Press Release: In the Balance

From Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program

For Immediate Release: June 1, 2005



Minneapolis–The Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program present new and recent figurative works by Minnesota contemporary artists Margo Selski and Davora M. Lindner. Opening July 8, “In the Balance” features Selski’s oil paintings and Lindner’s theatrical displays of ceramic puppets, statuettes, and a stop-frame animation. While both artists have unique bodies of work, they are united in the presentation of themselves through the characters created in their work. A free opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, July 7 from 7–9 P.M.

Working with oil paint and beeswax, Selski’s paintings echo northern Flemish masterpieces. This process of aged tints and surface cracks gives them the look of early Northern European paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries. Inspired by Jan Vermeer and Petrus Christus, Selski borrows from their works a variety of motifs and compositional devices that she merges with surrealist concerns to create a compelling personal style.

Illuminated backgrounds and black-and-white checked floors set the stage for Selski’s extensive cast of characters. Dressed in period costumes, her characters include Hen Woman, Flora, Fauna (the wolfgirl), the Weeping Queen, the White Queen, and the infant Sirens. These characters play out layered and mysterious narratives that lead the viewer through a maze of ambiguity and melancholia. Filled with symbolism, Selski’s works create a fantasy world of suspended marionettes, jeweled eggs, and ghost-like figures that add to the sense of mystery and wonder.

Lindner is a sculptor and video artist whose work reflects an obsessive relationship with the body and gender. Working in reference to her own body, photographs, or her imagination, Lindner builds her dolls or puppets to be roughly Barbie sized, but with bigger heads. She creates their hollow figures with articulated joints from a variety of clay bodies, including stoneware, earthenware, and raku (her favorite) for the surfaces they yield once they are fired. Lindner creates each one-of-a-kind character over many weeks or months then fires, glazes, and re-fires; and finally achieves her meticulous surface detail with hand-brushed china paint.

Lindner’s dolls read with an amazing breadth and depth of emotion, resonating with tragedy, tenderness, or supreme ferocity. Their unclothed, austere presentation underscores both their vulnerability and their strength. The puppets range from vulnerable self-portraits to powerful women of film, such as Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwick, to very stylized men, such as fashion designers Halston and Yves St. Laurent.

Related Events Margo Selski will lead a free artist’s public tour on July 24 at 3 P.M. A Critics’ Trialogue, co-sponsored by the Visual Arts Critics Union of Minnesota (V.A.C.U.M.) and featuring Ann Klefstad, will be held on August 7 at 3 P.M. Events are free and open to the public.

The Minnesota Artist Exhibition Program is an artist-run curatorial department of The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which is made possible by generous support from the Jerome Foundation, in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial and in recognition of the valuable cultural contributions of artists to society.

Work in this exhibition is made possible in part by grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Davora M. Lindner is recipient of a 2002 Bush Fellowship.

About The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Ranked among the top ten comprehensive U.S. art museums, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is dedicated to bringing art to life for everyone. In a beautiful landmark building near downtown Minneapolis, the museum houses over 100,000 works of art, representing more than 5,000 years of world history. General admission is always free. Some special exhibitions have a nominal admission fee. Museum Hours: Sunday, 11 A.M.–5 P.M.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 A.M.–5 P.M.; Thursday, 10 A.M.–9 P.M.; closed Monday. Please allow plenty of time to arrive, as our campus is under construction as part of our expansion project. For additional information, call (612) 870-3131 or visit