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Mia Celebrates Recent Gifts of Art from Chicago with Special Exhibition Opening in August

“New to Mia: Art from Chicago” features 30 works, including important recent gifts by the late critic Dennis Adrian, Kiyoko Lerner, and others

The exhibition is presented as part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art

MINNEAPOLIS—July 11, 2018—This summer, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) will celebrate the arrival of major works by artists working in Chicago primarily from the 1960s through the 1980s with the exhibition “New to Mia: Art from Chicago.” The presentation will feature approximately 30 recent gifts of paintings, drawings, photographs, and prints, including several from the late critic Dennis Adrian, champion of many generations of Chicago artists. Works on view are by artists Roger Brown, Leon Golub, Wadsworth Jarrell, Gladys Nilsson, Suellen Rocca, and Karl Wirsum, among others. Presented in Mia’s Cargill Gallery from August 25, 2018, through January 6, 2019, the exhibition is organized by Robert Cozzolino, PhD, Mia’s Patrick and Aimee Butler Curator of Paintings.

The exhibition is presented as part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art focused on examining the art and design movements that were born and nurtured in Chicago, and their relationships to other artistic developments throughout the world. It aims to help people in Chicago and around the world experience, understand, and enjoy the city’s extraordinary artistic legacy. Mia is one of more than 60 participating organizations.

“Chicago’s recent contributions to the field of art history remain under-known, though the artists represented in this exhibition made important contributions to American art and continue to inspire younger artists today,” Cozzolino said. “Chicago has long been a hotbed of creativity across the arts, yet its artists are still underrepresented in museum collections outside their home city. Our installation marks the first time some of these artists have exhibited here and the first entry of their work into Minnesota collections.”

Added Cozzolino: “Mia is enormously grateful to Dennis Adrian, who did more in his lifetime than nearly any other writer to promote the work of Chicago artists. Additional gifts include those by from art historian Richard Born, Adrian’s partner, and Kiyoko Lerner, the widow of photographer Nathan Lerner, as well as those from the artists Ted Halkin and Linda Kramer.”

For much of Chicago’s modern art history, artists resisted stylistic trends and instead pursued new ways of seeing and working. Many artists included in “Art from Chicago” took inspiration from the political climate of the 1940s through the 1960s. They also embraced source material beyond the fine art world, preferring to draw at the Field Museum of Natural History, find inspiration from the Maxwell Street Flea Market, and seek stimulation in the visual cacophony of their neighborhoods. Additionally, many in this generation considered comics a folk art and took as much inspiration from them as they did from any other artistic source.

Matthew Welch, PhD, Mia’s deputy director and chief curator, said: “At the beginning of 2016, Mia held few works by artists whose careers had significant ties to Chicago. By the time of this exhibition, Mia will have added major works by two dozen artists with close ties to Chicago who were not previously represented in its collection. The broader aim in growing Mia’s collection is to expand the canon of who is viewed and studied to show works that elucidate the sources and affinities in global art.”

Artists featured in “Art from Chicago” include: Robert Barnes (b. 1934), Roger Brown (1941–1997), Sarah Canright (b. 1941), Dominick Di Meo (b. 1927), Ed Flood (1944–1985), Leon Golub (1922–2004), Ted Halkin (b. 1924), Philip Hanson (b. 1943), Richard Hull (b. 1955), Miyoko Ito (1918–1983), Wadsworth Jarrell (b. 1929), Thomas Kapsalis (b. 1925), Linda Kramer (b. 1937), Paul Lamantia (b. 1938), June Leaf (b. 1929), Nathan Lerner (1913–1997), Gladys Nilsson (b. 1940), Suellen Rocca (b. 1943), Karl Wirsum (b. 1939), and Ray Yoshida (1930–2009). Their work plays with conventions of gender and sexuality, buzzes with comic book references, and is charged with psychologically fraught imagery.

