large image of a rural landscape with clustered farm buildings in LRQ and LLQ; beige field with large overcast sky; leafless trees on horizon

© Minneapolis Institute of Art

Untitled 14, 2017

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The son of a glass painter and a poet, the Vietnamese American artist Teo Nguyen lives and works in Minneapolis. His landscapes of the rural upper Midwest capture the vast space, boundless fields, big skies, and chilling isolation distinctive to the region, particularly in winter. He enjoys exploring this novel terrain and sees a mesmerizing beauty often overlooked in the land of his adopted home. “As an immigrant and an artist,” he said, “I have learned to embrace the American spirit of freedom that says if you see a road that interests you, go ahead: venture down it. Even so, I am always a stranger to what I see; always slightly outside, finding in what is ordinary to others something tender and strange.” Executed in a virtuoso photorealistic technique, this startlingly vivid scene is composed both from memory and the imagination. Nguyen likes to drive deep into the prairie to sketch in his car before beginning one of his large-scale paintings back in the studio. Intensely sensitive to the special qualities of this place—the novel scenery, light, and atmosphere—Nguyen seems uniquely positioned to open the eyes of Minnesotans and their northern brethren to the sublime beauty that surrounds us.

Details
Title
Untitled 14
Artist Life
American (born Vietnam), born 1977
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2018.39.1
Provenance
The artist, Minneapolis; (Burnet Fine Art & Advisory, Wayzata, Minn., 2017-18); sold to MIA, 2018
Curator Approved

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large image of a rural landscape with clustered farm buildings in LRQ and LLQ; beige field with large overcast sky; leafless trees on horizon

© Minneapolis Institute of Art