailand. It was amazing. One painting she had looked like brushwork, but she said that she used her fingers! Wow.
Most of her paintings were of nature, either of Australia, where she lived for a few years after marrying an Aussie, or of Africa, where she did some sort of teaching for a while after college. There was one self-portrait in the gallery. That one in particular showcases her skill in rendering life-likeness.I can't think of anyone that we've studied in class who resembles Kelsey in their work, but I would liken hers to Ansel Adams, except that it's painting instead of photography.
My favorite of her dispayed works was the aforementioned tropical boat scene. I've included a picture of the print that I purchased from her. There is no title. It was painted this past year from a photograph from 2005.
I would definitely recommend anyone check her work out. In fact, it was a mutual friend who took me to the gallery!

May 12, 2009

Rowan's Group: gallery visit

Continue reading "Rowan's Group: gallery visit" »

May 10, 2009

Rowan's Group: Gallery visit

Gallery Visit Report
Ashley Huegel
Group 4
Rowan's Group

The piece that I was most intrigued and drawn to was a piece called “Natural History of the Enigma” by Eduardo Kac. The art was a beautiful flowering petunia plant that stood in the middle of the room on a pedistool. What made this plant so special and unique was that the plant contained proteins from the artist Eduardo Kac and a petunia plant. It is intriguing to think about the merge of human and plant to create life! The artist felt that his genes actually gave the plants flowers red streaks throughout the petals, like veins coursing with blood.

This was a one person installation, however the artist did work with a scientist from the University of Minnesota (Neil Olszewski) to help him with his creation. What added to the installation was the stark and bleak room within which the pedistool stood. The lack of distractions within the room allowed for you really focus on the plant and take in all the beauty that it had to offer. I feel that the artist was trying to covey to the viewer the bond between human and nature.

I would absolutely tell a friend about the “Natural History of the Enigma” because it is a beautiful and an innovate piece and it is amazing to see how the artist thought and used his own genes fused with that of the plant which caused the red veining.

May 1, 2009

Rowan's Group: Gallery Visit

Changing Identity: Recent Works by Women Artists from Vietnam
Keit Osadchuk

Changing Identity was an exhibition at that Weisman Art Museum at the U of M campus. This exhibit consisted of 35 artworks by a group of women Vietnamese artists. Media used ranged from paper to cloth to video to watercolor to photographs to wood. The pieces were organized in four rooms, each with about eight works collected on four walls. Sculptural pieces made out of wood were usually in a room with drawings, while photographs were grouped with more modern media such as video.

The main theme was Vietnamese culture in Vietnam and abroad, as well. Some artists portrayed daily life while others focused on specific heritage and culture traits associated with being of the Vietnamese nation. The individual pieces, however different in concepts they might have been, tied together as a whole by portraying Vietnam. One artist, for example, made series of plain, daily self-portraits in different locations across the globe where there has been Vietnamese culture present. Another artist has focused on portraying the traditional Vietnam with older materials like wood, paper, and cloth; making figures draped with long cloth, her work nods to the history of Vietnam. There is a connection to the work of Kentridge, in the sense that there is historical and cultural reference in both his work and that of the Vietnamese women in this exhibit. Their work is based on both their country as it is today and its history.

One great work was "Dialogue," 1998, by Dang Thi Khue, the oldest artist in the exhibition (b. 1946). Her piece consisted of 25 paper masks colored in different, rich tones, two of which were embellished with gold and silver. The masks were hung on the wall, arranged in a rhombus. The inspiration behind Dang Thi Khue's work has been the traditional spirit of the Vietnamese women.

This exhibit is a good insight to Vietnam's artists today, as it shows both tradition and modernity within the culture. The range of media and the detailed skill is inspiring and impressive, so I would recommend any friend to visit the gallery.

April 29, 2009

Margaret's Group: Gallery Visit

Changing Identity: Recent Works by Women Artists from Vietnam
by Joanne Liu

I visited the exhibit “Changing Identity: Recent Works by Women Artists from Vietnam” at the Weisman Art Museum. It was a group exhibition of about fifty different works by various women from around Vietnam. These works varied in medium depending on artist. There were sculptures, videos, and photographs, but most were paintings. But even the paintings were done in various mediums, like watercolor, oil, and Chinese ink.

At the entrance of the exhibition, an introduction is printed on the wall which explicitly states that this exhibition hoped to “celebrate the diverse expression of female identity in a changing society. Each artist in this exhibition shares a unique perspective on her own culture... [The exhibition] aims to emphasize Vietnamese women’s individual experiences and personalities in order to challenge both the notion of ‘women’ as a single category and the ‘Vietnamese artist’ as a single genre.” To this end, each artist displayed a set of pieces that exhibited a certain idea or feeling in a very cohesive style.

These pieces are very personal, and while walking through the exhibition, I felt like I was almost intruding on some else’s thoughts and feelings. I have not gotten this feeling from any of the other artists we have discussed in class but Nan Goldin’s comes the closest, because she reveals her own life through her photographs. However, Goldin’s are spontaneous and documents events as they occur. The women in the exhibition, on the other hand, all have very well planned pieces. Everything appears to be well thought through before being made, and their pieces express their point of view of what it means to them to be Vietnamese. For example, Phuong M. Do presents a set of photographs of herself in environments that continue around her while she stares back at the viewer to highlight her sense of alienation in American and Vietnam.

The piece that caught my attention the most was in the farthest room in the corner. It was made by Nguyen Bach Dan whose pieces are scenic paintings of forests and paths made with Chinese ink on brown paper that try to capture the vigor of the landscape in a photographic image. The piece I was attracted to was named “Forest Reflections” (2005). From far away, it looked like a scratchy sepia photograph of a bend in a peaceful river reflecting the forest above. However, up close it is obvious that it is made of a series of energetic, dry brush strokes crisscrossing all over the place. I really liked the contrast of energy between far and near. It truly captured the life of a quiet, personal stroll through a forest.


I enjoyed the exhibition, and I wish it included more pieces. I recommend it to others, but only if they have the time to walk around and reflect on the pieces. If I had run through the exhibition quick, I would have missed the atmosphere created by the pieces which hold the entire exhibit together. Without it, the pieces are just a series of nice looking artworks.

