New Work by Sara VanDerBeek on View at Minneapolis Institute of Art this Spring

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The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) will show new work by New York-based artist Sara VanDerBeek (b. 1976) in the exhibition “Sara VanDerBeek: Women & Museums.”

Throughout her career, VanDerBeek has examined the ways in which museums collect and interpret historical objects. At Mia, VanDerBeek collaborated with museum staff to select and photograph collection objects that resonate with her experiences as an artist, a mother, and a woman.

The resulting exhibition, “Women & Museums” presents her photography in partnership with objects from Mia’s collection. Layering images of figures, faces, and vessels captured at multiple museums, VanDerBeek’s new series of the same name is as much a meditation on the lives of women as it is an exploration of institutional authorship and authority in the 21st century. Through color, combination, and scale, VanDerBeek makes evident the multifaceted and complex nature of interpreting material cultures—and underscores the role of photography in shaping our understanding of diverse histories. “Women & Museums” opens March 7 and is on view through July 28, 2019.

The six 96 x 48 inch photographs VanDerBeek created for the exhibition will be displayed as part of her assemblage of textiles, pottery, sculpture, and other objects drawn from Mia’s collection. Her curatorial intervention invites visitors into an ongoing conversation about the nature of collecting, interpreting, and internalizing the meaning of artwork in museum collections.

“Sara VanDerBeek’s photography materializes her efforts to explore the complex and layered histories embedded within museum collections,” said Casey Riley, Curator and Head of Mia’s Department of Photography and New Media. “Viewing art within an encyclopedic museum is a subjective endeavor, and both individual and cultural experiences influence our reception of the artwork. It can’t be avoided—our histories shape the way we see the external world. Sara’s work draws our attention to these truths, and considers the impact of museums upon contemporary identity formation.”

Conceived as a collaboration between Mia’s Photography and New Media and Contemporary Departments, the show was co-curated by Riley and Nicole Soukup, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, who added: “Through her manipulation of the image, Sara highlights the role of photography in our lives. How images are created and mediated inform our understanding of art, and offer unique insights regarding how and why we create art collections—from personal collections to institutional. ”

VanDerBeek will discuss her work at a talk on March 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are$10, $5 for My Mia members, and free for members of the Photography & New Media and Contemporary Art Affinity Groups. Register online or call 612.870.6323.

About Sara VanDerBeek

Sara VanDerBeek was born in Baltimore in 1976 and lives and works in New York. She has had one-person exhibitions at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Baltimore Museum of Art; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Fondazione Memmo, Rome; and Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Kunsthalle Berlin; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Morgan Library and Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.