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New Pictures Exhibitions Explore Emerging Artists, Paul Graham Inaugurates Lecture Series
Noriko Furunishi, Untitled (Waterfall), 2007. C-print, 93 1/2 x 48 inches. Courtesy Murray Guy, New York.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN.- The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) today announced the launch of two new series exploring contemporary photography. The first is a semi-annual exhibition program, titled “New Pictures,” that is dedicated to featuring innovative photography by emerging artists from around the world. The initial “New Pictures” exhibition will open on September 17, 2009, with a dramatic installation of monumental landscapes by Noriko Furunishi. The other new initiative is the Arnold Newman Lecture on Photography series, featuring leading contemporary photographers discussing issues in the medium today. Paul Graham will present the first in the series.

“This is an exciting and transitional moment in the history of photography,” said David E. Little, head of The Department of Photography and organizing curator for these series at the MIA. “Both the ‘New Pictures’ exhibitions and the Arnold Newman Lecture Series will provide audiences with the opportunity to explore this moment in all of its complexity. The MIA programs will introduce audiences to challenging photographs by leading artists and to the latest discussions about photography. Both series show the MIA’s dedication to bringing art from diverse, contemporary cultures to the public.”

“New Pictures: Noriko Furunishi”
Presented each fall and spring, the “New Pictures” series highlights the vital experimentations in photography and new media undertaken by artists who grapple with making images that address contemporary culture. These exhibitions will be distinguished by their dual focus on presenting cuttingedge artists from around the world, and by helping audiences understand and explore the art-making process. The inaugural exhibition of works by Furunishi will be the artist’s first solo museum exhibition and will run through January 30, 2010.

Born in Japan and living in Los Angeles, Furunishi uses a large-format 4 x 5 camera to make images of a particular geographical site from multiple perspectives. After scanning the negatives from these images, she digitally stitches them together to create seemingly continuous landscapes, some of which measure over seven feet tall and five feet wide. The vertical orientation of her photographs recalls the complex formal compositions of historical Chinese and Japanese hanging scroll paintings, and provides a contemporary perspective on the MIA’s renowned Asian collection.

Furunishi’s photographs also suggest the visual conditions and technological possibilities of our own time through their subtly warped vistas, which upend preconceptions about the land beneath our feet and the skies overhead. The pictures suggest the grand American landscapes of history, but never pretend to be the “real” thing.

To complement the exhibition, the MIA is launching a “New Pictures” website that includes a video interview with the artist about her work, short essays by the curator of the exhibition, and an interactive blog. The website will not only generate discussion about the show during the exhibition, but will also serve as an ongoing archive of the “New Pictures” series, with information on the art and installation for future historians.

Arnold Newman Lecture Series
The lecture series inaugural talk will be given by Paul Graham, one of the first photographers of his generation to bring together the rich historical tradition of social documentary photography with contemporary approaches to color and experimental image-making. His photographs explore life and history, taking on subjects such as the Northern Ireland conflict, postwar Japanese culture, and class inequities in Western Europe and the United States.

Graham has produced twelve publications, including two major survey monographs. He received the 2009 Borse Photography Prize for a shimmer of possibility, which captures the struggles and poetry of daily life in America. Photographs from the book were featured in a solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art.

Graham’s lecture will be Thursday, October 1 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Pillsbury Auditorium. Admission is $5; free for MIA members.

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