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  • LAST WEEKEND, ALL MY RELATIONS ART GALLERY CELEBRATED their grand opening on Franklin Avenue with Frank Big Bear: From the Rez, to the Hood, to the Lake. This exhibition marks the Anishinaabe artist's first painting show since the 1970s when the artist was 23 years old. "I stopped painting, because I was working," Big Bear says simply; he drove a cab for 31 years, and when he retired in 2006, he started painting again. "In 2006, I gave myself three years to learn how to paint," he explains. "You…
  • THE BRILLIANCE OF THE SOAP FACTORY'S HAUNTED BASEMENT as a marketing scheme cannot be emphasized enough. That's not to say that it's brilliant art, but it's damn entertaining, and obviously a great way to get people in the door, on the mailing list, and thinking of the Soap Factory as a fun destination where, perhaps, they will enjoy other shows. This year was my second going through the basement. I arrived on Friday, October 7, and even though it was the second weekend, and only about a quarter…
  • Camille Erickson updated the Article The Living End
    SINCE HUMAN BEINGS BEGAN TO MAKE ART before they even called it "art", they've been using earth as material. As "civilization" has progressed, though, creative use of such elemental materials has transitioned to more man-made stuff, to the point where today an artist can easily construct an entire work of art on a computer. However, even as hide skins have been replaced by canvas and natural pigments by synthetic paints, the attraction for some to create beautiful things from nature endures stil…
  • THE MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS RECENTLY OPENED the The Sports Show, an enormous overview of sports culture from the late 19th century up to the present day. While there are plenty of big name artists in the show -- Andy Warhol, Gordon Parks, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, and Robert Mapplethorpe, to name a few -- there are just as many, if not more photographs on view for which the artist is unknown. Many images included in this collection, especially the earlier work, portray amateur athle…
  • NO WORK OF ART EXISTS ALONE, IN A VACUUM. Rather, an artwork is from the beginning part of an ongoing conversation, drawing from what’s been created around and before it. Many of the world’s great artists have gone even further, to blatant thievery: Shakespeare, for instance, borrowed many of his plots from other sources; Duchamp stuck a moustache on Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and called it his own. Indeed, 20th- and 21st-century contemporary art is full of examples of appropriation, from Andy W…
  • WALKING THROUGH STRAY WARMINGS, an exhibition now at Midway Contemporary Art, is like walking through a junkyard. The work is by by Nina Canell, an artist born in Sweden, educated in Dublin, and who currently works in Berlin; there are bits of scrap metal lying around, obscure electrical devices, chewing gum, sticks and nails, all scattered about, seemingly haphazardly. Canell creates a space that echoes with the decline of civilization, filled with objects that could have once been majestic b…
  • FOR THE SOAP FACTORY’S THIRD MINNESOTA BIENNIAL, the largest gallery in the Twin Cities has solicited John Marks and David Petersen, the creative team behind the notorious Art of This gallery, which existed from 2005-2010 in south Minneapolis. Titled ‘, , ,’, the exhibition acts as a kind of anti-biennial, “without a title, without a theme, and without a destination other than the exhibition itself,” according to the Soap Factory’s website. Like many of the shows at Art of This, the …
  • Camille Erickson updated the Article Show Don't Tell
    FOUR YEARS AGO A BRITISH COMPANY, KNEEHIGH THEATRE, stunned Twin Cities audiences with its magical adaptation of a Noel Coward screenplay,  Brief Encounter, staged at the Guthrie Theater. The company’s highly anticipated return to the Minneapolis theater has arrived with a production of Tristan & Yseult, based on a Celtic legend resembling the King Arthur/Guinevere/Sir Lancelot love triangle. Tristan & Yseult, adapted and directed by Emma Rice, employs a similar array of tricks, theat…
  • It's Wednesday afternoon in late winter, and Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) is humming with activity. In the main building, teaching artist Drew Peterson sits with three students as they practice drawing skills as part of the Visual Art Literacy Training (VALT) program. Virdell Brown works one room over on a painting inspired by Malcolm X. Next door, in the Screenprinting Lab, a group of apprentices take turns operating the machines, making t-shirts, while up in the Graphic Design Lab another g…
  • DETROIT, A PLAY BY LISA D’AMOUR NOW SHOWING AT THE JUNGLE THEATRE, sets fire to the American Dream. The densely layered work, set in a first-ring suburb of Detroit, calls into question our core values as a society. The script pits two troubled couples against one other, each clamoring to make sense of their existence in a world that’s falling apart. When I spoke with director Joel Sass at the opening, he commented that, in some ways, though the play is nominally set in Detroit, it’s a stor…