The Escape Artist
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?
LAST SUMMER I WENT TO SOO VISUAL ARTS CENTER to see a show by Samantha French, a Minnesota painter living in New York. The paintings were bright and lively, mostl…
Photo courtesy of the author
Let's Talk About the "Universal" (White, Male) Artist
In a sprawling essay meandering from Joseph Beuys and George Morrison to recent MFA thesis work by MCAD graduate Nick Rivers, artist Andrea Carlson unpacks the tangled, Eurocentric assumptions inherent in art historical notions of Abstract Expressionism as a bastion for universal, "pure" artistic expression.
I visited Nick Rivers while he was in the throes of pulling together his ideas and materials for his MFA thesis work at Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) in April. He surprised me.…
Nicholas Rivers, 5 Day Fast. Photo documentation courtesy of the artist's website.
Reconciling a Hyphenated Identity
A profile of ceramic artist and sculptor Katayoun Amjadi, in a conversation ranging from take-out to geopolitical trade, feminism, the identity-blurring experience of immigration, and the feel of clay in your hands.
Sculptor and ceramic artist Katayoun Amjadi’s basement studio space in Northeast Minneapolis’s Q.arma Building is well-appointed and cozy.…
Katayoun Amjadi, Exileware, 2015. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Conversations on Misogyny and the Music Scene, Pt. 1
Musician Kat Fox speaks up about battling dudebrah culture in the music scene in the first of two candid conversations with local artists about their experiences with misogyny in the industry.
Misogyny, the discrimination toward or oppression of others solely over their apparent lack of a Y chromosome, is everywhere. For some, dismissal of a term like “misogyny” comes easily.…
Musician Kat Fox. Photo courtesy of the artist
Perchance to Dream
For all its media-rich elements, there's an air of the ancient, an uncanny, old-as-time tension between dreaming and waking life, that pervades the collaborative new installation by Dave Ryan and Mika Negishi Laidlaw, on view this spring at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
For as much 21st century technology as is employed in the collaborative exhibition Uneasy Syzygies at the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s MAEP galleries, an aura of ancientness looms over…
Ryan/Laidlaw, Epidemagogue (detail). Photo courtesy of the author
A Voice So Absurdly Truthful
Tim Nolan reviews Connie Wanek’s latest collection of poetry, "Rival Gardens: New and Selected Poems" from University of Nebraska Press.
A short poem by Harvey Shapiro provides the benediction for this review of Connie Wanek’s new collection, Rival Gardens. Here it is in full:…
Culture Wars and Culture Gaps
Lauren DeLand looks back at the Culture Wars of the 1990s and, specifically, the facts and apocrypha surrounding a 1994 performance in Minneapolis by Ron Athey that galvanized the country's conservative backlash against government funding for artists.
It is mid-March 2010, and I am deep in the belly of the Walker Art Center archives, settling in to watch a videotape retrieved for me by the archivist.…
Ron Athey, Solar Anus (1998). Photo: Regis Hertrich