Gallery Visit, Rowan's Group. Ashley Kreidler

Tom Arndt’s Minnesota exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts was composed of a collection of photographs taken from the mid 1960’s to present. The collection shows contemporary American life with mid-western flavor. There are a plethora of different photographs, ranging from farm auctions to snapshots taken in front of Sex World in Minneapolis. Tom’s work is highly acclaimed for his ability to show Minnesota life for it’s intriguingly simple attributes and qualities. The collection also highlights the isolation and destitute conditions of Minnesota winters and rural areas. The black and white photographs portray a strong sense of loneliness trapped inside of single moment of mid-western life.
Although there is a powerful feeling of isolation within the photographs, this is contrasted by vivacious scenes of the Winter Carnival in St. Paul, parades from small towns in southern Minnesota, and the Cinco De Mayo Festival in the Twin Cities. These photos work to draw a distinction from the harshness of the land to the energized spirit of the people who occupy this area. More specifically, the juxtaposition of the isolated, desperate scenes and the lively gatherings of the Midwesterners give a strong essence of the spirit of Midwestern culture. Another artist who uses the dichotomy of perceived persona and actual character is Suzanne Opton. Her photographs capture the fragility of soldiers, which contrasts the supposed warrior-like status many people associate with people of war. Her billboard work works to create a new personality for soldiers.
A specific piece that illustrates this concept is the photograph titled “Winter Carnival, St. Paul” from the 1980’s. This piece shows the harshness of the climate while highlighting the persistence of Minnesota people to celebrate their homeland. The photo shows a large group of Minnesotans standing huddled together, standing with their freezing fingers stuffed into their pockets. The title suggests festivity and celebration, while the people’s posture seems the opposite. There is, however, a strong contrast of the subjects’ composure and their happy, smiling faces. Therefore, the photograph’s title, the people’s poses and the look on their faces alludes to the contentment that Midwesterns’ have to the desolate winters and their stubborn insistence to celebrate what most people would move away from.
Tom Arndt’s collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts successfully illustrates Minnesota’s culture and way of life. The work not only shows contemporary Midwestern Americans, but works to create contrast between how people perceive the Midwest landscape and the people who occupy this area.

Margaret's Group-Gallery Visit Christina Lopez

I visited Tom Arndt’s Minnesota exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. This was a one-person exhibition that included over 60 photographs that were lined up at about eye-level on seven separate walls.
The main theme of the exhibition was Tom Arndt’s perspective of Minnesota over the past forty years. Many of his pieces illustrated street scenes or people at the State Fair. When comparing him to artists we have talked about, I would say that he is most like Nikki Lee in that he was trying to show his representation of how he saw different people and, although he did no performing art in the photographs, he was showing “an honest account of everyday life” and I feel like that was what Nikki Lee was shooting for as well.
The piece to which I responded was a photograph entitled Street Scene, Minneapolis, 1981. The photograph was of a wealthy woman walking down the street with her purse and shopping bag in downtown Minneapolis, but she was walking on a makeshift sidewalk through a dirty construction site. She had a distressed look on her face and I think that Tom might have wanted to make this photograph because this woman was in real life, but when you see the photograph it almost seems staged because it is hard for one to imagine a woman like that walking where she was.
I would tell a friend that this exhibition is collection of Tom Arndt’s black and white photographs throughout the years depicting images of Minnesota. I would recommend that they visit the exhibition, especially if they live or have lived in Minnesota because it is really interesting to see parts of the city from years ago.

Continue reading "Margaret's Group-Gallery Visit Christina Lopez" »

Margaret's Group - Gallery Visit

By Alex Morse-Noland

The “Contemporary Monsters” exhibition is being held in the Minneapolis Northern Clay Center, having opened on March 19th and running until May 3rd. Having attended the opening night, I was able to take advantage of the free food and a certain sense of smugness. Guest-curated by Londoner and ceramicist Edith Garcia, the exhibit features approximately three dozen ceramic artworks made by seven different artists of wildly varying styles. Though all seven work predominantly in clay, several incorporate mixed-media in their works, including wood, glass, yarn, and (in one instance) piles of dirt. Edith Garcia in particular incorporates drawings in her artwork. Because the gallery in the Northern Clay center is rather small, it is a very intimate exhibition; visitors are able to walk all around and in-between many of the works, an ideal way to admire the various sculptural forms. Each artist has their works clustered in roughly the same area, generally near other artists with some stylistic or thematic similarities. It’s hard to imagine how else the artworks might be displayed, as the limited gallery space doesn’t allow for much creativity in the way of presentation.

Image courtesy of the Northern Clay Center website

As its name implies, the exhibit focuses on contemporary artists who create artwork with a darkly surreal bent. Most works are entirely sculptural, and only two or three could potentially serve a utilitarian purpose as a bong or as dishware. The majority of artists involve the human figure in some manner—Tom Bartel, for example, created a series of deformed, foreboding heads mounted along one wall, and Wesley Anderegg’s art involves small, vaguely sinister figures mounted on richly textured wooden stages. Among the artists we were exposed to in class, the one with the most similar work would probably be Kelly Connole. She similarly creates sculptural forms in clay, though not quite so dark thematically nor so political—more than one artist in the exhibition featured work that addressed issues such as gender expectations and social roles. To name the exhibit “Contemporary Monsters” seems a very appropriate choice. These are not artists interested in pushing the conceptual limits of the ceramic medium—they are clearly content to explore the physical presence of sculptural form and the vagaries of form. Consequently, the artwork on display is free of superfluous conceptual baggage, a refreshing celebration of the versatility of the ceramic medium and the way it lends itself to the imagination of the individual artist. That is not to say that the artworks aren’t challenging or open to interpretation—the surrealist touches leave many of the works mysterious and unsettling in a highly satisfying manner. On the whole, the exhibited works are dreamlike, slightly sinister, and sometimes humorous, a pleasingly cohesive selection.

