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Review: “It’s unseasonably hot at four Minneapolis galleries”

Review: “It’s unseasonably hot at four Minneapolis galleries”

Four Minneapolis galleries embrace summertime with bold and entertaining shows. As Mary Abbe of the Star Tribune points out, “summer sizzles this year at local art galleries. Often a slow season when galleries dust off old stock and settle in for a sales siesta, summer is seldom as dynamic as this month when experimental books, abstract paintings, artful furniture, Minimalist Pop, travel pictures and intimate letters vie for attention” at Minnesota Center for the Book Arts, Circa Gallery, SooVAC and Groveland.

Abbe claims that travel “brings out the best of Groveland artists” in Pictures from a Trip, a group show on view in the main gallery through the end of August. She continues: “In Thomas Paquette’s hands, dusky Tuscan shadows settle over distant hills beyond a “Roof to Horizon.” At “St. Joseph’s State Park,” Jaron Childs finds luminous light suffusing a watery marsh, and in “Swedish Grass,” Jean Gumper turns bent grass into a serene blue abstraction. Don’t miss Fred Hagstrom’s wonderful sketchbooks from the South Pacific. And best of all, Rod Massey, known for charmingly cartoonish portraits of south Minneapolis houses, surprises with a pitch-perfect study of a Paris wall under a slate-gray sky.”

Abbe also applauds Love Letters From Artists, a summer-long invitational group show in the Annex. Calling it “a must-see treat curated by avid St. Paul letter-writer Peter Kramer,” Abbe describes some of her favorite “illustrated notes and billets-doux” …

“Where to start in a delightful display that ranges from Chinese brush painting to French courtesans? Justin Terlecki’s drawing of the “Fountain at Irvine Park” recalls a night when his love “made angels in the January snow.” Mike Norman’s playful dogs cavort under a cedar while “Barking our love for Jan.” Kramer drafts a black-humored note to Russian avant gardist Kasimir Malevich from “Uncle Joe” (Stalin) warning that “The honeymoon is over.” Former Star Tribune illustrator L.K. Hanson romances his favorite fluids, ink and coffee, in an elegant hand and an even more elegant envelope. Marvelous, all of them.” Read the rest of Abbe’s article here.