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Fresh perspectives on art, life, and current events. From deep dives to quick takes to insightful interviews, it’s the museum in conversation. Beyond the walls. Outside the frame. Around the world.

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Honoring Disability Pride Month with the Vibrant Work of Sam Gilliam

Sam Gilliam is remembered for his endlessly inventive practice that upended distinctions between painting and sculpture. Like other Color Field artists in the mid-20th century, he eliminated the brush and poured diluted paint directly onto unprimed canvases. He famously went a step further and eliminated the stretchers to let his canvases drape like banners. Gilliam’s  ...

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Marking Caravaggio’s death on July 18: A ‘troubled’ but brilliant artist

On July 18, 1610, Caravaggio died in Porto Ercole, a tiny port town 100 miles north of Rome. He was just 38 years old. His dramatic, intensely realistic works—like Judith and Holofernes, currently on view at the Minneapolis Institute of Art—made him one of the most famous artists of his day. But Caravaggio was violent and  ...

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How “ReVisión” challenges the narrative of American history, and looks great doing it

By Tim Gihring

In 1854, the word “Pre-Columbian” first came into use, according to Merriam-Webster, bifurcating the history of the Americas into a time before Columbus arrived and a time after. As the 19th century proceeded, the term would be deployed more and more frequently, as if to entrench the idea—ennobled by Manifest Destiny—that  ...

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Christopher Selleck on pulling back the veil of performative masculinity

By Dustin Steuck

Christopher Selleck’s “Body // Weight” exhibition, on view at Mia as part of the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program, uses video and sculptural works to animate the ritualistic practices of gym culture. Primarily portraiture, it’s a tender invitation to reconsider the archetype of American masculinity and the constraints it imposes on our dominant  ...

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Finding Kodōjin: Andreas Marks on his 15-year quest to rediscover a forgotten master

By Tim Gihring

Fifteen years ago, Andreas Marks had never heard of Fukuda Kodōjin. Hardly anyone had. Kodōjin, who was born in rural Japan in 1865, was among the last of the literati painters, a tradition of scholarship, poetry, and art that died with him in the wake of World War II. By the  ...

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Staff art picks for Pride Month

A round-up of staff favorites showcases a wide range of art and artists that resonate with Pride Month. Dawoud Bey, Irrigation Ditch, 2020 Gallery 374 Dawoud Bey’s photography has always fascinated me, from his street photography to large portraits of fellow artists such as Lorna Simpson, but his more recent forays into landscape photography arguably captivate  ...

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New! Take this self-guided tour of Pride Month art at Mia

For the month of June, Mia is highlighting  2SLGBTQIA+ artists and themes through artworks spanning centuries and social epochs. Many of these works have been made by queer artists, others depict queer themes throughout history. Explore the works in the galleries or virtually in this self-guided tour. Harriet Goodhue Hosmer, Medusa, 1854 Gallery 323 At a  ...

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“Expressions of Joy” hits the stage at Mia, celebrating the creativity of older adults

By Julie Bourman and Sheila McGuire

For eight weeks, a cohort of older adults—many living with HIV—have come to Mia to turn their life experiences into story and song. The workshop “Expressions of Joy” is a collaboration between Mia’s Vitality Arts program, Rainbow Health, and Theatre 55, and the resulting pieces with be performed  ...

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Tina Blondell on strong women, correcting Caravaggio, and showing her art beside his

By Diane Richard

“It’s the only decapitation painting I did.” Not many living artists can claim that—paintings of beheadings not being, perhaps, as popular as they once were. Then again, not many living artists have a painting in the same gallery as Judith and Holofernes (1599) by Baroque master Caravaggio (Italian, 1571–1610), on view  ...

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The student, the curator, and the “fragments of memory” in “Eternal Offerings”

By Tim Gihring

When Tim Yip was conceiving the look of “Eternal Offerings: Chinese Ritual Bronzes,” Mia’s multimedia show of delicately inscribed vessels made for archaic ceremonies, he suggested including fragments of objects at the outset of the exhibition. He didn’t suggest why. Yang Liu, Mia’s curator of Chinese art and chair of its Asian  ...

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