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Art Videen Artworks

by Arthur Videen

Art Between Chaos and Order

About the Artist

 

Artist History     Artist Resume

 

 


 

Artist History

Art Videen enjoyed his early childhood on a twenty acre farm in northern Minnesota. Despite the lack of plumbing and electricity, he was reluctant to move to the Twin Cities where he graduated from high school and joined the Army. His year in Vietnam included several hysterical hallucinations that inspired his first principle “you cannot see what you cannot believe.” He left the Army as a staff sergeant in the 5th Special Forces. He used the G. I. benefits to pursue B. F. A. at the University of Minnesota while working the night shift at Univac Corporation. He married Charlene and had his son, Marc, at this time.

After college, Art moved west where he sought his Native American relatives and studied the role they played in his personal evolution, the United States, and the world. His family’s contact with Europeans started when they were scouts for the soldiers of Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and entertainers with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. As off-reservation members of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux, his family became entrepreneurs in the lumber business in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and masonry construction companies in Oregon and Washington State. Art became a master mason and moved back to Minnesota where he made metal sculpture and built stone fireplaces. He set up a studio in a storefront on Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis, where he poured aluminum and bronze castings. Excesses in the 1970’s forced him into an alcohol treatment program in 1978 and he has been grateful ever since.

In the early 1980’s, Art began sharing a large NYC art studio with his friends Don Betts, a photographer /boat builder, and Martha Antaya, watercolorist. There he could assemble the metal castings made in Minnesota and market his work in the city. Art viewed his work as open totems that formed the abstract patterns of ideas the way a chemist model is used to represent the molecules in a compound. Often, the easiest way to hold the sculptured parts in place is to balance the weight of one against the other. Thus, his sculpture began to have a kinetic quality. Another mechanical solution to an assembly issue, are the loops that are seen in much of his work. To Art, the loops immediately took on the meaning of dimensional bands in space and time. He saw the sculpture as objects suspended within the bands of space and, therefore, referred to the sculpture as “suspensions.” Others noticed the anthropomorphic shapes combined with the technical assemblage and referred to the sculpture as technomorphic . . . combining anthropomorphic and technical. Technomorphic is a word formed with the prefix, “techno” which means knowledge or skill and the suffix “morphic” meaning shape.

Water sports, and sailing in particular, are Art’s favorite activities so he designed and built a 38 foot catamaran. In November 1995, he set out down the Mississippi River from St. Paul, Minnesota in the big cat with his son Marc and friends, headed for Florida. The boat made it to Florida but Art had to leave just short of Alabama because he was diagnosed with cancer. 1996 was a year full of radiation, chemo therapy, surgery, prayer, and meditation for Art. That experience also gave him time to reflect on the events of his life, and organize his thoughts into a philosophy he calls techno-morphism.

Technomorphism is pragmatism with the point of view that knowledge shapes matter. For example, evolutionist believe change is a matter of happenstance, others think there is some sort of providence directing change, whereas a technomorphist believes change is brought about through learned events.

Currently, Art is still sharing NYC space with Don and Martha while designing and fabricating in Minnesota. Some of his sculpture has opened up to become scaffold like structures similar to Native American utilitarian and ceremonial scaffolding. He is now polishing the stainless steel to the look of liquid and building fountains that reflect a belief in the liquidity of matter. Through a series of small stainless steel sculpture he calls “Ready Made Quark’s” he has attached concepts to the abstract and created “Abstract Conceptualism.

 


Artist Resume

Residence: Currently residing in St. Paul, Minnesota

Education: University of Minnesota 1966 - 1970

Awards:

Jerome Fellowship, Jerome Foundation, Minnesota

Pioneer Scholarship, University of Minnesota

Award of Merit, MN Artist Association

Award of Excellence, MN Artist Association

Honorarium, New York Council for the Arts

 

Selected Exhibitions:

Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, MN  2004

Art Resources Gallery, Minneapolis, MN 2003

Vorpal Gallery, NYC, 1991

Metropolitan Museum & Art Center, Coral Gables, FL, 1988

 

Selected Collections:

Super Value, Minneapolis, MN

Pillsbury House, Minneapolis, MN

International Market Square, Minneapolis, MN

 


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