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Barbara Hepworth sculpture "Epidorous II."
Wayzata art collectors Alfred Harrison and his wife Ingrid Lenz Harrison are giving 22 sculptures to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The art will be installed at a high point along a three-mile drive that winds through the 1,100 acre site in Chaska, Minnesota. It will be on view starting August 24.
The gift augments the Arboretum's art collection which already includes 36 sculptures placed throughout the gardens and wild landscape. Many of the new pieces were inspired by "the wonders of nature, including wind, water and animals, along with the myths and stories about our place in this world," said Susan Thurston Hamerski, the Arboretum's sculpture curator, in a prepared statement.
The Harrisons began acquiring outdoor sculpture in the 1960s and are giving it to the Arboretum as "a kind of thank you" to Minnesota where they have lived for many years, Alfred stated. They also have been long-time supporters of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, especially the photography department.
Their taste in sculpture is eclectic in scope and style, ranging from "Swimmers," a figurative 1990 bronze family-group by the late Minnesota-based Paul Granlund, to a towering abstract disc carved from green-and-black granite by Jesus Bautista Moroles. Art by two more Americans is includedin the gift: a 1986 stainless-steel kinetic sculpture by George Rickey, and a bronze piece inspired by Apache spirit dancers by Craig Dan Goseyun.
In a nod to Alfred Harrison's British background, the collection features several British artists including Barbara Hepworth, Bridget McCrum, Phillip King and Paul Mount. Internationally known for abstractions with oval openings, Hepworth will be represented at the Arboretum by three sculptures: a 1966 cast-bronze "Crucifixion," a pair of bronze columns from 1972, and a bronze abstraction from 1961. Irish artist F. E. McWilliam will be represented by a bronze abstraction, "Rolling Over Figure, 1963."
Additional international artists in the gift are Mimmo Palladino, an Italian neo-expressionist inspired by classical mythology; Rene Kung, a Swiss sculptor who works in iron and copper; Alicia Penalba from Argentina, and Rudolf Belling, a German sculptor.
The greatest and most cosmopolitan portrait painter of the Gilded Age, John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925) was famously described as "an American born in Italy, educated in France, who looks like a German, speaks like an Englishman, and paints like a Spaniard."
In the early 1900s, bored with his immensely successful portrait career, Sargent took up watercolor painting in earnest, turning out fluid, remarkably fresh and varied studies in that demanding medium. The Brooklyn Museum acquired a substantial number of the watercolors in 1909 and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston followed in 1912. Now more than 80 of these exquisitely beautiful images have been reunited for the first time in a traveling exhibition and accompanying catalogue.
Unlike conventional watercolors of the era, which tended to be overly refined and somewhat effete, Sargent's were bold, loosely painted and vigorously colored. Still, as with all watercolors, they are "fugitive" -- meaning that their pigments would fade if long exposed to light. As a result, they are seldom exhibited and then only for brief periods.
"John Singer Sargent Watercolors" reflects the artist's travels throughout Europe and the Middle East, from the canals of Venice to the marble quarries of Carrara, Italy and the Bedouin camps of the Holy Land -- Jerusalem, Beirut and Syria. He also traveled into the Alps during summers and painted friends picnicing, conversing or napping in the shade of huge umbrellas. His quarry scenes from Carrara are virtually abstract impressions of light bouncing off slabs of stone or ragged cliffs. And in Italian villa gardens and on the Island of Corfu, he gave free rein to his bravura style in architectural studies of light on stone fountains, arcades and walls dancing with multicolored shadows.
Savvy travelers will set aside time to see the paintings at the Brooklyn Museum through July 28, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (October 13 - January 20, 2014) or the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (March 2 - May 26, 2014). Or pick up a copy of the luscious exhibition catalogue, John Singer Sargent Watercolors by Erica E. Hirshler and Teresa A. Carbone, (copublished by the Brooklyn and Boston museums, $39.95).
