Landlubber

The great Bruce Tapola — painter’s painter, disciple of image, high-minded king of the lowbrow — hasn’t exhibited in years, and this weekend he breaks his fast with a series of cluttered, enigmatic junkscapes. Oceans of detritus stretch to an ethereal horizon, evaporating into glaciers, buttes, sky. These are impossible spaces and metaphysical landfills, and there’s a mistiness felt from their hot pictorial density hitting a cool cosmic chill. But Tapola doesn’t let things get too philosophical; the canvases are packed with working-stiff gags, and the eyeball (the titular Landlubber here) swashbuckles through their thrift-store treasure hunts. It’s Yves Tanguy, passed out and dreaming in a dumpster. The show is funny and lonely. Painted strictly from the mind’s eye — no source material, a major departure for Tapola — it is deeply, wholly imagined. (Opening reception 6-8 p.m. Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sat. Ends March 18. Midway Contemporary Art, 527 2nd Av. SE., Mpls. 612-605-4504, midwayart.org)

GREGORY J. SCOTT