Origins, Artists & Aspirations: Minnesota Museum of American Art

FULL EPISODE

What is American Art?

What is American art? The Minnesota Museum of American Art examines and re-examines this complex question with the community and artists.

AIRED: May 24, 2019 | 0:03:29
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TRANSCRIPT

- You're asking the hard question now.

- I wish I'd studied up on my history of American art.

- Asking me what it is to be an American artist

would be sort of like asking a chef

what's American cuisine?

would be sort of like asking a chef

- The Minnesota Museum of American Art

is constantly reflecting about what it means

to be an American artist, to understand,

what is American art?

We're asking people, what does it mean?

Tell us about your perspective.

(gentle guitar music)

- The first place my mind goes to the history.

- When I think of American art,

I think of the abstract expressionists

because that movement basically started in this country.

- And today our world has changed so much.

I would think that this country

as part of the global art.

That's the kind of way it makes sense for me to say it,

being Japanese, so that there's a place for me to be,

if it's global.

being Japanese, so that there's a place for me to be,

- I think an American artist is anybody who can tie back

their influences to American culture in any way,

and having that reflected in their work,

whether it's made here or abroad,

I think that is what constitutes an American artist,

or American art.

- Irving Sandler wrote a book,

The Triumph of American Painting.

It was an ideal that I think, as a young artist,

The Triumph of American Painting.

I aspired to, that there was this great

The Triumph of American Painting.

hall of great American paintings

and I would like to make a painting to fit in there,

and I felt like painting was progressing.

People do not think of American art that way anymore

and I felt like painting was progressing.

and times have changed,

art will always change with the times.

- Really it goes back to what is it to be an American?

In this time we have forgotten to embrace folks.

- Really it goes back to what is it to be an American?

Whether they just arrived in America from Syria

or Senegal, each one of those folks is bringing

with them their own perspective, and all of that background

will be in their work as artists.

- I think in the United States, the perception many have

is that America is the United States.

- I think in the United States, the perception many have

- America is, for us, from way north, to the Patagonia.

- I think in the United States, the perception many have

That is America.

- So what is, really, American art?

What does it really mean?

- And I think that there's many voices that are evolving

simultaneously and so that makes it even more complicated.

- But it comes from an idea,

and if the idea is out of inclusiveness,

then all of a sudden, ha, I can participate.

Even if I come from another country, I can have a voice

then all of a sudden, ha, I can participate.

that is gonna be respected and is gonna have a value.

- The Minnesota Museum of American Art

is going to be defining and redefining that

- The Minnesota Museum of American Art

for a long time.

- I'm excited for the future of what is American art,

in bringing in all these new perspectives

and ideas, and issues of identity.

What a great time to have a Museum of American Art.

(upbeat music)

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