Michael Kareken: Urban Forest

Scrap yards and paper recycling form Michael Kareken’s usual subjects (though he has other, more conventional ones as well—figures, usually); many of the works in this show depict the Rock-Tenn recycling yard near his studio. Tough-love limnings of crushed heaps evoke the huge stone Aphrodite that stood at the old Getty Museum on the Malibu cliffs, her voluminous draperies blown by a hurricane and torn and broken by two thousand years. The formal visual qualities of these raw heaps is exciting in itself, but Kareken also manages to infuse the drawings and paintings with the pathos of drapery—material that takes on the shape of that which it clothes, be it divine flesh, the force of tearing winds, or the mindless crush of waste. These scraps record the currents of our desires.

Groveland Gallery, 25 Groveland Terrace, Minneapolis; 612-377-7800.