Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Minnesota State Fair 2010, Part 2

I see that last year I did a post similar to this one, focusing on the Crop Art and Fine Art shows at the Fair. Oh, well. I guess it must be a good idea.

Fine Art Show

I have to say I agree with Mary Abbe's review in the Star Tribune (as well as some others I've seen), which found this year's Fine Art show particularly weak. There are always walls full of cows and so on, but this year there seemed to be a significant number of pieces that had nothing at all going for them: unoriginal concept, bad execution, boring composition.

Omitting the best-in-show works, which have already been played up in other reviews and which I agree were good, here are my few favorites:

Two paintings, one of reddish squash and the other of toy cars and dinosaurs
Maureen Sullivan's "Turban and Hubbard Squash" was juxtaposed with Sherri Ann Dahl's "Accumulated." Usually the curators' tendency to group works with similar subjects together is irritating, but in this case, these two compositions complemented each other. The natural shapes and colors of the squash, on a smaller canvas, were a fun accompaniment to the larger, chaotic-excessive composition.

Small portraits in cross stitch
This cross stitch on linen by Flannery Nolan appealed to me because of its detail and humor. Titled "The Process," it reminds me of tarot cards.

Close up of one person
Close up of one of the "cards."

Metal and wood dog with head made of vegetable steamers
Kyle Fokken's sculpture was untitled. Kind of a steampunk dog with wings.

Large wall hanging in green and other bright colors with dogs in a naturalistic setting
I spent more time than average appreciating Arden Harrison-Bushnell's quilted and bejeweled textile piece, "Dog Park."

Close up of a white furry poodle
I think it reminded me of Carmella's many trips to the dog park.

Crop Art Show

As always, the crop art show was fun, and often political.

Table with a shovel and pitchfork as legs, plants growing below
Jill Randerson won a best in show for "Grow Your Own Food," which was both a good illustration and a well-executed piece of crop art.

Oversized cow with a red white and blue blanket, being led by an elderly farmer in overalls
I enjoyed the exaggerated proportions of the cow and man in Dale Hoglin's dyed entry.

Cartoon of cat, bear and human labeled Bad seed with iffy friends
Linda Wing continued her "Bad Seed" series with this charming threesome.

Tim Pawlenty as Paul Bunyan, axing Minnesota into pieces
Our governor, Tim Pawlenty, shrinks to mythic proportions in Teresa Anderson's 3D piece. Babe the Blue Ox is transformed into a Blue Elephant... and the state is coming apart along the fault lines created by Pawl's ax.

The Mad Hatter coming out of a three-dimensional cup, labeled The Party's Over
Laura Melnick's execution is amazing, although I think this concept is weaker than her past work.

Crop Art Killers #2, with two mice chewing the corner of the picture away
Thomas Klein's joke is subtle but chewy.

Clock with a different type of seed for each number, each one labeled
And David Steinlicht's excellent crop clock tells you what time I saw the show. Bonus!

3 comments:

Carmella said...

That dog park quilt is a lovely piece!

I get to go to the dog park TOMORROW!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Sadly, I missed the crop art this year, but I'm so glad you showed the mice! That will be my favorite joke for a while to come, I'm sure.

Blythe Woolston said...

This stuff is flat out fantastic. The Bad Seed, Tim Pawlenty's blue elephant--the steam punk dog with wings! Thank you so much for showing me these things.