Wolf Girl III (2009).jpg
Cynthia Consentino - "Wolf Girl III" (2009), ceramic and mixed media
Image courtesy of the Northern Clay Center website

One noteworthy sculpture is “Wolf Girl III,” by Cynthia Consentino, which depicts a three-foot-tall little girl in a pretty pink dress with a snarling wolf’s head. In one hand the girl is squeezing the life out of a tiny man in a suit, and by her other hand sits a large rabbit. I found the overall effect to be quite humorous and somewhat unsettling, and I consider this work to be my favorite from the exhibition. The nearly life-size sculpture has a very immediate physical presence, and continued to draw me back for another look during my visit. The work appears to be entirely done in clay, but the label states that it is “mixed media,” which I suspect refers to the materials used to paint the surface of the clay. The artist was motivated by a desire to explore preconceptions about gender and the associations we are taught to make from an early age, and “Wolf Girl III” seems intended to be a humorously subversive take on the issue. On her website, Consentino states that the wolf girl and similar sculptures formed from a desire to “explore how fairy tales and mythology form and reflect our ideas about gender. The series grew out of my thoughts about a study that asked five year old children to state an animal that was most like themselves. The girls answered the names of cuddly, passive, even stuffed animals (one girl said a flower), while the boys responded with more aggressive, predatory animals.” Consentino works in clay because the medium allows her to mold virtually any form she desires, and because it allows her to experiment and work quickly in three dimensions. Ultimately, the content of her artwork is more important than the medium itself.

Tom Bartel - Drag Head (2008) ceramic, mixed media.jpg
Tom Bartel - "Drag Head" (2008), ceramic and mixed media
Image courtesy of the Northern Clay Center website

Overall, the Contemporary Monsters exhibition is a highly interesting collection of sculptures that illustrates the versatility of clay. I have already enthusiastically recommended this exhibition to several friends for the simple reason that there is good artwork on display—the gallery may be very small, but the selection of works rewards close examination. Furthermore, if you have a few thousand dollars to throw around, purchasing artwork provides an excellent opportunity to support the artistic community. At the very least, I would recommend the gallery to anyone interested in modern surrealism or ceramic sculpture, which is essentially the entire focus of the exhibition.

Jennifer's Group: Gallery Visit by Maia Pavitova

Maia Pavitova
Gallery Visit: The Quick and the Dead at Walker Art Center

The Quick and The Dead exhibit at the Walker Art Center is a surveying exhibition that showcases mainly conceptual art from 1960’s to 1970’s but also includes some modern pieces that were created for this exhibit. All kinds of media were used to showcase conceptual ideas of the exhibit from photography to live human beings. Approximately 53 artists from all over the world presented their work.
The exhibit is focused around the phrase The Quick and The Dead that is coming from a bible in reference to the last judgment. It is exploring the mystical and hidden meaning behind the objects and the reality. The reality is what is immediate and that would be the “Quick” and the unknown of the objects is the “Dead”. The exhibit also explorers the idea of time and space and the objects found in between. To me the whole place has this kind of surreal feeling of Alice in Wonderland, it seemed that objects were real but at the same time you were hanging in some kind of a dream. There were some many things going on at the same time that it felt also like Jenny Schmidt’s prints, where she has the time and space compressed all on the same plane, where the time and reality is mixed with gender role, in her case.
The piece of work that I was looking forward at seeing in this exhibit was work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. The title of work is “Untitled” (Orpheus, Twice) from 1991. It is two part mirror 75 by 55 inches. The title of this piece refers to the myth about Orpheus, who descends the underworld to bring back his lover. The mirrors also make a reference to the Jean Cocteau’s film where the hero passes through the mirror. The artist places two mirrors that make an interaction with the audience members standing in front of it or moving across as a possible reference to the time passing and that nothing staying still, even a person standing in front of the mirror changes.
This exhibit inspires you to explore the internal psyche of your mind and heart. I would recommend coming to explore the exhibit and see how much of it you find it inside of you. You pass through time in a dreamlike fashion and see the objects flowing through time that you start questioning what is real and what is not.

Jennifer's Group: Gallery Visit

I visited Chamber Art gallery. It was group exhibition. Each person and group had one art work. There were paintings as the most exhibited and some of the sculptures and the photographs. There were no specific arrangement but some art work was too large that it could only placed on largest room gallery had.
The main theme of the gallery is contemporary art. I didn't see any order of showcase because each artist had only one art work.
There was one art work created by Japanese artist. His name was Yasumura. His work was done by photograph and painting. He thinks the art is entertainment. He said even the Leonardo Da Vinci was an entertainer.
I would definitely recommend my friends to go here. There are lots of interesting works and artists' ideas and thought about art.

Rowans Group: Gallery Visit, Erin Westover

I saw Elizabeth Peyton's "Live Forever" exhibit at the Walker Art Center. It was a one person exhibit featuring many of her drawings from the beginning of her career to today. There were over a hundred different portraits. She had many portraits up that were done with oil on board and canvas and other sketches with pencil and colored pencils. It didn’t really seem like there was any specific arrangement, such us early work to current work, it was fairly all mixed in.
The main theme of the exhibit was portraits. She has done some portraits of famous people or pictures in history as well as her friends, which were the majority of her work. One of the things that I really like about her work was the way she put colors together. She used a lot of jewel tone colors, but wasn’t limited to just that. There was this one portrait of a young child ‘max’, a blond kid with a light pastel blue shirt on and he was surrounded by this really rich dark purple.
A lot of her work is very similar to photography as far as cropping and tonal colors. It was stated in the art on call phone service that for a lot of her work she uses pictures she had taken and turned them into oil paintings. The one I liked that showed this aspect was titled “Tokyo Craig” and it shows an image of a guy looking out a window and its monochromatic with deep blue tones. They say this was to inspire a feeling of evening in the picture but I got the opposite feeling of daytime.
The brochure put out by the museum made note of the fact that her portraits are grounded in ‘a kind of popular realism that has had a major influence on contemporary art in the United States and Europe.’ I think the most defining factor of her portraits is the style it was done in. With the oil paintings and the brush size you can really see the different strokes. To me this added a less than realistic element to her otherwise realistic images and I really appreciated that.
I would recommend this exhibit to a friend and would tell them of its rich colors and engaging subject matter. Her portraits freeze people in a certain point of time while adding a richness of color and vibrancy that isn’t always as present in photography.

Rowans Group: Gallery Visit

The Quick and the Dead gallery visit by Josh Clemons.

