It's, like, life. Walker Art Center's new in-depth show explores the visual, conceptual and psychological terrain of art masquerading as the real deal. Is Ai Weiwei's jar packed with sunflower seeds actually hand-painted cast porcelain? Yes. Isn't Vija Clemins' "Eraser" just like the wedgy Pink Pearl Faber eraser on my desk? No. And don't sneak a kick at Jud Nelson's "Hefty 2-Ply," a stuffed-to-the-gills garbage bag twin, because it's marble. The Western World spent 1,600 years perfecting the idea of realism in art, only to let it slip-slide away into total abstraction by the early 20th century. Through 90-plus works from the 1960s to the present day, ranging from the real to the surreal, "Lifelike" proves that realism's pulse is vital while posing big questions about what it means to be real. But really, does this art cast a reflection?
- After Hours opening party 9 p.m.-midnight Fri. 2/24, $20-$30
- More event information
'Stand Out Prints'
National in reach and an aesthetic barometer for the vitality of the contemporary print world, Highpoint Center for Printmaking's new juried exhibition is slated to become a biennial competition. This first edition was deluged by nearly 800 entries, submitted by 276 printmakers from 42 states -- a tribute to Highpoint's national reputation. Jurors selected works by 51 artists that demonstrate a varied approach to subject matter, themes, scale and print processes. It's all there, from the traditional to the experimental, the expected to the provocative. Happily, 10 Minnesotans are part of the compelling roster, including James Boyd Brent, Bernice Ficek-Swenson, KimyiBo and Jeremy Lund.
- Free opening reception 6:30 p.m. Fri. 2/24
- More event information
Robert Polidori: 'World Inventory'
A snakebite cocktail for winter wanderlust, these 18 large-scale photographs seduce with unconventional locations, whether it is a spare, modernist garage in Southern California or a theatrical lineup of midcentury apartment buildings in Havana. Obsessive detail competes with jewel-toned color in Polidori's "Historical Revisionism" series, which documents with a critical, sometimes humorous eye the restoration of the Palace of Versailles. If France, Cuba and California are too tame, the acclaimed French Canadian photographer presents idiosyncratic views of Bahrain, Beirut, Shanghai, New York City and Chicago, all laced with a luminescent light that hits consistently behind the eyeballs. The gallery is also premiering images of Michelangelo's "David," a project it commissioned in 2005. Once again Polidori teaches us how to see.