Minneapois Institute of Arts
New Pictures at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Shout Out: Minnesota State Fair

Posted Sep 2, 2010

The Great Minnesota Get-Together is happening now! Be part of the tradition of the Minnesota State Fair. Runs through Labor Day, September 6.

Check out these timeless State Fair photographs by Minnesota photographer Thomas Arndt.

Thomas F. Arndt, Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, 1976 

Thomas F. Arndt, Vendor, Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, 1974

To see more State Fair photographs from the museum’s permanent collection, visit the online collection. more »

ReMix: Cindy Sherman

Posted Aug 31, 2010

Cindy Sherman

Untitled, 1989
Color photograph
Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures

Cindy Sherman’s untitled photograph of herself in the guise of a Renaissance woman is overtly disconcerting. Her opulent dress and jewel-adorned hair run counter to her awkward, false nose. Though piously folded, her reddened hands suggest hard work. The coloration beneath her eyes betrays a very real woman, while the classical column suggests an idealized European society portrait. By using extensive makeup and costuming to assume different personas in her “History Portrait” series, Sherman at once references and challenges the conventions of female portraiture.

By emphasizing the artificial and the grotesque, Sherman urges viewers to look beyond the surfaces and consider portraits as constructions designed to serve a social, political, or even erotic purpose. In this gallery, Lucas Cranach’s portrait of Anna Buchner is frank in its realism but reveals little of her personality. The exaggerated opulence of her weighty gold chains and rings serves as an inventory of her husband’s wealth. In the small portrait of Charlotte of France by Jean Clouet the Younger, the richly dressed seven-year-old girl poses as an adult; her portrait may well have served to attract a future husband in a foreign court.

Sherman’s critique is as relevant for portraiture today, in which digital photography enables easy manipulation of images to suit the sitter’s purpose. Read more about the ongoing Art ReMix series at the MIA.

ReMix: Thomas Struth, Sight Unseen

Posted Aug 26, 2010

Thomas Struth
Audience 1 (Galleria Dell’Accademia), Florenz, 2004
Chromogenic print mounted on UV Plexiglas
Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

For the last twenty years Thomas Struth has been photographing in the galleries of European and American museums, capturing viewers in the act of looking, often at recognizable works of art. More recently he has created images in which the art object is not visible and goes unidentified, as in the case of this image. A little museum sleuthing reveals that the audience here is taking in Michelangelo’s David, one of the world’s best-known sculptures.

In every picture from his ongoing series “Museum Photographs,” Struth makes the viewers his—and consequently our—subject. In Audience, we look at how museum-goers, like us, respond to and perceive art in museums.  Read more about the ongoing Art ReMix series at the MIA.

Embarrassment of Riches: Picturing Global Wealth, 2000-2010

Posted Aug 24, 2010

Alec Soth
Fondation Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent, Moujik IV, Paris, 2007
Pigmented ink print
Weinstein Gallery
Image courtesy of the Weinstein Gallery

Please join us for a new photography exhibition, Embarrassment of Riches,  presenting more than twenty color photographs and two videos by contemporary artists who explore the subject of wealth in the past ten years. Following a decade of unprecedented historical fluctuations and flows of wealth on a global scale, this exhibition examines the transformative effects of prosperity from the U.S., to China, to the world. Selected artists include: Luc Delahaye, Jacqueline Hassink, Christian Jankowski, Sze Tsung Leong, Martin Parr, Robert Polidori, Alex Prager, Cindy Sherman, Alec Soth, and Eve Sussman.

Save the date! Exhibition opening on Thursday, September 16, 2010, 6-9 p.m. There will be a Gallery Talk with David E. Little, curator and head of the MIA’s Department of Photography and New Media at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 16. The exhibition is free and will be in the Harrison Photography Gallery on the third floor. It will run through January 2, 2011.

Shout Out: Ishimoto Yasuhiro

Posted Aug 12, 2010

Katsura: Picturing Modernism in Japanese Architecture, Photographs by Ishimoto Yasuhiro.

Photograph by Ishimoto Yasuhiro

If you happen to be in Houston, check out this beautiful show at the Museum of Fine Arts organized by Yasu Nakamori of photographs by Ishimoto Yasuhiro, many of which are from an editorial collaboration with Tange Kenzo, who designed an expansion of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 1974. The exhibition is on view through September 12, 2010 at the Audrey Jones Beck Building. If you don’t make it to Houston, the Yale University Press catalogue is a great addition to your library.

Shout Out: Carrie Thompson

Posted Jul 8, 2010

We’re starting a new section called Shout Out to occasionally let you know about events in the area we think you should know about.

Tonight: Carrie Thompson opening reception for “I hope we go together” at the XY and Z Gallery. 6-9PM.