• Briefly describe the exhibition.
Was it a one-person exhibition or group exhibition?
More then 50 artists
How many artworks (roughly) were included?
Three galleries worth, roughly 60-100
What media (art materials) were used?
Many different medias to include: canvas, photography, audio, video, metal working, complicated machinery
How was the exhibition arranged or organized?
There was a general flow and openness feeling. Everything was simple except for the artwork. By keeping the walls white and the floor plain it draws attention to all the artists works.
• Identify and describe a main theme of the exhibition.
What was it about
The show was focused on spatiotemporal realms. It took a different look in how we experience time and places in time as we know them. From the Walker's website, "The Quick and the Dead seeks, in part, to ask what is alive and dead within the legacy of conceptual art."

Was it about a theme or idea?
Yes, it art to time and space. It asked, "what is alive and dead within the legacy of conceptual art."
Was it designed to showcase the work of individual artists?
I don't think so, it was more of a collective gallery that focused on a main idea rather then particular artists.
Use specific examples from the exhibition. Compare to the work of artists we’ve discussed in class.
The first artwork that I thought of relating to class was called "The Subtraction of Zeros." It was simple, but reminded me of the repetition and change assignment we had. I just had one of those lightbulbs go off and thought to myself how I should have done that for the classwork.
• Pick one specific work in the exhibition.
List the title and materials (if the exhibition is a single installation by an artist, you will list the installation) and briefly describe it.
Title- Into Black Artist- Jason Dodge
This piece of art was fascinating to me, it was 8 a large piecse of undeveloped photograph paper that was first introduced to light during an equinox at 8 different places in the world.
What inspired or motivated the artist to make this work?
I'm not sure what inspired the artist but I found it fascinating how it captured a specific point in time. Not in the way the normal picture is taken, but in a way that focuses on the time not the place. It was easily my favorite piece at the exhibit.
• What would you tell a friend about this exhibition?
Would you recommend they visit it? Why or why not?
I would recommend the exhibition to anyone. I found many of the pieces to me very interesting at the very least and some were totally rad! My second favorite was 2 fax machines set up feeding each other the same piece of paper and just faxing it back and forth. It reminded me of political rhetoric. Beyond that, there were many interesting pieces and even if the person I told to visit didn't like the exhibit, there is always the sculpture garden at the Walker that rocks.

tonyas group - gallery visit

Karrah Kobus
Gallery Visit Report

I visited the Walker Art Center and was particularly struck by the exhibition entitled "The Shape of Time." The artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures alike and included works by a wide variety of artists including Chuck Close, Lorna Simpson, Jasper Johns, and Mark Rothko. The works in this exhibition are organized in groups.

The theme of the exhibition was art history. It covered 50 years of history and was arranged in four sections. The first was called "Mid-Century Radical" and presented both classic and radical elements in the works. It dealt with abstractions, created by the postwar era in American and European history. The second set of artworks were put together into a group entitled "Alternative Modernisms." This section contains highly unconventional works created in the 1960's and 1970's, all of which help to demonstrate the turmoil of the times. The third portion of the gallery was called "American Standards" and had a heavy focus on the pop art movement. Works by Andy Warhol, "Grocery Carton Sculptures," are the center of this section. Lastly, "Variations on Convention" contains works from the 1980's up through the 1990's. This section displays the diversity of works found from this time period.

I really enjoyed the Andy Warhol sculptures from the "American Standards" section. The Grocery Carton series contains Warhol's most famous sculpture: the Brillo Boxes. Also included in the grocery carton series are Campbell's tomato juice and Heinz ketchup containers. The sculptures reflect Warhol's work with pop culture and symbolism and you can see this again in his paintings that are also on display. It was interesting to see, in person, a famous work of art that we had discussed in class.

I would definitely recommend visiting this exhibition. My favorite aspect of this collection of works is the diversity. The works of art vary in their style, so there is a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy. Visiting this gallery would also be particularly beneficial for someone interested in history, such as myself. It is fun to see how the styles changed over time and what kind of issues the artists were dealing with. The Walker also did a great job selecting works overall and ended up with a very enjoyable collection.

Margaret's Group - Gallery Visit

Danielle Frye
Walker Art Museum
"The Quick and the Dead"

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Jennifer's Group - Gallery Visit

I visited the exhibition entitled "Contemporary Monsters" at the Northern Clay Center. The exhibition featured many different artists' work, all centered around the use of sculpture and a sense of distortion and imagination with their real world interpretations.

Artists included John de Fazio, Michael Lucero, Wesley Anderegg, Arthur Gonzalez and Tom Bartel, among others. Though the medium was relatively simalar (clay), the end products between artists ranged hugely. John de Fazio created works such as "The Grinch Bong", a humorous interpretation of the holiday season and the sedation needed to endure it. His other works included "Skull Stein", an oversized beer stein used to illustrate the story of William Bouroughs, as well as mugs featuring Prince and James Dean- as zombies. Michael Lucero showed intensely colorful, abstract sculptures the displayed the collision of many different worlds at different times, and Tom Bartel mounted three separate sculptures of heads, each representing fragmentation of the human form and various stages of life.

I found every artists' work incredibly fascinating and inventive. I love the Northern Clay Center's sales gallery and had been able to visit the back studios last semester, but this was the first time I had been back to the artist's gallery in months. It was refreshing to see a gallery of modern art within a relatively "old-fashioned" medium, and contemporary issues addressed in such a classic yet incredibly imaginative way.

Tonya's Group - Gallery Visit - Ethan Weber

Gallery Visit
Expanded Drawing
Works by Nicholas Conbere, Michelle Johnson, Jack Pavlik, and Sonja Peterson
by Ethan Weber

I went to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and visited the Expanded Drawing exhibition. The theme behind the exhibition was to create an expanding image of what drawing could be. All four artists in the exhibit showed extremely different styles of art. Nicholas Conbere has a unique technique where he draws detailed architectural scenes overlapping each other to create imaginary landscapes. Michelle Johnson made illusionary paintings consisting of tiny patterns inside larger patterns. Jack Pavlik brought a new element to the exhibit by creating mechanically powered metal sculptures. To complete the exhibition, Sonja Peterson created paper murals by cutting intricate scenes out of large sheets of heavy paper.

