Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Minneapolis Institute of Art

It seems as if it has been almost 20 years since I visited the MIA.  I believe it has undergone some expansion, though not as extensive as the ones in Cleveland and St. Louis.  However, the details are all a bit blurry.  Most of my photos of the artwork turned out.  It's probably simplest to just post them in the order I went through the museum, which was starting with the Asian and African art, then seeing the special exhibit on Modernism, then the rest of the 20th Century art, and finally going through the art before 1900 galleries.  I arrived 2 days to early to see the Martin Luther exhibit, but that's probably just as well.  Flipping through the catalog, I wasn't all that interested in the art itself.  I heard from one of the docents, that many local churches were planning on booking group tours, and that they expected this to be a major hit.

The Asian gallery were quite nice.  I generally was most interested in the pieces from Japan.

The International Modernism exhibit appears to be drawn from the museum's collections and will run until May 2017.  There was another smaller exhibit on American Modernism from the Kunin Collection, which runs through mid March 2017.  We weren't supposed to take photos of this exhibit, so you'll have to imagine it.  The International Modernism opened with this somewhat foreboding O'Keeffe painting. 

Georgia O'Keeffe, City Night, 1926

There were quite a few paintings about war and revolution, and I found the expression on the horse in this print to be quite curious.  Is the horse more upset to have been dragged into the conflict, or is the horse disappointed that its master is asleep at the wheel, so to speak, and not actively smiting the enemy?

Natalia Goncharova, Saint George the Conqueror, 1914

Niles Spencer, Behind the Square, 1932

One of my favorite painters, Stuart Davis, had a couple of paintings in the exhibit, which obviously didn't get scooped up for the big retrospective at the Whitney.  This one was nice.

Stuart Davis, Rue Des Rats #1, 1928

The Modernism exhibit led me to the stairs up, where the 20th Century art was to be found.  This was certainly my core interest, and while the cubist paintings were a bit middle-of-the-road, I did like this one, which is almost Cubist lite.

Roger de la Fresnaye, Married Life, 1912

I was particularly excited by the Expressionist gallery with the Beckmann triptych, some Kirchners, and a Kadinsky.  I tried to stay in there the longest, soaking everything in.

Max Beckmann, Blind Man's Bluff, 1945

Beckmann, Blind Man's Bluff (right panel)

As far as the more modern works, they had a Guston (from his abstract period), a Chuck Close, a Kiki Smith and several others.  I liked this George Segal sculpture the most.

George Segal, The Girl Friends, 1969

I was starting to get a little worried about the time (though in the end I could have stayed at least another 30 minutes longer than I did).  Also, while I like Impressionist painting, I am generally less interested in painting before that era.  So I went fairly quickly through the Renaissance and Baroque rooms, though I was very taken by this El Greco.

El Greco, Chrst Driving the Money Changers from the Temple, ca. 1570

I'll close this post with a few of the pre-1900 paintings I liked (a mix of Impressionist and other styles).  All in all, the Minneapolis Institute of Art has a very solid collection, and I enjoyed the visit.  Probably my single biggest gripe is that they let their compact Gallery Guide go out of print, and now they basically only have a highlights booklet, which is just too thin.

John Singer Sargeant, Luxembourg Gardens at Night, 1879

Camille Pissarro, Place du Theatre Francais, Paris: Rain, 1898

Paul Signac, Snow, Boulevard de Clichy, Paris, 1886

Vincent Van Gogh, Olive Trees, 1889

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