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Amy Toscani, Cuccu, found sculpture and painted plaster, 2013

Amy Toscani and Chad Rutter

April 18, 2014 - June 29, 2014
MAEP Galleries

Amy Toscani: Chastushki

The new sculptures in Amy Toscani’s CHASTUSHKI exhibition have been carefully churned through her distinctly Midwestern aesthetic, which is to say she draws equally from thrift-store treasures, her wry sense of humor, and found sculptures that can also be described as “suburban sublime.” For those familiar with her work, these new pieces will show her important shift to working on a human scale and more quickly. Since her use of art-historical concepts such as ready-made and recycling are so elastic, she can develop forms that become endearingly awkward and self-effacing. Cuccu began as a found sad-eyed dog figurine, the top portion seamlessly transitioning into Toscani’s sculpted, oversize lower body, a scale at once hilarious and pathetic. Toscani is a recent recipient of the McKnight Artist Fellowship and has had numerous one-person and group shows, most recently at Rosalux Gallery in Minneapolis.

Watch a video interview of Amy Toscani.

Chad Rutter: Floodplain

Artist and bookmaker Chad Rutter explores American material and cultural geography through a wide range of media, including photography and sculpture. Floodplain is his first one-person show, carrying his interests forward while reflect his understanding of transcendentalist philosophy, which he links to American values of individualism, car culture, and exploration. Pond is a brand-new piece presenting excerpts from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden on a custom-programmed highway message board. By converting this classic meditation on the beauty of wilderness and creative isolation into tiny three-line bits of text, Rutter’s installation conflates the private and slow-paced act of reading with the fast-lane drive through the natural landscape. Rutter is a recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant and is the publisher of Mystery Spot books. Thanks to Street Smart Rental of Lino Lakes for their support of Floodplain.

Watch a video interview of Chad Rutter.

Generous support for MAEP is provided by The McKnight Foundation and Jerome Foundation. Additional support provided by RBC Wealth Management.

Amy Toscani, Cuccu, found sculpture and painted plaster, 2013