There were roughly thirty to forty pieces in the exhibit between all the artists. The exhibit was held in the newly redesigned corner of the MIA. The exhibit displayed Nicholas Conbere in the first showroom, Michelle Johnson in the second, and Jack Pavlik lastly with a mix of Sonja Peterson’s work throughout the whole show.

Personally I enjoyed viewing the works by Nicholas Conbere the most because of the interest that I have in art and architecture. His piece titled, “Footbridge” was a very interesting piece because the scene depicted was centered on a small body of water. The landscape expanded out around the pond encompassing the entire page until the “footbridge” over the body of water was barely noticeable. His overlapping technique was something that I had never come across before. Clearly the most attractive thing about his work is the flawless understanding of linear perspective that he uses. The pictures could literally be taken for blueprints if in a different setting.

I would definitely recommend this exhibit to my friends to go and visit if at all still possible. After viewing the different works in this exhibit, my imagination of what drawing could be was greatly strengthened. Visually, it is much easier for me to understand what it would be like to draw in 3D, especially because of the sculptures by Jack Pavlik. Overall, I really enjoyed this exhibit because of my large grounding in drawing and also because of the fresh insight I gained from it as an artist myself.

Margaret's Group: Gallery Visit

Gretchen Ruehle
ARTS 1001
Gallery Visit

I saw the “Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton” exhibition at the Walker. This exhibition contained about 90 pieces by Elizabeth Peyton. There was a mix of oil paintings, drawings with pen and pencil, and watercolors. The exhibition consisted of five large and one small room. It appeared as though each room housed works of a specific subject, although it this was not strict categorization. Paintings were hung on every wall of every room at the same height, creating a line of works tracing the walls. One large room housed Peyton’s portraits of historical figures, at least two large rooms housed portraits of Peyton’s close friends and musicians, there was a room for portraits of other artists and current popular figures in society, and the smallest room was only filled with Peyton’s Kurt Cobain portraits. Since these rooms weren’t strictly themed, I think it was also sort of categorized by when the portraits were made.

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Rowan's Group: Gallery Visit

Sofia Bilkadi
Gallery Visit
Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton

Currently, the Walker is exhibiting the works of artist Elizabeth Peyton titled Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton. The five room exhibit displays around 100 paintings of Peyton’s in the Target Gallery. Each room had about 20 portraits of celebrities, politicians, even friends, each capturing a little bit of history that could otherwise have gone unnoticed.
Walking through the exhibit, without even reading the brochure, it was not hard to determine the main theme of Elizabeth Peyton’s work: portraits. However, these portraits were not just a painting of a person sitting; they were about a moment in time, whether it was imagined or an actual event, that was captured. Some of these moments were more recognizable, like the painting titled Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008, and some were of moments that were probably forgotten by many, like the painting of Prince William titled Prince Eagle. Peyton’s paintings reminded me of Yinka Shonibare’s work. Their styles and topics may be different but they have used popular figures in their work. They have also used history in their work and they both have a fantasy-like flare to their pieces.
One painting that stood out to me was a painting of Jackie Kennedy and her son John, titled Jackie and John (Jackie fixing John’s Hair). Peyton used oil on board and painted this in 1999. It is 14 by 11 inches, a lot of blue was used, and is of Jackie Kennedy walking besides her son, John, and fixing his hair, pretty much what the title tells you. I think what inspired Peyton to paint this particular portrait is that it is of a very normal moment between two very important people. It is very intimate because it shows a loving, healthy relationship between mother and son. Even though they were in the spot light and seemed larger than life, they were just like everybody else. I think what stood out to me about this painting, besides what I stated above, is that it is a moment in time that I never really thought about. When I think of the Kennedy family, I do not think of moments like this, and I feel like that is one reason that I really liked this piece.
The Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton exhibition is something that I would recommend to numerous people. Her art has something to offer to many different people, whether they are looking for more icon images or something out of the everyday, she has a painting for it. Her use of color only enhances the paintings; they add a surreal feel to the portraits and yet remain recognizable. Her work displays history through moments that belong to the subject of that painting, and she is allowing these sometimes forgotten moments to live forever.

Links to paintings
For Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008 and Elizabeth Peyton, Jackie and John (Jackie fixing John’s hair)
For Prince Eagle

Tonya's group: Gallery Visit

To view Nick Conbere’s Landscape with Ups and Downs, go to:
Nick Conbere, Landscape with Ups and Downs, 2008, Mixed media on Mylar, 31 x 50 inches.

The group exhibition under the title Expanded Drawing was composed of artworks by Nick Conbere, Sonja Peterson, Michelle Johnson, and Jack Pavlik. The works from these various artists were at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts from January 23 to March 15, 2009. Many visitors went through the gallery to view what may have been nearly one hundred works, put on display by the artists, and were astounded at how art was used. I first encountered Pavlik’s moving sculptures which gave me an eerie sense of mechanics. I entered another gallery space and found myself staring at Johnson’s lovely letter designs. Then I moved into another area and encountered Conbere’s strange landscapes and comments, Peterson’s drawings that had been cut up into strange sculptural pieces and more of the kinesthetic sculptures by Pavlik.

The main theme of this exhibition was drawing, but not in a traditional way. The artists were to “extend their use of line and the concept of drawing” ( However, as they expanded their concept of drawing, their work spilled over into the exploration of other media types (for example: Pavlik’s sculptures). The artists were chosen to be a part of this exploration because they were explorers of art and therefore the exhibition was used to show off the work of the individual artists and formally set them apart as different, special. Each had their own space to show in and when one walked into each space, the artworks were there imposing a different mood on the setting because they spoke moods from the hand of each individual artist. It seemed that in the same way Ellen Gallagher filled a room with her strangely collaged artwork, these artists used the ordinary concept of line or drawing to create something out of the ordinary. Or perhaps the work was similar to that of William Kentredge because it was beautiful, different, and about something, but one could not always know for certain what it was about.

