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‘The Expressionist Figure’ drawings at the Walker; ‘Carmen’s Tragedy’ at the U

Joan Miró , Femme devant la lune (Woman in Front of the Moon), 1935
Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris 2019
Joan Miró, Woman in Front of the Moon, 1935
A new exhibition that opens Sunday at the Walker is a look at collecting, the expressive potential of the human body, and how different artists have portrayed the body, from Max Beckmann to Andy Warhol.

Curated by Joan Rothfuss, “The Expressionist Figure: The Miriam and Erwin Kelen Collection of Drawings” features some 100 works on paper by 73 artists. Most were recently donated to the Walker by the Kelens, who are longtime patrons. Rothfuss also included related drawings and sculpture from the Walker’s collection.

The show invites us to see the body in ways both familiar and new. Spanning more than a century of experimentation by artists working in the United States and Europe – the earliest drawing dates from 1900, the latest from 2018 – works include portraits, figure studies, social satire, narrative, fantasy and erotica. Media range from crayon, ink, and graphite to watercolor, pastel and collage. Along with Beckman and Warhol, artists include Jim Denomie, Henri Matisse, Christo, Pablo Picasso, Claes Oldenburg, David Hockney, Joan Miró, Egon Schiele, Zak Smith, and Edgar Degas.

Pablo Picasso, Nu assis (Seated Nude), 1969
©2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS)
Pablo Picasso, Nu assis (Seated Nude), 1969
“The Expressionist Figure” will be on view in the Walker’s Burnet Gallery through April 19, 2020. If you want to bring it home, there’s an exhibition catalog in the gift shop(s) with full-page color reproductions of each drawing, an essay by Erwin Kelen, an introduction by Rothfuss, along with her short essays on 14 of the works, and a foreword by the Walker’s new ED, Mary Ceruti.

On Jan. 30 at 6 p.m., you can tour the exhibition with Walker curatorial fellow William Hernandez-Luege for free. No tickets required, just show up.

The picks

Opens tonight (Friday, Nov. 15) at Theatre in the Round: “Agatha Christie’s Towards Zero.” As Park Square Theatre has a way with Sherlock Holmes, Theatre in the Round has a history with Christie. “Towards Zero” is its latest holiday toast to the Queen of Crime. Originally a novel (1944), it was adapted into a play (1956) by Christie and Gerald Verner. But only recently (2015) was it discovered that Christie had written her own adaptation for the stage. The theater at Seven Corners will present this version, directed by Wendy Resch Novak, who returns to TRP for her fourth Christie play. The setting is a clifftop manor on the English seaside, where a house party is interrupted by a brutal murder. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($22). Runs Fridays-Sundays through Dec. 15.


Saturday at MacPhail: MacPhail Spotlight Series: “Locally Sourced.” For an evening of Minnesota music and stories, artistic director Mischa Santora has promised a Prince cover. For the rest, composer Libby Larsen has set music to words by Minnesota and North Dakota poets; her “Jazz at the Intergalactic Nightclub” will be performed by tenor Dennis Peterson and pianist Timothy De Prey. Pina Basgöze and Susana Pinto will play a pair of piano duos by Greg Theisen, and Fred and J.D. Steele (of the famous Steeles) will share songs. 7:30 p.m. Preconcert talk at 6:30. FMI; for tickets ($25/15), call 612-767-5250.

Astralblak is part of a strong lineup of Minnesota artists performing at “Band Together: An Event to Benefit Climate Generation.”
Photo by Bobby Rogers/courtesy of the Walker Art Center
Astralblak is part of a strong lineup of Minnesota artists performing at “Band Together: An Event to Benefit Climate Generation.”
Saturday at the O’Shaughnessy: “Band Together: An Event to Benefit Climate Generation.” We know, this comes right after Give to the Max, but dig into your pockets if you can. Hosted by Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, this will be a night of music, storytelling and climate action. Featured performer and emcee Xiuhtezcatl, a 19-year-old indigenous rapper climate activist, will be joined by a strong lineup of Minnesota artists: Astralblak, Chastity Brown, Strong Buffalo, Chris Koza, Lazerbeak, Eric Mayson, Jeremy Messersmith, Lucy Michelle, Ben Weaver and Aby Wolf. Artist pre-party at 5:30, concert at 7. FMI and tickets ($55; with pre-party, $125).

Saturday and Sunday at the Ted Mann: University Opera Theatre Presents Peter Brook’s “Carmen’s Tragedy.” Every semester, students at the U of M present a fully-staged operatic production – no small feat. Brook’s “Carmen,” last seen here in a Feb. 2017 production by Skylark Opera, is shorter than Bizet’s, packing all the fire, intensity and emotion of the original (and the best music) into 90 minutes. David Walsh directs; Ho-Yin Kwok will conduct the chamber ensemble in this contemporary take on a classic tale. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 1:30 p.m. Sunday. FMI and tickets ($26/15/7).

Sunday at the Dakota: The Jeremy Walker/Clara Osowski Quartet: Ellington + Originals: Jazz Art Song. Just over a year ago, award-winning mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski and jazz pianist and composer Jeremy Walker released their first album together, “Haunted Blue.” It was a new direction for both of them, and magical. They’re working on another project, using poems from Edna St. Vincent Millay, and exploring new arrangements of Duke Ellington favorites. And they’ve added drummer JT Bates to the mix, turning their trio with bassist Anthony Cox into a quartet. 7 p.m. FMI and tickets ($20).

Monday at Minneapolis Central Library: Talk of the Stacks: Carmen Maria Machado. Machado was a 2018 National Book Award finalist for her breakthrough story collection “Her Body and Other Parties,” published by Graywolf Press. That was a mix of horror, comedy, science fiction and fantasy the New York Times described as “a wild thing … covered in sequins and scales.” Just out from Graywolf, “In the Dream House” is her unconventional memoir, the story of an abusive relationship with a former girlfriend. Machado is a fast-rising literary star, so you might want to arrive early. 6:15 doors, 7 p.m. program. Overflow seating with live feed will be available. A book signing will follow. FMI.

Holiday picks

The malls are decked, but they’re not your only holiday shopping options.

Fall Craft’za takes place on Saturday (Nov. 16) at Grain Belt Bottling House. More than 60 Minnesota makers will offer their handmade wares, from hats to jewelry, soaps to posters, all uniquely giftable. 79 13th Ave. NE, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. FMI including a list of participating artists. Free.

Now in its third year, the MN Christmas Market happens Sunday (Nov. 17) at the Nicollet Island Pavilion. It also showcases homegrown brands and makers, with 7 percent of sales going to the Reel Hope Project, which makes videos aimed at helping kids in foster care find homes. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. FMI. Free.

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