New Single-channel series to open at Des Moines Art CenterNew Single-channel series to open at Des Moines Art Center

Posted on Friday, February 10, 2017

For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Briggie-Smith
Tel: 515.271.0343

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New Single-channel series to open at Des Moines Art Center

DES MOINES, IOWA (February 2017) – On February 23 the Des Moines Art Center will open a new 2017 video series, Single-channel 7: Journeys into Peripheral Worlds, Ethan Murrow / Dust on view in the Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey Gallery, Richard Meier building, through April 30, 2017.

Based on observations of the discipline, the curatorial department each year develops a theme to contextualize recent video works. Each series is dedicated to a specific theme explored in unexpected and surprising ways by artists from around the world.

Journeys into Peripheral Worlds features four artists—Ethan Murrow, Wangechi Mutu, Michael Najjar, and Alex Prager—all of whom depict very different kinds of fantastic worlds. The first exhibition features Ethan Murrow’s Dust. Taking place in a desolate, perhaps post-apocalyptic landscape, a small community of migrant people is performing an exercise in futility: they are mining for dust. Dust, we learn, is the last resource of any value in their world. Employing explosives and a wide-range of eccentric machines, these miners frantically collect dust below ground and above, in the air. There appears to be a loose hierarchy to the operation: “You make more, you get a better task–it’s an old story,” says the narrator. At the end of the day, the miners trade their dust in for money and return to their tents to socialize, fight, and steal from each other. It’s an absurd story but one that, nonetheless, speaks to our times.

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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entirely unexpected