Two shows at Soo Visual Arts Center, featuring four artists, are worth the trip to the gallery. In “Tentantless Pause,” Theresa Anderson and Jennifer Nevitt show their unique relationship to their materials, while in “Located” Nate Burbeck and Aaron Dysart focus on place and our relationship with nature for some subtly subversive work.
With a list of materials that include a nylon stocking, a gardening book, a discarded trophy, and pillow stuffing, Theresa Anderson’s sculptural creations are a sight to behold. Surprising and interesting forms are made from her hodge-podge of materials, creating works that blend narrative with whimsy.
This narrative can be found in the materials themselves. For instance, Laid/Back, an angular, contorted piece that has elements of sharp lines as well as blobby substance, paints a picture of procrastination and innovation born from domesticity. The materials she uses — including “remnants of discarded VHS tapes from hours of television viewing,” hat pins, a broom handle, and cement — give rise to a masterpiece of anxiety mixed with complacency. It’s a startling and bizarre work.
Her other pieces — whether a monument composed of a ladder and black-and-white striped vinyl, or a creature made of feathers, paint, pillow stuffing — draw you in with their vivid use of color and sharp use of space while cleverly coaxing you to make sense of the artist’s madness. You may not always understand it, but you’ll have fun creating your own story.
Jennifer Nevitt’s work, while not as bombastic as Anderson’s, similarly explores materials in interesting ways. The paper in her pieces is key, as there is an almost sculptural element to which she uses oil, watercolor, graphite, and occasionally coffee. One work, Cure, at first doesn’t appear to have anything on it at all, though she did use coffee and ink, making it look worn in its particular placement on the floor. Another piece, Rest at Curve, is placed in a way that the paper itself becomes a sculptural form.
On the other side of the gallery, Nate Burbeck’s paintings of suburban and rural landscapes expand before your eyes. At first, all you see is the grass and sky, but there’s also an eeriness about them. Whether it’s a giant pile of dirt in the middle of a lawn, an ominous circle in the middle of a field, or a mysterious woman standing before billowing smoke amid tall grass, the pieces hint at some sinister force behind the picturesque landscapes…..
IF YOU GO:“Tentantless Pause” and “Located”Soo Visual Art Center
2638 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis
Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Through July 19