Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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Posted January 04, 2017in Art Pimp

Sex and violence, loud and ironic

Artist of the Year Larassa Kabel transcended Des Moines and her own work this year. She is best known for uber-realistic drawings and paintings — particularly of horses hit by 18-wheelers — and for being chosen to do a Christmas card for the Obama White House. In the last year,

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Posted November 30, 2016in Art Pimp

Dreamy textures and covered bridges

What a season it’s been. In one month’s time, Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, and Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. In the spirit of unbelievable times, let’s move over

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Posted November 02, 2016in Art Pimp

A lot of good new shows

Gallery Night this fall drew big crowds. Most people credited the marvelous weather, but top-notch shows had something to do with it, too. Artisan Gallery 218 assembled a busy show that covered a range of media. John Evans is showing landscape pastels, Elizabeth Rhoads Read brings some interest paper sculptures.

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Posted October 05, 2016in Art Pimp

Streets, guns and artists

Three exhibitions at the Des Moines Art Center present intermingled insights on guns, streets, documentarians and artists. The shows are relatively unheralded. The main attraction featured a recently discovered dead nanny who hadn’t exhibited during her lifetime. Yet together they represent one of this museum’s great strengths — the ability

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Posted August 31, 2016in Art Pimp

Ladies’ month in the art scene

Perhaps because, as Picasso remarked, artists are children who never grow up, the art world marks time to a school year calendar. Summer is for vacation, frivolity and fairs. September returns the arts to more serious things. It is no different this year, although the better nature of this month’s

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Posted August 10, 2016in Art Pimp

American mirth

Things are looking a bit more like business as usual again at Steven Vail Fine Arts. The second-floor gallery in the Teachout Building was inaccessible for weeks because of crime scene barricades. Architect and building owner Kirk Blunck was found dead in front of Vail’s doorway, and it became a

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Posted July 27, 2016in Art Pimp

Still relevant

Jordan Weber is one of the lucky artists to whom the perfect time comes. His art had long been dealing with African-American stereotypes and subject matter before Ferguson, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas inspired billionaire financier George Soros and Taco Bell heir Rob McKay to pour big money into

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Posted June 15, 2016in Art Pimp

Far from the madding crowd estimates

British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli said there are three kinds of lies — “Lies, damned lies and statistics.” Mark Twain liked the quote so much he stole it. Summertime in Des Moines gives the lie to some mind boggling “statistics,” mostly in the form of crowd estimates. For instance, the

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Posted May 25, 2016in Art Pimp

Glenn Brown — past is prologue

    “The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.”  — William Faulkner   “Glenn Brown” opened at the Des Moines Art Center last week and plays through August 28. Four years in preparation, this is the first USA exhibition by the English artist who was part of the Damien

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Posted April 20, 2016in Art Pimp

Gone to look for America

  Losing gamblers like to say it’s “better to be lucky than good.” Actuarial scientists, who have refined the business of odds making, prefer saying “luck is short term.” It’s best to be lucky AND good. Thomas Jackson is both. Before the Cedar River flooded Cedar Rapids in 2008, Jackson

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