State of the Art: Discovering America Now

I spent a quiet hour wandering “State of the Art” at the Minneapolis Institute of Art recently.

From the website, “Featuring a diverse range of working artists from across America, “State of the Art” offers a snapshot of contemporary art that examines the ways in which people innovate with materials old and new to engage deeply with issues relevant to our times. Drawing from every region of the United States, this one-of-a-kind exhibition brings together more than 130 artworks ranging from works on canvas and paper, to photography and video, to installation art, and more.”

Following are a few of the works that particularly caught my eye. (Click on the smaller photos to see at full size.)

Joel S. Allen, Hooked on Svelte, was in the first room.

Joel S. Allen, Hooked on Svelte
Joel S. Allen, Hooked on Svelte

Laurel Roth Hope, Biodiversity Suits for Urban Pigeons. I like the description on the accompanying didactic text, that Hope considers herself “an artist who wishes she was a scientist,” and that her work bridges these two things.

Nathalie Miebach’s work is fascinating – each of these is derived from technical data collected during a specific weather event or period of time. Different types and colors of reeds represent different data: wind speed, temperature, tide level, etc. Read more about her work in American Craft.

Gina Phillips starts these works with a painting, and adds fabric and textiles in layers.

Pam Longobardi sources some of her materials from the plastic garbage patches in our ocean, prompting awareness of the destructive environmental effects of mass consumption.

Pam Longobardi, Ghosts of Consumption (for Piet M.)
Pam Longobardi, Ghosts of Consumption (for Piet M.)

Watie White uses traditional printmaking to create urban landscapes.

I have enjoyed Sonya Clark’s work for years, most recently at an exhibition at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, and a lecture at Mia. This piece is Albers Interaction, referring to Josef Albers and his Homage to the Square series, with materials that reference black hair. Composed of thread-wrapped combs.

Elizabeth Alexander makes these of hand-cut bone china.

This is cut paper by David Adey, made from a three-dimensional scan of his body.

A lovely visit to a lovely museum.

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