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Posts about Minnesota artists

Sotheby's to sell African art of Minneapolis collector Myron Kunin

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: November 6, 2014 - 8:35 PM

Myron Kunin, Star Tribune file photo

Sotheby's will auction 164 pieces from the African art collection of Minneapolis hair-salon magnate Myron Kunin at 10 a.m. November 11 in New York City.

In a video "In Pursuit of Beauty: The Myron Kunin Collection of African Art," prepared by Sotheby's and Alexandre Gallery, art dealers from Paris, New York and elsewhere describe Kunin's African collection as among the world's best. Objects to be auctioned range from a Baule bronze turtle from the Ivory Coast that's estimated to sell for between $2,000 and $3,000 (Lot. # 38) to a Senufo Female Statue (Lot #48) for which the estimated price is available "upon request."  Based on the prices of other top lots, the latter estimate is most likely auction-code for more than $2 million.

Other high-end pieces include a Kongo-Yombe carving of a maternity group (Lot #95) estimated at $1.5 to $2 million; a Ngbaka statue (Lot # 119) estimated at $1.2 million to $1.8 million; and a Songye Janus-head sculpture (Lot #141) estimated to sell for between $1 million and $1.5 million.

In the Twin Cities, where Kunin was a long time supporter of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, he is best known for his collection of early 20th century American art, portions of which have often been loaned to the museum. He also provided money for the Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota and funded a lecture and exhibition program at the Northern Clay Center.

Kunin's fortune derived from the Regis Corporation, a hair salon business started by his father in the 1920s which Myron subsequently bought and built into a $2.7 billion business with 9,763 salons in the United States, England and France. Or, as the Sotheby's video describes it, "the world's first billion dollar hair care business."

A life-long and passionate art collector, Kunin (1928 - 2013) was a modest guy with an exceedingly shrewd and highly educated eye for art. He never paid the least bit of attention to what was fashionable or flashy, but instead followed his instinct and heart. Often that led him to acquire art that was currently out of vogue and therefore less pricey. But he was equally willing to pay top dollar when a rare and splendid piece was available. One of the dealers recalled that you never needed to sign a contract when you did a deal with Myron Kunin; he was very much a handshake kind of guy. 

The Sotheby's experts describe Kunin's African collection as his second most important after his holdings of early 20th century American art which range from paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe to Guy Pene Du Bois and Gerald Murphy. He also occasionally dipped into Old Masters and 19th century  British paintings.
 

Ten Thousand Things is getting noticed

Posted by: Graydon Royce Updated: November 4, 2014 - 2:11 PM

   Ten Thousand Things continues to export its barebones, engaging style of theater. The company, headed by Michelle Hensley, worked with The Public Theater in New York several years ago on Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure.” Hensley now has brought the aesthetic to The Old Globe in San Diego. Hensley had worked with Barry Edelstein, the Globe’s artistic director, when he was head of the Shakespeare Lab at The Public in 2010.

   “When he took over The Old Globe, he made it clear that this type of touring in San Diego would be one of his top priorities,” Hensley said in a statement.

     The Globe is touring “All’s Well that Ends Well” to military bases, libraries, homeless shelters and recreation centers in the San Diego area. The Public, meanwhile, has produced three subsequent nontraditional tours, based on the Ten Thousand Things model.

      Early this year, Hensley spent six weeks with California Shakespeare Theater directing “Twelfth Night” and teaching that company the model. And, talks are going on with Center Stage in Baltimore about bringing the aesthetic there.

      Edelstein was quoted as saying the first performance at Naval Station San Diego went very well. “One Chief Petty Officer drove his three kids an hour to see their first Shakespeare.”

Poets recall John Berryman

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: October 25, 2014 - 3:52 PM
 
Seven poets remembered John Berryman (above) Friday afternoon at the University of Minnesota. It was the kickoff of "John Berrryman at 100," a three-day conference organized by the university where Berryman taught from the mid-1950s until his suicide in 1972.

The conference site, the Elmer Anderson library on the west bank, is literally a stone's throw from the spot where the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, who suffered from alcoholism and depression, leapt to his death from the Washington Avenue bridge.

At a late-afternoon event, more than 100 people showed up for a reading by actor/writer/director Ben Kreilkamp and poets Jim Moore, Joyce Sutphen, Michael Dennis Browne, Peter Campion, Ray Gonzalez and Wang Ping.