Now in its third year, "Bike Night" at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is practically an institution itself. Come for the novelty, stay for the fun of being able to bike through the museum's doors for an evening of free bike-and-art events. Freewheel Bike is providing free valet bike parking; Nice Ride MN will run a photobooth; and local bike shops and brands (Surly, Angry Catfish, Civia, One on One) will show their latest gear.
Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders will serve up country blues with D J David Campbell from "Local Current Live at Third Thursday." The Hub Coop will deliver bike-powered art and free safety checks. And the Minneapolis bicycle coalition will have info about bike advocacy and safe city biking. Is there an official beer? You betcha: Summit Brewing company takes that honor.
(6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday, July 18, event free; refreshments for sale. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Av. S. 612-870-3131 or www.artsmia.org)
Artist and filmmaker Doug Aitken is organizing a three-week, cross-country culture tour via train that's booked to arrive in the Twin Cities on September 12. The train will travel from New York City to San Francisco making 10 stops en route.
Called "Station to Station," the project aims to launch a "revolutionary endowment model" to fund new art programs and "creative collisions" in 2014. The money from ticket sales and donations is expected to go to partner institutions, including most likely Walker Art Center which is a supporter of the program.
"This is a fast moving cultural journey," Aitken said in a statement forwarded by the Walker. Describing the endeavor in existential terms that curiously echo the title of a famous Gauguin painting, Aitken continued, "Who are we? Where are we going? And, at this moment, how can we express ourselves? -- our intention is to create a modern cultural manifesto."
He expects the train to be a moving "cultural studio" that will broadcast content and experiences at its stops and while moving. Aitken has enlisted an A list of avant garde talent as participants including artists Kenneth Anger, Olaf Breuning, Peter Coffin, Urs Fischer, Meschac Gaba, Liz Glynn, Carsten Holler, Christian Jankowski, Aaron Koblin, Ernesto Neto, Jack Pierson, Stephen Shore, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Lawrence Weiner; musicians Dan Deacon, Eleanor Friedberger, Charlotte Gainsbourg, David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors, Nite Jewel, No Age, Ariel Pink, Savages, and Twin Shadow; writers Dave Hickey, Barney Hoskyns, and Rick Moody; and chefs Alice Waters and Leif Hedendal, and the Edible Schoolyard Project. More participants are expected to sign on before the wheels roll.
Besides the Walker, supporting institutions include MoMA PS1, Carnegie Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, SITE Santa Fe, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). The Levi's brand is a collaborator. After the train trip ends, Aitken expects to continue the project via museum programs, a documentary and a book.
After taking a very unwelcome year off two summers ago, Walker Art Center’s beloved Summer Music & Movies series will return July 29 to Loring Park for the second straight year.
Scheduled again for four Mondays in a row, the lineup -- centered around the theme “Roadways”-- was announced today with Prissy Clerks, Charlie Parr, Zoo Animal, Aby Wolf, the Roe Family Singers and this summer’s It Band, the Chalice, all slated for the musical halves of the shows. Alas, the Walker did not commission a live score like the one Brute Heart created last year, but many of the aforementioned acts are cinematic enough in the first place.
The movies were all selected by Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas, whose exhibit “The Autoconstrucción Suites” recently opened at the Walker. Save for one obvious choice, the road films he picked are all pretty obscure to Western audiences – as one would expect in the case of this. Here’s the schedule:
MUSIC BEGINS AT 7 PM; MOVIES BEGIN AT DUSK (APPROXIMATELY 8:45 PM)
Monday, July 29
Music: Prissy Clerks
Movie: "The Hawks and the Sparrows" ("Uccellacci E Uccellini")
Monday, Aug. 5
Music: Roe Family Singers + Charlie Parr
Monday, Aug. 12
Music: The Chalice
Movie: "In the Pit (En el Hoyo)"
Monday, Aug. 19
Music: Zoo Animal + Aby Wolf + Grant Cutler
Movie: "Pee Wee’s Big Adventure"
Pretty much the same format as the Walker's series, but a little more populist in nature, Vita.mn's Music & Movies series will take place around the same time. That lineup was announced last month, with highlights including a pairing of Now, Now with "Adventures in Babysitting" and John Mark Nelson with "The Goonies."