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Zumbro Bend: Three Desiring Bodies

November 18, 2023 - March 24, 2024

Images from left to right:   May Ling Kopecky Self Portrait - Multiple Sclerosis and My Body, 2022  colored pencil, ink, and graphite on Dura-Lar and graph paper; 71" x 30"  ︎︎︎Image description: The portrait of a woman with brown hair is made of drawings of various parts of her body created using various techniques. Next to each drawing is a description of the portaied symptoms.   Benjamin Merrit Care is, 2020                                                              etching, aquatint, drypoint, sugarlift, spitbite; image 18 x 24”, full sheet 22 x 30”            ︎︎︎Image description: One black and white print, consisting of “care is” written in white on the top half, and a white rectangle on the bottom half. The text is sitting on a dark field of texture and gestural marks, the blank rectangle consists of faint texture.   Kym McDaniel Screenshot from Exit Strategy #1, Exit Strategies Series, 2017-2021  video series; 40:23 min  ︎︎︎Image description: Silver spoons arranged on a table

Pete Driessen © 2023. Line/Template. Dry rock protection wall construction east of Rochester, MN. Photographer unknown. Modified digital print. 17 x 24 inches. Courtesy the artist & Olmsted County Historical Society & Museum.

Zumbro Bend: Three Desiring Bodies

Pete Driessen

On View November 18, 2023 - March 24, 2024

Opening Reception & Artist Talk | Saturday, November 18, 1:00 - 4:00 PM; Artist Talk at 2:00 PM

In Zumbro Bend: Three Desiring Bodies, Minneapolis based visual artist Pete Driessen installs three separate site-specific works, each a different abstracted fork in the river ecosystem. Titled after the South Fork Zumbro River that winds around the Rochester Art Center, the artist illuminates meandering sociopolitical variants on the river as creative life force, terrain erosion and deposition, land extraction and water channeling. 

Through the language of painting, form, and space, Driessen investigates river system topology, land erosion and sediment deposition structures, and the animate quality of flowing water systems. The Zumbro River, a Mississippi River tributary with three separate forks, offers three exhibit positions with distinct material situations. 

The first fork, Zumbro Bend, reflects upon the river environments meandering erosion and deposition, with wood, limestone, and mixed media painting. The gallery floor serves as a flood plain, with work arranged around the curvilinear structure of a river bend. In the second Gel Medium Lab fork, the artist experiments with gloss acrylic gel medium positioning the river via our human bodily connections to innate desire, creative production, and reproduction qualities. The third Bait Shop fork nostalgically reflects upon the artist's locational identity within the water culture of the Minnesota & Upper Midwest through recreational and tinkering structures.

Amidst the duration of the exhibition, Driessen will present a choreographed sound performance with Pooch Karton, writer and artist dialogue, and a limited-edition artist’s book release.

Pete Driessen is a Minneapolis based multipractice visual artist, sculptor and cultural producer who creates site-specific conceptual initiatives, found object installations, interdisciplinary sculpture projects, and participatory public art that explore the visceral connections of social, spatial and material dynamics. Driessen received his MFA in Visual Studies from Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, VT, and his exhibit record includes national and regional exhibitions at a range of venues. Driessen has been awarded several grants, including a 2022 MSAB Creative Opportunity grant for his Migratory Wing/Prairie Wildflower Bed project; a 2019 Forecast Public Art Midcareer Project grant for his Roundhouse/Pivotal Turntable Tactics; a 2017 Soap Factory/ReThinking Public Space in Minnesota grant for his Trestle Support Systems project; a 2015 Jerome Fellowship at Franconia Sculpture Park for his Franconia Boat Tower sculpture; a 2014 MRAC Next Step grant for his Silverwood Park project; and three past MSAB Artist Initiative grants. Driessen extends his artistic practice via curation, collaboration, and community activity, most recently working with his partner on an ongoing alternative textile collaboration. He directs and curates a hybridic, nondescript ether-based gallery known as TuckUnder Projects specializing in emerging and midcareer artists focusing on conceptual arts practice, curatorial projects, and institutional critique.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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