The Soap Factory's biannual survey show of Minnesota artists.
Ute Bertog, Jennifer Danos, John Fleischer, Isa Gagarin, Caroline Kent, Chris Larson, Dustin Larson, Kirk McCall, Megan McCready, Andy Messerschmitt, Lester B. Morrison, Jesikah Orman, Joe Smith, Bruce Tapola, Karl Unnasch, Aaron Van Dyke.
Curated by: Kris Douglas and Scott Stulen.
This exhibition will present a focused survey of Minnesota’s most innovative contemporary visual artists. The title of the exhibition is borrowed from a short story written by Minnesota-born author Sinclair Lewis, in which the protagonist initially wants not to “rot away in this dull, little town and die unheard of” but instead aspires to transcend his surroundings and “do something in and for the world.” In the story, Lewis considers notions of “value” as related to personal and cultural conditions surrounding place and location. The works selected for this exhibition similarly explore place, yet are not bound by regionalism. This exhibition further attempts to define commonalities in critical artistic practice at the particular time. Consequently, this exhibition includes a tightly focused group of artists working within a similar conceptual framework. In keeping with the mission of The Soap Factory, this exhibition promotes experimentation and risk-taking, offers audiences a real and immediate experience of the arts, and encourages a wider understanding of and appreciation for artists and their work.
A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue will be produced in conjunction with A Theory of Values, featuring interviews with exhibition curators Kris Douglas and Scott Stulen, as well as texts on each artist.
Kris Douglas is the Chief Curator of the Rochester Art Center. During his tenure, he has initiated an ongoing exhibition series devoted to emerging artists, and has organized major solo exhibitions with artists Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Roman Signer, Karel Funk, and John Gossage, and group exhibitions such as Something More than Feelings, featuring artists Bas Jan Ader, David Claerbout, and Jesper Just. He is a member of the Art21—Art in the Twenty-First Century Curatorial Advisory Council, an Art Peer for the national GSA Art in Architecture Program, and serves on the Board of Directors at Midway Contemporary Art in Minneapolis, MN.
Scott Stulen is the Project Director for mnartists.org at the Walker Art Center, Director of the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Photographers and former Associate Curator at the Rochester Art Center. He also works as an independent curator, musician, writer and visual artist. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2004 Katherine E. Nash Purchase Prize, 2005 and 2009 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants and 2008 Meet the Composer's Creative Connections Grant. Scott exhibits throughout the country, which include recent solo exhibitions Kool Aid Drunk, ebersmoore gallery, Chicago, IL; Why are you making me sad, 9th Street Gallery, St. Paul, MN; and Lead Guitar, No Vocals, St. Cloud State University Art Gallery, and will participate in an upcoming residency and exhibition at the Frans Masereel Centre in Kasterlee, Belgium.
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