If you cannot make it tonight, be sure to check out the exhibition during regular hours (Monday 11AM- 7PM, Friday & Saturday 1PM- 9PM, and Sunday 12PM-5PM) until August 2nd. 3258 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406.

Robert Bergman: Portraits, 1986-1995

Posted Jun 29, 2010

Robert Bergman: Portraits, 1986-1995 opened on June 18 in the Harrison Photography Gallery at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Read and Listen: The Complex Portraits of Photographer Robert Bergman by Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio

Robert Bergman American, b. 1944 Untitled, 1990 Inkjet print, printed 2004 Anonymous Gift. © Robert Bergman Robert Bergman American, b. 1944 Untitled, 1989 Inkjet print, printed 2004 Anonymous Gift. © Robert Bergman

Robert Bergman: Portraits, 1986-1995

In 1985, Robert Bergman began to work in color, using both the saturated and muted hues of the city and his subjects’ attire to achieve a rich, painterly idiom. He spent the next twelve years making a series of monumental portraits of Americans, with no special lighting or equipment, only a finely tuned sense of form and his ability to establish a rapport with his subjects. By focusing on their penetrating gazes, downcast eyes, or distant stares, he depicts individuals, not types, revealing their strength and delicacy, as the distinguished art historian Meyer Schapiro noted. Placing their faces at the front of the frame, Bergman leaves little room for background distractions while clearing a path toward the recognition of his subjects’ psychological complexities, as well as their remarkable range of emotions. Viewed together, the photographs form a provocative series that speaks not only of the physical presence of these individuals but also their psychic states. This exhibition of thirty works is the first major presentation of these portraits.

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. It runs through Sunday, August 22, 2010, in the Harrison Photography Gallery at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Images: Robert Bergman, American, b. 1944, Untitled, 1990, Inkjet print, printed 2004, Anonymous Gift. © Robert Bergman

Robert Bergman, American, b. 1944, Untitled, 1989, Inkjet print, printed 2004, Anonymous Gift. © Robert Bergman

Abstract Matters – Art ReMix

Posted Apr 16, 2010


Refresh your view with the debut of Art ReMix, a new initiative that inserts a few key contemporary artworks amid the permanent collection, creating illuminating juxtapositions between old and new.

You can see Marco Breuer’s photograph, Untitled (Tip) juxtaposed with works from aboriginal Australia on view in the gallery or on the Art ReMix Web site. more »

Southern Exposure Photography Exhibition Opens

Posted Mar 31, 2010

From time to time, we’ll share a few related photography goings on, both here at the museum and in the community at large. Here’s a new photography exhibition at the MIA, Southern Exposure: Photographs of the American South, that just opened on Thursday, March 18.

Tad Simons reviews the exhibition for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, read the review here

Southern Exposure Photography Exhibition Opens

Southern Exposure: Photographs of the American South

The Deep South is one of America’s most distinctive regions. Its unique character has developed from such factors as its early geographical isolation from the North, its difficult legacy of slavery, its gripping summertime heat and humidity, its enduring hospitality, and the international flavor of some of its cities.

Indigenous and visiting photographers have captured enduring images of the landscape, architecture, and inhabitants of Dixie, from the time of the Civil War to the present. E. J. Bellocq, for instance, sensitively portrayed women in the red-light district of New Orleans a century ago. Walker Evans made many of his iconic Depression-era images in the South. Danny Lyon documented the turbulent Civil Rights Movement there. And contemporary photographers like Minnesota’s Alec Soth have been drawn to the mysterious ways of everyday Southern folk. The diverse work of these and many other photographers present a rich collage of this Southern sensibility. The exhibition includes about 75 photographs, drawn entirely from the MIA’s permanent collection.

The exhibition runs through Sunday, May 30, 2010, in the Harrison Photography Gallery at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Check out a few images below and come by the museum to see the entire show.


Robert Frank
Savannah, Georgia, 1956
Gelatin silver print
The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund, 92.107.3

Danny Lyon
Atlanta, Georgia. High school student Taylor Washington is arrested at Lebs Delicatessen. His eighth arrest., 1963
Gelatin silver print
The Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison Fund, 2001.45.2.24

The Farm, Angola State Prison, Louisiana, 2002
Alec William Soth
The Farm, Angola State Prison, Louisiana, 2002
Color coupler print
Gift of Vance Gellert, 2002.278

Paul Graham, “Photography is Easy, Photography is Difficult”

Posted Oct 12, 2009

Here is the short essay by Paul Graham that I promised to post. Thanks to Paul for the permission. (Please note the context to MFA students at Yale.) Would be interesting to hear your thoughts.

Photography is Easy 5