Spring has come amazingly early to Minneapolis, and it makes me want to take a road trip. Several years ago my friend Annemor Sundbø was visiting from Norway and our road trip destination was the Red River Valley. I grew up in Bygland, the Minnesota township named for her home area in Norway. We stopped at many antique stores in small towns en route. Annemor was always on the hunt for “bad textiles” – crazy, kitchy handmade items that were lost to their owners and makers and now on the back shelves in secondhand stores. I wish I could find the photo of some mittens she found; Christmas-themed, if I remember correctly.
So Annemor, I thought of you when I saw this work by Nick Cave at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts last week. It’s one of his series of sound suits. His work is phenomenal. No one can make use of kitchy textiles like Nick Cave. The figure is covered in crocheted doily/potholders. Cave’s work is part of a great exhibit currently at the MIA, World Beats: Global Contemporary Art. For those readers near Minneapolis, I recommend this exhibit. Also not to be missed are the joyful abstract paintings of Mark Ostapchuk in the Minnesota Artist Exhibit Program and two amazing photos by the South African artist Peiter Hugo: “Abdullahi Mohammed with Mainasara, Lagos, Nigeria” and “Chris Nkulo and Patience Umeh, Enugu, Nigeria.”