MIA goes mod

Annalisa Huge

Two meditative individuals stare at a dark canvas in Thomas Struth’s photograph, “The Rothko Chapel.” This young man and woman display a perfect sense of how we, as viewers, stare in awe at the masterpieces in a museum. With its newest exhibit, the Minneapolis Institute of Art has given visitors the opportunity to take a meditative look at five decades of contemporary art.

In the past, MIA has installed various exhibitions of different themes, such as “Southern Exposure: Photographs of the American South” and “Drama and Deliverance: Drama in the Old Testament.” They recently took a much bigger step, opening an exhibition of contemporary pieces spanning over the past 50 years called “Until Now: Collecting the New.”

The exhibit has placed 85 photos, paintings, sculptures, videos, and installations throughout the museum by some widely known artists such as Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha and some very impressive unknown internationals. Showcasing a fresh take on art, this exhibit strengthens the museum’s historical holdings by diversifying the collection.

Among the Renaissance portraits hangs a 1989 photo of artist Cindy Sherman, as she poses with a similar dress to the other paintings surrounding it. In the African gallery, a 2009 sculpture made of high-heeled shoes depicts a mother-and-child who look very much like the traditional African carvings of women beside it. Atmospheric images of Italian olive groves by internationally known Minnesota photographer JoAnn Verburg hang like an Oriental folding screen behind an 18th-century dragon jar in a Korean gallery.

Similar to how DJs mix new hip hop with different musicians and eras, MIA shakes things up by scattering modern art all across the museum in a movement titled “Art-Remix,” making connections with art through time and culture. By comparing modern art to much older pieces all over the different galleries, the museum hopes to force people into really thinking about the art they would have otherwise passed over.