Textile artist Lindsay Rhyner appears solo at Soo Local
LYNDALE — To scenesters of a certain age, the Soo Local storefront on the 3500 block of Nicollet Avenue South will probably forever be known as the old Art of This space.
That gallery closed in 2010, and the storefront was briefly home to Yeti Records. Pat’s Tap, the Kim Bartmann restaurant, opened next door in 2011 and — especially since the arrival of Hola Arepa across the street this summer — what was once a pretty blah block finally has some real bustle, especially on weekends.
Weekends are when Soo Visual Arts Center’s southern outpost, Soo Local, opens its doors to the public, and it’s definitely worth stopping in for the final installment of this summer’s Equinox Series of exhibitions put on by co-curators Crystal Quinn and Oakley Tapola. The month-long, three-part series highlighting emerging artists ends with a solo show by Lindsay Rhyner, an intriguing and even slightly mysterious local artist.
Intriguing? Yes: Rhyner’s textile wall hangings — sometimes in the form of soft sculptures, other times more like thrift-shop tapestries — stand out in local galleries for being so unlike almost everything else.
Mysterious? Well, that’s possibly an exaggeration, but Rhyner maintains a relatively low online profile (another thing that sets her apart from other local visual artists) and didn’t respond to an interview request.
“I think that’s how she likes it,” Tapola said.
Quinn and Rhyner are old high school classmates from the Perpich Center for Arts Education and have known each other for years. Quinn said Rhyner lives in Minneapolis “on and off” and travels around a lot, collecting tatters for her textile pieces along the way.
Rhyner’s work popped up last year and again this year in separate exhibitions at Bockley Gallery in Kenwood. She comes off as the equivalent of a Dumpster-diving freegan for the textile arts, carefully picking through tossed-off scraps to gather the patterned fabrics, ugly neckties, patches, drapery and even things like kitchen hot pads or reflective safety vests that she incorporates into her work.
Rhyner’s “Whale” sculpture from the 2013 Bockley show looked like a cetacean whose DNA was spliced with a catfish and a Chinese dragon puppet. Its white belly glistened with sequins and two thick lamé whiskers dropped from its snout. (One whisker still sported a small Gucci tag, hinting it was not your everyday thrift store bargain.)
A year later, Rhyner reappeared at Bockley with tapestry-like wall hangings that seemed to contain figures and even narratives. They alluded to the compressed space of Asian landscape paintings.
This time around, expect a mix of new and old work, and maybe even experiments with installation work. Not even Quinn and Oakley were sure what Rhyner has planned.
“Essentially, our process in this is we’re just opening the space up to people that might not have the chance to show the work otherwise,” Quinn said. “A lot of [our role] has been hands-off.”
After Rhyner’s week-long run in the gallery ends, Quinn and Oakley plan a two-day pop-up shop inside Soo Local featuring prints, paintings, jewelry, clothing and other artwork and goods made by local artists and artisans. The shop is open 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Sept. 27 and 28.
Drug Rugs/Soo Local pop-up shop
WHEN: Sept. 13–20/Sept. 27–28
WHERE: Soo Local, 3506 Nicollet Ave. S.
INFO: soovac.org, 871-2263
Paintings by Sadie Laska at David Petersen Gallery. Submitted image
Four from New York
THE WEDGE — A compact group show at David Petersen Gallery features new work — and surprising moments of humor — from four New York City-based painters: Joshua Abelow, MacGregor Harp, Adrienne Rubenstein and Sadie Laska.
The show’s title is shared with a jaunty painting by Harp that layers repeated patterns of blue flowers, abstract bursts of orange and lavender and bright yellow and orange slashes on a background of teal. It’s as exuberant as a Hawaiian-print shirt.
Abelow’s playful “Running Man” paintings race through the gallery. The stick figures’ graphic simplicity recalls a constellation map — the straight lines and nodes of Orion’s wire-frame body — but Abelow surrounds them with an aura of bulky muscles and hair.
Laska’s multi-media paintings incorporate bits of clothing, like the hoodie drawstring that ropes off a heart-shaped section of deep purple paint from a contrasting orange background on one small canvas. She gives another painting, on a scrap of paint-splattered Levis, an upward-turning swipe of white paint, like a wry smile.
Rubenstein threatens to steal the show with her expressionistic landscapes, like the ravishing “Umbrellas Seascape.” Its three umbrellas open like flowers in between multi-colored drips.
What Was the Question
WHEN: Through Oct. 4
WHERE: David Petersen Gallery, 2018 Lyndale Ave. S.