Saturday, October 21, 2017

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Posted October 04, 2017in Art Pimp

Celebrating architecture with tape

Three distinctive buildings designed by three brilliant architects The Des Moines Art Center boasts three distinctive buildings designed by three brilliant architects at a pivotal point in their careers. The original building was built in 1948 by Eliel Saarinen after he won a major competition to design the Smithsonian Museum

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Posted September 06, 2017in Art Pimp

A place at the table

The Des Moines Art Center’s latest show in its print gallery is a reflection upon a short 1926 poem by Langston Hughes. “I, too, sing America” has 58 words. It also serves as the only published commentary on the exhibition, a refreshing concision in an era when a small academic

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Posted August 02, 2017in Art Pimp

August celebrates the Iowa artist

“Shouldn’t Iowa be the subject of a show at the Iowa State Fair?” asked my granddaughter while looking at travel photographs from Spain, Mexico, Santa Fe and Eastern Europe. It’s a most debatable question. Bill Woolston, a University of Idaho professor emeritus, presented an exhibition at the Fair in 2014

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Posted July 05, 2017in Art Pimp

Environmental collapse

Jordan Weber is a chronicler of environmental degradation and its effects on communities, particularly African-American communities. He has made quite a name, too, having been invited to big shows on both coasts and being paired with some of the biggest names in African-American art. Most recently he did an exhibition

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Posted June 01, 2017in Art Pimp

Bullets shooting bullets

“Ruptures” is the title of the Des Moines Art Center’s latest show, through Sept. 3. It’s also a keyword in creative theory from Japanese aesthetics, to Hegel’s “Dialectic” and Arthur Koestler’s “Act of Creation.” Creativity depends upon conflict — ideological, cosmic or artistic. An exhibition that directly addresses this point

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Posted May 03, 2017in Art Pimp

Unsheltering skies of infinity

The new round of exhibitions in the metro are intergalactic in scope, with dark humor, lawlessness and narrow examinations of the environment thrown in. Who knew that Andy Warhol made a screen print portrait of Albert Einstein in his series “Ten Portraits of Jews of the 20th Century”? Despite all

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Posted April 05, 2017in Art Pimp

Hottest medium ever

“Working Part Time at the Five & Dime” is the first thing that most visitors see entering Chris Vance’s latest show at Moberg Gallery. It is a painting of geometric diagrams on a black background. Yet it’s so unlike Des Moines’ most popular artist that some people check out the

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Posted March 01, 2017in Art Pimp

Art Center taps a vein

Many of the famous quotes about gold diminish it. “All that is gold does not glitter” (J.R.R. Tolkein); “Health is real wealth not gold.” (M.H. Gandhi); “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” (Democritus).” All those great thinkers and humanitarians lost the battle

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Posted February 01, 2017in Art Pimp

The strange beauty of Wild Life

Walter Hagen, who dominated golf in the early 20th century, was one of the most quotable athletes of all time. He’s credited for coining the phrases “No one remembers who finished second” and “Life’s short, don’t forget to smell the flowers along the way,” among other popular lines. I was

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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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