Nicola Lopez: Constriction Zone

Creativity is a double-edged sword. This was something I first realized after reading a detailed account of the torture regimen used by the Sforzas, a Renaissance-era Milanese family whose fortune had been made in arms sales. They called it “Lent”: forty days of inventive and excruciating pain-inducing practices almost guaranteed to leave the victim alive at the end. And the Sforzas were renowned arts patrons to boot; Petrarch did their PR, in fact. What does this have to do with Lopez, who is getting a lot of attention in New York for her big, complex, print-based installations? These works, which explore infrastructure and built environments, are baroquely inventive, while also enacting the menace of urban sprawl and so-called progress; Lopez herself is an artist with enough sense to see not just the beauty in human creativity, but also its potential detriments.

Franklin Art Works, 1021 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-872-7494.