Nick Conbere’s Landscape with Ups and Downs was a beautiful mixture of media on Mylar that was included with his installations and was particularly intriguing. There was a wonderful balance of light drawings at the top of the paper and darker lines at the bottom along with a few delicate touches of color in various places that made it all the more interesting. Yet it was not much more interesting than the rest of his work on display at the exhibition. In fact, all of his work was fabulously captivating in the way that he used them to create his own fantasy world in which landscapes were as flat or as dimensional as he desired.

I think that everyone who has the chance should see the artwork that was displayed in the exhibition. I was thrilled with the way my imagination was allowed to go free when I looked at the art in the Expanded Drawing show and thought of the processes that were used to make those particular works. I hope to take what I have seen, not to reproduce it, but to use it as inspiration at the thrill of going against the norm of how art is usually made.

Works Cited:
Expanded Drawing: Nick Conbere, Sonja Peterson, Michelle Johnson, and Jack Pavlik. 2009. Minneapolis Institute of Arts. April 28, 2009.

April 28, 2009

Tanya's Group: Anita Jung

The artist exhibition that I went to was at the Regis Center for Art on campus and the artist was Anita Jung. She is a teacher that the University of Iowa. It was a one-person exhibition. She showed her artwork through a slide show. She showed about 50 different pieces of art and explained how she created them. She used several different medias. Some of them were gesso, charcoal, beeswax, chalk, carbon, dry pigment, photocopy, intaglio, collagraph, screen print, spray paint, decal, and paint color swatches. She used a lot of paint chips. She said she got a huge number of paint chips donated to her.

Anita Jung had several different themes in her work. The main theme was grief/death. Two of her series that went along with this theme were the Cemetery Bride Photogravure and the Requiem Series. While she was working on the Cemetery Bride Photogravure, she spent a lot of time in cemeteries. While she was in a cemetery in Prague, she saw a statue that was obviously no longer visited. This figure is what inspired her most for the Cemetery Bride Photogravure. The Requiem Series had a death theme in a different sense than grief. It was more like death within ourselves. She used the phrase “little deaths” to explain it. She created this series after her daughter was born and she had a lot more to lose. The “little deaths” were the things she gave up when her daughter was born. Other themes of Jung’s artwork are being a parent and the AIDS epidemic.

An artist that we have discussed in class that I would compare Jung to is Nancy Spero. I would compare them because Spero created the War Series and Jung created a series during the Persian Gulf War. This series did not have a title. She used fire to create it because she was very intrigued by it. In this series, we see the death theme again.

We did not see an installation at the exhibit, but she did show one in the slide show that she had created. The installation was called Beneath the Surface. She created it in Atlanta and through it she wanted to show that all families are singularly happy but unhappy in individual different ways. She used materials that were disposable. She used metallic tapes, silk screen on walls, and silk flowers to portray butterflies.

I was glad that I went to this exhibit because I found Jung’s work interesting and inspiring. She is very creative and portrays and interprets her themes well. I would recommend anyone to visit an exhibition of Jung because it was not just any boring exhibition. Jung kept me interested and did not bore me.

Tonya's group: Elizabeth Peyton


I chose Elizabeth Peyton’s gallery at Walker Center for my gallery visit assignment. The gallery was named “Live forever.” In a white room, her works were hung around neatly and organized. There was around 20 to 30 art works; most of them was in a very small size, which is about the size of a paper sheet. These art works were painting, charcoal, pencil, and watercolor. One special thing about Peyton’s art works is the bright color of her paintings. These bright colors seem to create more energy for the paintings; they are powerful and attractive arty works. All of her art works is portrait. Each portrait seems to tell viewers stories about each person’s life. As a viewer, when I saw these portrait, they caught my attention and curious about these people in the painting. When I went further into the gallery, I found out one interesting thing that I recognized some faces that I had seen before in the gallery. From this point, I knew that Peyton paint her model more than one time. The same person appeared in different context, painting style, and outside look (hair, clothes, position). A chance to see a same model again helped me to understand more about that person’s characteristics or life.

Peyton’s work reflected the cultural context of late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The works represented the aesthetic of youth, fame, and creative genius. She is successful to show the beauty in every life of variety people on the planet. Because the art works are about daily life of normal people, they help us understand more about the painting. Elizabeth Peyton’s art works form a new kind of contemporary art; her works is the connection between art and life.

View Peyton’s gallery, it reminds me about Nan Goldin’s photographs. Goldin’s pictures are about her friends’ lives, include hers. Each of them has different media but they both want to show their friend’s lives and also their lives. Their art works are the connection between art and life. One common thing between Goldin and Peyton is viewers can recognize the similar faces which appear one more time in the galleries. These repeat models help viewers to understand not only the artists’ works but also about the models.

My favorite Peyton’s work is the painting "Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008." The portrait was made only in five days and it was very unusual compare to other paintings. Peyton decided to paint the picture in Jet Magazine because she wanted to express a transcendent mother-and-child in the midst of history being made. Also, Peyton thought that the original photograph was great but by making it into a painting transformed it into a transcendent image. The picture later became famous for being a painting of an African American first lady and her daughter. This painting expresses about the culture changing and the remarkable American history in 21st century. I would recommend everyone to visit Elizabeth Peyton’s gallery. If you are a fan of Nan Goldin, you would love Peyton’s gallery. Their works are similar together. Be in Peyton’s gallery, we can experience the variety of bright color, and different form and styles of portrait.

Gallery Visit- Jenny Olson (Margaret's Group)

