‘Matisse: Masterworks From the Baltimore Museum of Art’
Few artists are as lucky in their patrons as Henri Matisse (1869-1954), the French painter whose long career will be celebrated in a colorful exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. For 50 years, a pair of sisters from Baltimore were devoted to his art, visiting him in Paris and Nice and buying more than 500 paintings, sculptures and drawings that they later bequeathed to their hometown museum. Claribel and Etta Cone were passionate about Matisse’s startlingly modern art. They loved his landscapes and still lifes, his portraits and family scenes, and even his lush nudes — although they were prim Victorian gals themselves. Eighty masterpieces from the Cone collection will be featured, along with Matisse paintings, drawings and books from the MIA’s own collection and paintings by American artists he influenced. Matisse kept a sunny spirit in his art through two world wars, the Great Depression and personal tragedies that included the imprisonment and torture of his daughter for her resistance to the Nazi occupation of France. A harsh Minnesota winter is nothing compared with that, so grab a ticket and escape into a Matissian moment. (Sunday through May 18. $16-$20. 2400 3rd Av. S., Mpls. 612-870-6323 or www.artsmia.org.) Mary Abbe
‘Scott Nedrelow: Afterlight’
Traditional photography depends upon the use of light — and upon the photo negative. This juxtaposition is at the center of a new exhibit of paintings and video installations by Minneapolis artist Scott Nedrelow. But unlike the process of developing photos in a darkroom, Nedrelow manually applies inkjet ink onto photo paper to give the impression of light and shadows. The ghostly black-and-white images also produce an after-image resembling a photo negative. A naturally occurring version of this effect comes to life in Nedrelow’s video works “Earthrise/earthset,” which show the movement of the Earth as changes in light occur during dawn and twilight, using a motorized astronomical mount. (Free opening reception 7-9 p.m. Sat. Ends April 5. David Petersen Gallery, 2018 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. 612-276-6541.) Jahna Peloquin
‘Hollow Stone: The Life and Disappearance of Narek Grigoryan’
Twin Cities artist David Sollie weaves stories and images into strange narratives in which fact and fiction mingle without clear boundaries. He took most of the photos for this haunting show in Armenia near a village called Gyumri, which was shattered by an earthquake not long ago. The hills there do bristle with strange cactus-like plants, and ancient people did attribute rejuvenatory power to a curiously eroded rock known simply as the “hollow stone.”Beyond that lies the mystery. Printed on paper that’s old and brittle, the images have an otherworldly cast, their soft blue-greens defining a minimalist mountain landscape punctuated only by scrub plants and scattered rock. There lived a reclusive chemist, Narek Grigoryan, and the woman, Aluna Urartu, who would become his lover and tragic wife. There is more poetry in Sollie’s photos than in the rambling story he weaves about them, but there’s an undercurrent of truth in his tale of KGB interrogation, earthquakes and dreams of ancient deities. (Noon-5 p.m. Wed.-Sat. Ends March 15. Free. Bockley Gallery, 2123 W. 21st St., Mpls. 612-377-4669 or www.bockleygallery.com.) M.A.