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Art News

Summer shows sparkle


Moberg Gallery’s Summer Arts show demonstrates how much they have grown. 

Artwork at Moberg Gallery, 2411 Grand Ave. in Des Moines. Photo submitted

Moberg Gallery opened a showing of the art and crafts of five local guys. Their current Summer Arts show demonstrates how much they have grown. They still represent many of the best Des Moines artists, but they are international now. 

Tibi Checea is a Romanian-born artist who came to the U.S. to pursue a PhD in computer science. Circuit boards and their ilk are his inspiration here, beauty in the magic of the information age. Alexandre Shiffer is a local artist, new to the gallery, who takes influence from Edward Hopper, 1980s street art and anything that contrasts light and shadow. Robert Schulte, Jr. is another local artist who is fascinated by the LP record and what can be glimpsed in its shape. Gallery archivist Michaela Mullin describes him as “a Gestaltist, a maker of unexpected wholes.” 

Daniela Schweinsberg lives and works in Frankfurt am Main in Germany. Her “Love and Other Colors” and “Smells Like Spring” demonstrate a mastery of colors. Ryan Mullin calls her use of pink as “not cute but primal and cosmological” and compares her to Marilyn Minter.

Local artist Larassa Kabel’s “The Favorite Son” is her latest from a series of horse paintings inspired by the tragedy of horses airborne by 18-wheeled trucks. It’s a moving, colored-pencil drawing in almost photographic detail that suspends our mind in hope for a return of the prodigal, majestic beast. 


The Summer Group Show 2021 features the work of five local artists. Photo submitted

Kathranne Knight is a Yale-trained artist attracted to agriculture and history of distinct places like the Younkers Tea Room. Her “The Distant Yellow” is a meditation on the horizon, which Mullin says represents the future. David Dahlquist is a local ceramicist and sculptor whose “State Fair Fence” and “Tent Pegs” are odes to summer. Frank Hansen is a popular Des Moines artist whose entire wall of paintings tell stories from all over the world and imagination. 

Andrew Abbott is a Nova Scotian with stints in North Carolina, New York City and the surrealist mindscape. His works dazzle with complexity. Mullin compares him to Hieronymus Bosch, Keith Haring and Marcel Dzama. Heather Brammeire is a Peoria-based artist whose work continues the function of childhood play into adulthood. Dennis Wojkiewicz is a Chicago artist who shows fruit paintings for which he is most famous. 

Sarah Grant and Scot Charles Ross are two of Des Moines’ best-known painters. Both reflect on their time with COVID-19, Grant tutoring her grandchild and Ross missing the inspiration of travel. Aaron Wilson and Tim Dooley are, in Mullin’s words, “the psychedelics of the show.” Alyson Khan is a Denver artist whose works are architectural reflections. Johanne Brouillette is a French-Canadian abstract painter. Bart Vargas is an Omaha artist with a grand sense of humor. 


“Dwelling on Dwellings” at Olson Larsen ruminates on the places we live. From Raluca Iancu + Jennifer Sheuer’s series of pandemic-stocked refrigerators to Tilly Woodward’s bird nests, from Michael Banning’s doors and windows to Megan Hildebrand’s tree houses, from Kim Hutchison’s abstractions to Emily Somoskey’s tall ceilings, these artists demonstrate deep feelings for their domiciles. This show plays through Sept. 25… Shows by Ethan Edvenson and Andrea van Wyk are up through Sept. 29 at the Ankeny Art Center… Goya’s portrait of Don Mañuel Garcia de la Prada, a real dandy, will be up through Sept. 5 at the Des Moines Art Center. This was the major feather in the art center’s cap in the 1950s and 1960s. It had its own room then. Now it has been restored and cleaned and is shown along with some of Goya’s infamous and grotesque “Caprichos.” ♦

One Comment

  1. Ellen Hubbell says:

    Thanks for the summary, Jim. I’m pleased to see such an impressive stable of artists in Moberg’s lineup!

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