The exhibition I went to was the Elizabeth Peyton exhibition at the Walker Art Museum. It was a one person exhibition and there were hundreds of pieces of her artwork hung up in the exhibit. The artist’s collection of pictures was in the form of oil on board or canvas, colored pencil, lithograph, charcoal, or just pencil. The exhibit was arranged in a maze like format of what walls with her pictures hung up on the walls, one after another, so people could simply walk through and view her pictures.
The main theme of this exhibit was Elizabeth Peyton’s work throughout the years. It was the first comprehensive survey of her works from the past 15 years, starting in 1994 according to the description of the exhibit on the Walker website. Her works are collectively a biography of herself as well as pop culture. Examples of this would be that there were both paintings of celebrity and famous figures, like Michelle Obama, Bob Dylan, Princess Elizabeth, Eminem, Marie Antoinette, John Lennon, Jackie and John Kennedy and Kurt Cobain as well as depictions of her close friends and self portraits of herself. Her work was unique from the artists we’ve discussed in class, but her work could compare to that of Andy Warhol’s because she did many portraits of pop stars like he did. However, the style of her work, which was mostly in the form of paintings, differ from the artists we’ve discussed in class because we haven’t studied an artist that does mostly oil portrait paintings.
One of the works I really liked was called Berlin (Tony), painted in 2000 on oil on canvas. A pamphlet from the exhibition Tony Just, as “an artist she met in 1999 that inspired almost two years worth of paintings, drawings, and prints depicting Just in a multitude of poses, intimate as well as formal.” The wig-wearing hipster portrait of Tony is shown below. In an interview with Elizabeth Peyton, she describes that she paints people she’s interested in identifying with and she sees many of her subjects as great role models. She says that her works on celebrities are not just about capturing their image because they’re celebrities, but because she believes they are artists that are good at what they do, they are people to look up to. Although I liked her portraits of celebrities, I really enjoyed her portraits of her close friends because I like that she knew them personally. The inspiration for this painting was Tony himself and her relationship with him.

Elizabeth Peyton, Berlin (Tony) , 2000
Oil on canvas 40 x 30 in. Private collection [Tony Just, artist]

Lastly, I would suggest this exhibition to my friends because I think that anyone could get something out of her work. In the interview with her, she states that she wants her art to be accessible to everyone and that she thinks a lot about her audience that might come to her exhibitions. There is variety in her work, so whether a person really likes portrayals of celebrities or not, there are many different subjects to her work so each audience member could find a painting to identify with. Her use of color and technique of painting is beautiful and the exhibit brought something with each individual painting as well as looking at all of the paintings as a whole. I could study one painting and take notice of the details of her technique, or think about the whole exhibit and how all of her art could come together as people who she admired and artistic expressions of her biography.
Other Paintings:

Craig, 1997.Oil on canvas 14 x 17 in. Collection David Teiger, fractional and promised gift to the Museum of Modern Art, New York Courtesy Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York [Craig Wadlin, artist]

Elizabeth Peyton, Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008 , 2008
Oil on board 14-1/4 x 11-1/4 in. Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York

Pictures from:
Interview with Elizabeth Peyton:

April 27, 2009

Margaret's Group: Gallery Visit, Live Forever Elizabeth Peyton

For my gallery visit I decided to venture to the Walker Arts Center and take a look at the Elizabeth Peyton exhibition. I take the bus past there all the time for work and have always been intregued by what I see through the windows so it was nice to have an excuse to go inside. The Elizabeth Peyton exhibit was just a one-person piece and from what I could tell I would say there were roughly around 30 or so pieces there. It was basically just a bunch of her works hung up on the walls.
The theme was "Live Forever". A majority of her work is portraits and I interpret it as because she has them all on canvas her characters and the personalities she has created can "Live Forever". Peyton's work is simlar the the works of Andy Warhol because of her contemporary style, color choices, and the amount of culture she includes in her work.
One of her pieces that expecially caught my eye was one she just did recently of Michelle Obama and one of her daughters, Sasha Obama supposedly listening to Barack speaking at the DNC this past August. It is really appealing because it really catches the emotion they are feeling in that moment. It is Michelle sitting up in her chair listening intently while her daughter Sasha lays in her lap obviously exhausted from traveling with her dad running for office. The painting shows incredible detail with the clothing which is something Michelle is well known for, her style. The materials used were oil pants on board. I imagine that the artist was motivated to make this work because it was history in the making having Obama become our first president of color.
If I were to tell a friend about the exhibition I visited I would describe it as mainly portraits of people significant to the artist but also of people we can recognize. The works aren't perfectly painted but are a good enough resemblence. I would recommend they visit the museum as well because to me it is impressive seeing portraits done, I find them the most challenging part about art.
Overall it was a good gallery visit that I am glad I did. I learned and saw a lot of interesting pieces.

Michelle & Sasha Obama photo link:

Gallery Visit: Chambers Hotel, by Vicki Albu (Margaret's Group, ARTS1001 Spring 2009)

I visited the Chambers Art Hotel at 9th and Hennepin in Minneapolis, which bills itself as “the country’s first luxury art hotel,” Owner and local real estate magnate and Walker Art Center board member Ralph Burnet displays over 200 contemporary artworks from his collection throughout the public areas of the hotel lobby, bar, and restaurant, as well as the guest rooms. In addition to Burnet’s collection, the hotel houses the Burnet Art Gallery that is currently exhibiting “Deep North,” works by St. Paul artist Chris Larson.

My visit was limited to the artworks on the main floor public areas, and works viewed included paintings, sculptures, and video art. A corporate meeting function was going on in the exhibit area, so I plan to return to see the “Deep North” exhibit before it ends on June 13, 2009. Artists represented at the Chambers include Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Angus Fairhurst, Gary Hume, Indian artist Subodh Gupta, Asian artists Morimura and Ahn Sung-Ha, Canadian artist Evan Penny, and American artist Alec Soth, as well as others. There did not appear to be a theme or specific organization to the locations of the artworks; they appear to be placed randomly to entertain and sometimes to surprise the viewer. The exhibit labels mounted alongside the artworks contain narratives to aid the novice contemporary art fan in understanding more about the artists and their intentions. Following, I will share a few examples of the diverse works that are displayed at the Chambers.

Perhaps my favorite piece was a sculpture titled “(Old) No One – In Particular #6, Series 2” (2005) by Evan Penny, born 1953 in South Africa and a Canadian citizen. The artist’s website address is It is made of “silicone, pigment, fabric, hair, aluminum.” The larger-than-life 3-D bust of an aging man is really quite startling and amazingly lifelike. I was sorely tempted to violate the “DO NOT TOUCH” sign to see if I could figure out how Penny made the sallow skin and stubbly beard appear so incredibly real. Would the skin be as soft and elastic as it appears? Examining the work close-up makes one feel uneasy and uncomfortable in a science fiction sort of way. Penny is known for his realistic sculptures of supposedly anonymous human beings.

