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Posted September 25, 2013in Art Pimp

Judge an album by its cover at Drake

Walking into the Anderson Gallery at Drake University is not like walking into an art gallery at all. It’s more like walking into a record store from 40 years ago. Posters of The Beatles and Pink Floyd record albums are on the wall, and music is playing just loud enough

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Posted September 18, 2013in Art Pimp

Nature good, humanity less so

Picasso remarked that artists are children who never grow up. Perhaps that explains why the art world’s calendars begin in September. For whatever reason, this month brings a bounty of brilliant new shows to Des Moines, several of which carry very similar themes. At Moberg Gallery, Larassa Kabel displays new

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Posted August 14, 2013in Art Pimp

Crack houses and a ghost dance

Moberg Gallery’s current group show includes four artists of considerable demographic range, from octogenarian Sandra Perlow to 20-somethings Jordan Weber and Stephanie Brunia, with Lynn Basa in the middle. Perlow, a Chicago artist making her Des Moines debut, is a Philip Guston disciple who turns abstraction into a nearly cartoonish

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Posted July 17, 2013in Art Pimp

Phyllida Barlow’s golden years

Des Moines Art Center’s (DMAC) new exhibition “Phyllida Barlow: Scree” represents one of the happier stories about life after “retirement.” From the late 1960s until 2009, she was a professor at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London. Barlow produced many drawings and sculptures during those years, but she

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Posted June 19, 2013in Art Pimp

20 years of fortitude

This year marks Steven Vail’s 20th anniversary in the gallery business. His exhibitions here, of internationally renowned artists, have usually received more media coverage from New York, Germany and even Hong Kong than they have in Des Moines. How did he manage to survive? “Luther Utterback (Des Moines artist) took

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Posted May 15, 2013in Art Pimp

Image-making across the metro

Art-driven image makeovers are being created around the metro this merry month of May. Consider Clive, surely the largest city in Iowa without a high school. Most towns identify predominantly with their schools, particularly with their high schools. Residents wear their colors, call themselves after their mascots, cheer their teams

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Posted April 17, 2013in Art Pimp

‘The New Fangled Mirth of Spring’

After a longer-than-usual winter, Shakespeare’s “new fangled mirth of spring” will be appropriately celebrated around central Iowa’s art scene. For the first time, Des Moines Art Center’s (DMAC) Iowa Artists’ Exhibition will include theatrics — three productions, in three different DMAC venues, of the Bard of Avon’s “Love’s Labours Lost”

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Posted March 20, 2013in Art Pimp

Seeing through “Transparencies”

In science, the word transparency refers to the physical property that allows light to pass through matter. Its political and social definitions have become far more muddied and ambiguous. The Des Moines Art Center’s (DMAC) dazzling new exhibition “Transparencies – Contemporary Art and the History of Glass” reflects upon both

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Posted February 20, 2013in Art Pimp

Between Heaven and Earth

Painter Madai Taylor is a complex holy man who preaches to his congregation literally from the Bible but paints religious abstractions. He admits these contradictory postures can be misinterpreted as a conflict. “I do wonder how people embrace the duality of my being a non-subjective artist and a preacher. I

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Posted January 23, 2013in Art Pimp

Hollywood’s Des Moines connection

It’s red carpet season in Des Moines. No fewer than five bridal shows are scheduled this month, Bravo Greater Des Moines’ Awards Gala dresses up Hy-Vee Center on Feb. 2, and Des Moines Metro Opera’s Wine and Food Showcase returns to the downtown Marriott on Feb. 15. Those are just

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Barmuda