SUNDAY, JULY 21 / NOON – 4 PM

New Des Moines Art Center exhibition highlights photography in Iowa Artist 2019: Noah Doely

Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2019

For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Briggie-Smith
Tel: 515.271.0343
Email: bbsmith@desmoinesartcenter.org

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New Des Moines Art Center exhibition highlights photography in Iowa Artist 2019: Noah Doely

DES MOINES, IOWA (June 2019) – On Friday June 21, the Des Moines Art Center will open Iowa Artist 2019: Noah Doely, which runs through October 13, 2019 in the Blank One Gallery.

Based in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Noah Doely produces work focused on science and the history of visual perception, as well as the origins of photography, myth and the world. Doely focuses on photography “because of its complicated relationship to truth and verifiability and its paradoxical ability to evoke both trust and skepticism.” Keeping this in mind, the artist creates pictures that are purposefully deceptive and blur the distinction between reality and illusion.


This exhibition features photographs from Doely’s Above & Below series, which look like subaqueous caves  illuminated by rays of light. The underwater chambers are, however, sections of a diorama Doely constructed, lit from a single source and photographed using a pinhole camera. From these mysterious images Doely asks that we become active inquisitors, questioning authenticity and what’s presented before us.

Doely is Associate Professor of Photography at the University of Northern Iowa, and holds a BFA from UNI and an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. He has had solo exhibitions at the Dubuque Museum of Art; Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles, California; and the San Diego Museum of Art, among others. He is a 2018-2019 Iowa Artists Fellowship recipient and has been artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and the Penumbra Foundation.

Iowa Artist 2019: Noah Doely is organized by Assistant Curator Jared Ledesma.

About the Des Moines Art Center

Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center has amassed an important collection with a major emphasis on contemporary art. The collection’s overriding principle is a representation of artists from the 19th century to the present, each through a seminal work. This accounts for an impressive collection that ranges from Edward Hopper’s Automat to Jasper Johns’ Tennyson, Henri Matisse’s Woman in White, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1, Francis Bacon’s Study after Velásquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bill Viola’s Ascension, and Cecily Brown’s Half-Bind.

The Art Center’s physical complex marries with the collection for a totally integrated experience. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect – Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn have provided funding for and donated 28 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Ellsworth Kelly, Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and Mark di Suvero, is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park was created in collaboration with the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private donors.

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