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Fall Arts Preview

The 40 most-anticipated, must-see, what-are-you-waiting-for, drop-everything shows of the season.

Fall Arts Preview
Photo by Joe Treleven

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VISUAL ARTS

Look closely to see the future

We’re over it: the schemes, the bubbles, the façades. We’re demanding substance, accountability, and transparency in our lives and leaders, and that’s starting to be reflected in the art world, too: real beauty, real meaning, forms that are clear and true. When the expanded Weisman Art Museum reopens in October with five new galleries, the initial exhibitions will range from Marsden Hartley’s compact, modernist paintings to Warren MacKenzie’s functional, Asian-influenced pottery—all accessible, aesthetically fine art. Graphic design—art intended not to obfuscate but to communicate—also plays a major role in exhibitions this fall (the Walker’s “Graphic Design: Now in Production”). This is art that’s as engaging as it is challenging, existing for something other than itself. There’s still plenty of room for metaphor and imagination in these shows; we’re simply assured, when looking at these works, of their desire not to take us for a ride, but to reveal places of insight and virtuosity. Here’s the deal, they say. Let’s talk.
 

7 Top Picks

9.1 The Soap Factory shows the work of recently incarcerated photographer Guo Gai, videographer Meng Tang, and sculptor Slinko, exploring the role of language and memory in shaping society. soapfactory.org

9.6 The Nash Gallery shows “The Great Celestial Abstraction: Chinese Art in the 21st Century.” nash.umn.edu

10.1 The Weisman Art Museum reopens with five new galleries, filled with ceramics, furniture, and rarely seen works from its permanent collection. weisman.umn.edu

10.21 The Groveland Gallery displays Tom Maakestad’s bucolic landscapes and Tim Tozer’s new adventures in abstraction. grovelandgallery.com

10.21 Marcus Young, Jennifer Danos, and Natasha Pestich tweak museums in their MAEP show by, among other things, papering the Minneapolis Institute of Arts with ersatz posters and announcements. artsmia.org

10.22 The Walker Art Center showcases cutting-edge commercial art in “Graphic Design: Now In Production.” walkerart.org

10.30 The Minneapolis Institute of Arts shows the best of its antique “pictures of the floating world” in “Edo Pop: The Graphic Impact of Japanese Prints.” artsmia.org
 

➻ Dean Lucker & Ann Wood, Painters/sculptors

Press a lever on the “mechanical pictures” crafted by Dean Lucker and Ann Wood and the vintage-looking illustrations shift to reveal hidden messages—“You are adored,” “Come rain or shine”—evoking the antique mysticism of a boardwalk fortuneteller. Lucker’s more sculptural works, lately of birch men, go through complex motions—eating or chopping wood—when you wind them up. Lucker and Wood opened a showroom this year in the Northrup King Building, instantly making the husband-and-wife designers  the star attraction at Art-A-Whirl. “If you offer participation,” says Lucker, who scored a Bush Fellowship in 2010, “someone will stay with the art longer and hopefully forge a lasting bond.”

Lucker and Wood open their studio for Art Attack, November 4–6, northrupkingbuilding.com
 

BOOKS

The brave new world of beautiful ideas

Let’s be realistic: books may someday soon become like vinyl records, something for collectors and connoisseurs. Fine. Let them go gentle into that good night, because the words inside—the stories themselves—don’t seem to be going anywhere. Even poetry, literature’s most delicate bloom, is flowering. The young Duluth poet Ryan Vine recently trod the boards of Carnegie Hall. Elder bards like Robert Bly have reclaimed their mantles with new books. You would think that the more we understand and define our world, the less work there would be for philosophers; the fewer ambiguities for poets to parse. Technology, after all, was supposed to quash our imagination. But perhaps poetry’s newfound popularity is an unintended consequence of Twitter or texting, a growing affinity for brevity and the well-put sentiment, like this one from Bao Phi in his upcoming collection, Sông I Sing, who says that love “is like a brick through glass.” Word.
 

7 Top Picks

8.1 Lerner Books releases Brooklyn, Burning, a new young-adult novel by Steve Brezenoff about love amid questions of gender and sexuality. lernerbooks.com

9.24 Ed Bok Lee and Bao Phi hold a joint book launch at the Minneapolis Central Library for their new poetry collections, Whorled and Sông I Sing, respectively. coffeehousepress.org

9.28 Calvin Trillin discusses his most recent book, Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of His Funny Stuff, at the Minneapolis Central Library. supporthclib.org

10.15 Paper Darts Press releases the new book by John Jodzio, Get In If You Want To Live, a collection of 19 very short stories. paperdarts.org

10.27 Alan Hollinghurst, winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2004, talks about his first novel since then, The Stranger’s Child, at Magers & Quinn. magersandquinn.com

10.27 The Pen Pals season opens with Jhumpa Lahiri speaking about her writing and her life as the child of immigrants at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. supporthclib.org

11.16 Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Choke) joins MPR host Kerri Miller for Talking Volumes at the Fitzgerald Theater. fitzgeraldtheater.org |

➻ N. M. Kelby, Novelist

By the time N. M. Kelby finished her MFA degree at Hamline University, in 1998, she already had a five-figure book contract with Hyperion. Thirteen years later, she’s published four more novels—and sold the film rights to one, Whale Season, to Dwight Yoakam, the singer/actor. This fall, Kelby comes out with White Truffles in Winter, a history-filled, food-driven romance. In it, real-life French chef Auguste Escoffier finds himself torn between two Victorian beauties: actress Sarah Bernhardt and, well, his wife, the poet Delphine Daffis. “This book is really about who we are as eaters,” says Kelby. “In the end, you root for the plate.” 

White Truffles in Winter (W.W. Norton, $25) is released November 7, nmkelby.com

 
See more in "Artists We Love."

 


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