Featured highlights:
Wadsworth Jarrell’s 1972 screenprint Revolutionary, a portrait of Angela Davis that in recent years has become an iconic presence in major surveys of the Black Arts Movement. Jarrell was a founding member of AfriCOBRA in Chicago.
Roger Brown’s 1971 oil painting Skyscraper, which incorporates themes of Chicago architecture combined with his love of cinema and film noir, evidenced in the viewer’s ability to spy suggestive silhouettes in the building’s windows.
Ed Flood’s Kick Me and Seymour Rosofsky’s Daley Machine, made for protest exhibitions in the wake of the notorious events of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in which Mayor Richard J. Daley authorized police to attack protesters.
Collaborative comic books and individual artworks by three members of the late-1960s group the Hairy Who—Gladys Nilsson, Suellen Rocca, and Karl Wirsum—who with their cohorts James Falconer, Art Green, and Jim Nutt will be the subject of a retrospective this fall at the Art Institute of Chicago, marking the 50th anniversary of the last Hairy Who show in Chicago.
Works donated by “monster roster” artist Ted Halkin—part of a group of artists who created deeply psychological works that drew on classical mythology and ancient art—and Linda Kramer, founding member of Artemisia Gallery, a feminist cooperative gallery founded in 1973.

Miraculous Matriarch (1980), a major work by Ray Yoshida, who was also an enormously influential teacher at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1960s–90s.
Two oil paintings by Japanese-American Miyoko Ito, Untitled #107 (1956–58) and Gorodiva (1968), highlighting her distinctive approach to abstraction.

The installation will also include video interviews of artists from Leslie Buchbinder’s Pentimenti Productions film Hairy Who and the Chicago Imagists.

Added Cozzolino: “Many conversations that have echoed in Chicago’s art world will have a particular resonance in Minneapolis: the debates about whether to stay or leave; the relationship of big teaching personalities in art departments and art schools to the influence on their students; and the importance of art traditions in American cities outside New York City and how they impact the national scene. Like many cities, Chicago has been left out of the New York–dominated histories, but in recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in what its artists did that ran contrary to this overshadowing narrative.”

Related programming will include appearances by Chris Ware, cellist Tomeka Reid, a screening of the film “Hairy Who and the Chicago Imagists,” and Twin Cities artists reflecting on the impact of Chicago Imagism – including Lamar Peterson, Andrea Carlson, and Dyani White Hawk.

About Mia’s Paintings Collection
Mia’s internationally acclaimed collection of paintings contains nearly 900 European and American works from the 1300s to the present. It offers a comprehensive survey of both celebrated schools and individual artists and is notable for its concentration of masterworks.

One of the museum’s earliest acquisitions was Gustave Courbet’s Deer in a Forest, which St. Paul railroad magnate James J. Hill donated in 1914. Hill’s collection of 19th-century French Romantic and Realist art was exceptional. Many of his most important pictures, including Eugène Delacroix’s The Convulsionists of Tangier, were given or bequeathed to Mia by his descendants.

The present paintings collection has been expanded in varied and often delightfully unpredictable ways by a succession of astute trustees, donors, directors, and curators. It includes Claude Lorrain’s Pastoral Landscape of 1638, Nicolas Poussin’s Death of Germanicus of 1627, and Rembrandt van Rijn’s Lucretia of 1666. In addition to many wonderful French 19th-century pictures, the museum has rich holdings of Italian Baroque, 17th-century Dutch, and Fauve, Cubist, and German Expressionist works. The American collection showcases a range of artistic accomplishments, from Gilbert Stuart to Larry Rivers, and contains exceptional paintings by John Singer Sargent and Georgia O’Keeffe.

About Art Design Chicago
Art Design Chicago is a spirited celebration of the unique and vital role Chicago plays as America’s crossroads of creativity and commerce. Spearheaded by the Terra Foundation for American Art, this citywide partnership of more than 60 cultural organizations explores Chicago’s art and design legacy and continued impact with more than 25 exhibitions, hundreds of events, as well as the creation of several scholarly publications and a four-part documentary presented throughout 2018. Presenting Partner Support for Art Design Chicago is provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and Presenting Partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Additional funding for the initiative is provided by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Joyce Foundation. The Chicago Community Trust, Leo Burnett, Polk Bros. Foundation, and EXPO CHICAGO are providing in-kind support. #ArtDesignChicago

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