I am also posting an image of a painting by Spanish painter Salustiano, who was born in 1965 in Seville. This portrait hangs in the lobby near the 9th Street entrance. There are benches where one can lounge and contemplate the artworks on the walls. Salustianoss portraits of live models are painted using natural pigments, such as cochineal (made from insects) for red and lapis (from the semi-precious lapis lazuli stone) for blue. The use of these rare and costly pigments and a technique of layering glazed give a deep, rich and intense look to the paintings, resembling the works of the Dutch masters.

Also posted is a photo of "Riesen." Had they not been about seven feet tall, I might have mistaken these life-sized sculptures titled “Riesen” (Giants) for real men. Their creator, Martin Honert, was born in 1953 in Bottrop, Germany. According to the exhibit label, the “figures are taken from his childhood memories of circuses, when human oddities were often put on display—the fat woman, the giant, the snake woman, etc.” The work is composed of polyurethane-rubber, wool, clothing, leather, and natural hair.

While I was not able to visit the temporary “Deep North” exhibition in the hotel’s Burnet Gallery, which I heard about on MPR the other morning, I definitely plan to go back to take it in. Local artist Chris Larson creates art related to bullets and shotguns. For example, for his 2008 digital print titled “Deep North Shotgun Shack,” Larson apparently doused a little cabin in the Minnesota North Woods with water during a frigid cold spell, and photographed the icicle-laden structure in black and white. I heard that one of his other pieces involves the use of clay, into which Larson has shot bullets with a gun, and then made castings from the shapes left behind by the ammunition. I would like to learn more about the motivation for his work.

As noted, this is a mere sampling of the artworks on display at the Chambers Hotel. I strongly encourage you to visit. Having not been a big fan of contemporary art prior to my brief visit to the Chambers, I can say that the diverse collection and its non-traditional gallery display and setting provide an unusual and exciting sensory experience. While you’re at it, try the restaurant or have a drink in the Gorilla Bar on the patio. It is a very cool art destination!

April 16, 2009

Jennifer's Group: Gallery Visit-Juliana Delgado

The Contemporary Art Museum of Chicago
R. Buckminster Fuller
Exhibition: “Starting With the Universe”

I went to the Contemporary Art Museum in Chicago over Spring Break. On the fourth floor R. Buckminster Fuller was the artist on display. There were about one hundred works that he had done or that other artists had commented on, replicated, indirectly influenced or done in his honor. The majority of the work however was Fuller’s. A brief synopsis of Fuller’s work at the front of the exhibition said that the collection made up “five decades of Fuller’s integrated approach to design and technology of housing, transportation, navigation, and communication” altogether. The exhibition really kept viewers interested in Fuller’s work. There were so many models and 3-D figures that presented his ideas more realistically than just sketches, drawings, books and films could.

When you enter the floor from the stairs you see a celestial mural incorporating day and night. Then as you turn left into the mural there is a video on the wall of Fuller describing his work and from there you pick which room you want to go in. Each room was labeled as works given by a specific donor or in a certain collection. Within the galleries/rooms for Fuller, there were displays of his books, brochures, directions, and videos of Fuller explaining his “Dymaxion” projects. Many of the drawings were on the walls, with a main focus of a table in the center of the room showing the work that was described on the walls. Many works were sketches of ink on paper or tracing paper of his ideas for “4D” houses. However there were actual models of his works and the materials he used were plastic, aluminum, wood, plexi glass, wire, and gravel.

Fuller’s main focus lied within preserving resources and as a wall description at the museum said “harnessing the positive potential of new technology for the greater good.” Upon the death of his daughter, he took a worldwide perspective of how he could improve humanity. As a designer, architect, and innovator Fuller wanted to create shelters or homes and cars that were easily constructed, cheaper, and made with materials that were at common access. He had a “doing more with less” approach when creating his works, which with this phrase in mind coined the word “ephemeralization.” His works with his “Dymaxion” projects were based on the notions that the tetrahedron was the most important shape all around nature. Many of his projects incorporated the geodesic sphere. The word "Dymaxion" was coined by combining parts of three of Fuller's favorite words: DY (dynamic), MAX (maximum), and ION (tension). He shared a common passion with Betsy Damon of improving conditions for citizens and the world as a whole. Both regard nature very highly and have strong interest in what it takes to live on earth. One of Fuller’s most interesting works at the museum was of a three dimension model of his “Dymaxion house.”

The title of the work was “4D Dymaxion House Project, 1927, re-created 1987” and it was made with aluminum, plastic, wire, and gravel. It had built-in furniture along the core column that was supposed to provide the need for little maintenance. It looked like a doll house with all the appliances and furniture it needed. It was very real looking with faucet knobs and door handles and everything. The walls of the house were transparent to see all of the details. This was one of many of Fuller’s works to create an environmentally-efficient, easily transportable and convenient home that could be mass-produced. I loved his idea of a circular home. It was really unique in its fabrication. However my concern would be severe weather conditions and its fragility.

The exhibition as a whole was very interesting. There were a number of geodesic domes and 3-D tetrahedrons of many different materials, shapes, and sizes. I would definitely recommend this exhibition because it is like looking into the future and taking engineering and architecture to a whole new level. His works are very innovative and interesting.

(Pictures below)

Top left:
Buckminster Fuller
Undersea Island- Submarisle from the portfolio Inventions: Twelve Around One, 1981

Top Right:
Buckminster Fuller
Dymaxion House, 1945

Bottom Right:
Buckminster Fuller
Dymaxion House, 1927

February 27, 2009

New New Media Exhibition

One good option for the gallery visit assignment -- the Experimental and Media Arts exhibition on view now in the Nash Gallery (right next door to the inFlux space!)

Here's the link.

February 18, 2009

Recommended Exhibitions

Sometime during this semester, you need to visit an exhibition of contemporary art at a gallery or museum. If you have some time to get out in the next few weeks, here are a few exhibitions we'd really recommend

Elizabeth Peyton, Live to Ride (E.P.), 2003
Oil on board 15 x 12 in. Collection Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Partial and promised gift of David Teiger in honor of Chrissie Iles [Elizabeth Peyton self-portrait]

Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton
Walker Art Center
Feb 14-June 14

Peyton is best known for her dreamy, introspective portraits of rockers and celebs, characterized by washes of rich color.

Continue reading "Recommended Exhibitions" »