September 25, 2017 - Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) - Aliza Nisenbaum: A Place We Share
September 25, 2017

Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia)

Aliza Nisenbaum, Morning Security Briefing at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, basement door open onto the Guard Lounge Pet Wall, 2017. Oil on linen, 95 x 75 inches. Courtesy the artist and Mary Mary, Glasgow.


Aliza Nisenbaum
A Place We Share
September 28, 2017–February 4, 2018

Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia)
2400 Third Avenue S
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404
United States
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5pm,
Thursday–Friday 10am–9pm

T +1 612 870 3000

The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) is organizing the first solo museum exhibition of Aliza Nisenbaum’s work. The exhibition features three new paintings, commissioned by Mia, created by the Mexico City-born, New York City-based artist during her three-month Mia residency. Over the summer, Nisenbaum invited individuals from the local community to a painting studio provided by Mia. From these sessions, Nisenbaum created three large-scale group portraits which probe the politics of representation by bringing often-marginalized communities to the fore. A Place We Share is on view September 28, 2017, through February 4, 2018.

During Nisenbaum’s residency, she worked with three groups in Mia’s Whittier neighborhood and the adjacent Phillips neighborhood: Centro Tyrone Guzman, Hope Community, and Mia’s own security guards. The resulting paintings represent a snapshot of the people, many of them Latino and Somali immigrants, who live and work near Mia.

“Mia strives to represent stories from our diverse communities,” said Gabriel Ritter, Mia’s curator of contemporary art. “Aliza’s socially engaged painting practice embraced the fabric of our community, and explored how the act of painting fosters meaningful relationships between an artist, her subjects, and the museum.”

The first community Nisenbaum engaged with was the security guards at Mia. Morning Security Briefing at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, basement door open onto the Guard Lounge Pet Wall depicts six Mia guards not as a faceless security force, but as members of their own often-overlooked community.

Nisenbaum also taught portrait-drawing classes for senior citizens at Centro Tyrone Guzman, the oldest and largest multi-service Latino organization in Minneapolis. Wise Elders Portraiture Class at Centro Tyrone Guzman with En Familia hay Fuerza, mural on the history of immigrant farm labor to the United States shows eight of her students with their drawings.

In addition, Nisenbaum spent time in the Hope Community Garden, an initiative of the place-based community development organization in the Phillips neighborhood, one of the most economically challenged and diverse neighborhoods in Minneapolis. Nimo, Sumiya, and Bisharo harvesting flowers and vegetables at Hope Community Garden depicts three young Somali leaders who care for the community garden.

Alongside Nisenbaum’s paintings, Mia will co-host a series of activations in the gallery with people and organizations based in the Phillips and Whittier neighborhoods. The gallery space will serve as a venue for dialogue and community exchange for the duration of the exhibition, providing a flexible space for programming driven by community members.

Generous support for A Place We Share is provided by the Mary Ingebrand-Pohlad Charitable Foundation.

About the artist
Born in Mexico City, Aliza Nisenbaum is the Director of Graduate Studies, and Professor of Visual Arts at Columbia University School of the Arts. Nisenbaum’s paintings are intimate exchanges between herself and her subjects. The artist makes portraits of undocumented Latin American immigrants, and of other distinct communities, using the focused attention of observational painting to mark those who are socially unmarked in society. Often lushly decorated with patterned textiles, her canvases demand close looking in keeping with her personal connections to her subjects.

Nisenbaum has had solo shows at Mary Mary, Glasgow; White Columns, New York; Lulu, Mexico City; and was recently included in the Whitney Biennial 2017. Her work is held by the Whitney Museum of American Art, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, The Irish Arts Council, and The Progressive Art Collection. She is represented by Mary Mary, Glasgow.

About Minneapolis Institute of Art
The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) is home to more than 89,000 works of art representing 5,000 years of world history. Mia inspires wonder, spurs creativity, and nourishes the imagination. With extraordinary exhibitions and one of the finest wide-ranging art collections in the country—Rembrandt to van Gogh, Monet to Matisse, Asian to African—Mia links the past to the present, enables global conversations, and offers an exceptional setting for inspiration. General admission to Mia is always free.



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