Kreilkamp put an actor's topspin on five of Berryman's Dream Songs, including the powerful #384, which opens, "I stand above my father's grave with rage."

Moore remembered taking a class from Berryman and read "The Ball Poem" and "The Traveler."

Sutphen recalled once seeing Berryman walking out of Walter LIbrary, "talking wildly to himself." She regretted not following him to hear one of his famed lectures. Sutphen read her own poem "Berryman's Hands," as well as a Shakespeare sonnet.

Browne, who has taught at the university for 39 years, read an elegy Berryman wrote for his good friend, poet Randall Jarrell, as well as some of Berryman's favorite lines from Shakespeare.

Campion movingly read a section from Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself," as well as his own poem "Blood Brook" and Dream Song #75.

Gonzalez read from a biography of Berryman, plus several Dream Songs and his own prose poem, "John Berryman and Robert Lowell Switch Hospitals."

Wang Ping, who teaches at Macalester, read one of her poems from her new book, "10,000 Waves," and the famous Dream Song #14 ("Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.")

Full conference schedule here.

From left, poets Ray Gonzalez, Wang Ping and Peter Campion at "Berryman at 100" conference at the University of Minnesota on Friday, Oct. 24
 
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Fear and screaming: Horror Fest at Southern Theater

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: October 24, 2014 - 3:08 PM
From "Frankenstein" by RawRedMeat Productions. 

Nine local troupes are staging 11 nights of horror at the Southern Theatre in Minneapolis through Nov. 2.

The Twin Cities Horror Festival is like a scary mini-Fringe Festival at Halloween time, with dance, theater, film and music, multi-show passes and latenight showtimes.

"Frankenstein" is a "terrifying new adaptation" by RawRedMeatProductions. "Doll Collection," by Four Hmors, is an original work about the general creepiness of dolls. In "Panacea," a 7-piece musicians' ensemble known as the Poor Nobodys performs live to original film and found footage.

Also performing are physical-theater troupe Transatlantic Love Affair, Hardcover Theater (a dark comedy about amputation), Ghoulish Delights, Gorilla Sandwich (a parlor farce adaptation of the classic John Carpenter movie "The Thing"), The Importance of Being Jim Fotis, and Erin Shepperd Presents.

Most individual shows are $15, and there's a 4-show pass at $50 and a 6-show pass at $75. Many of the shows start late, and some are followed by even later-night scary movies, so check the schedule. Follow the fest on Twitter @tchorrorfest.

Four Midwestern American Indian Artists Given National Fellowships

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: October 23, 2014 - 2:51 PM

Ojibwe artist Delina White who specializes in traditonal beadwork.

Four artist Midwestern American Indian artists have received fellowships worth up to $20,000 each from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF), a non-profit organization based in Vancouver, Washington.

Winners of the NACF Regional Artist Fellowships are: Kevin Pourier, a carver of buffalo horn ornaments that range from sculptures to eyeglass frames. A member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, he is a Lakota from Scenic, S.D. Jennifer Stevens, a painter, potter and vocalist from Green Bay, Wisconsin who is a member of the Oneida Tribe. Delina White, an expert in traditional beadwork who lives in Deer River, MN and is a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Star Wallowing Bull, an Ojibwe/Arapaho who is a member of the White Earth Band of Chippewa. He lives in Moorhead, MN and is known for his pop-style paintings and drawings of American Indian subjects and motifs. Wallowing Bull's work is regularly shown at Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis.

NACF is  a national nonprofit that supports the appreciation and perpetuation of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian arts and cultures. With money from Native Nations, arts patrons and foundations, NACF has provided nearly $1.7 million in assistance to 89 native artists and organizations in 23 states.

The NACF Regional Artist Fellowship Program is an annual award open to artists in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota who are enrolled members of one of the 37 tribes located in the region and who work in visual or traditional art forms. The awards are made possible by support from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

In related news, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation also supported a new Native American Artist-in-Residence program at the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS). Three artists were picked in August, each of whom will be paid during a six month residency, to study collections at the MNHS and elsewhere that are related to their work. They will also develop programs to share their studies within their home communities. The artists are Jessica Gokey, a bead work artist who lives in Wisconsin's Lac Courte Oreilles community; Pat Kruse, a birch-bark artist from Mille Lacs, MN; and Gwen Westerman, a textile artist from Good Thunder, MN who is of Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate heritage.

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