Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation is pleased to present Sweeping Up The Shadows, a solo exhibition project by Aaron Spangler for the Ojai Institute. The exhibition will be on view November 12, 2022 – May 6, 2023. Spangler is the recipient of the 2022 Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation Minnesota Art Prize.
Aaron Spangler (b. 1971, Minneapolis) is a sculptor and printmaker best known for his monumental, monochromatic carved wooden sculptures and for resuscitating and contemporizing the traditional art of bas relief. His themes emerge from his roots in a heavily forested area of northern Minnesota, and began in darkly calamitous, intricately carved wood bas relief. Painted black with gesso and rubbed with graphite, the surfaces appear to be machined, the surrealistic scenes–of twisted tree roots, limbs, and extinct hand tools–illustrating, or presaging, various breakdowns of rural society. Since moving back home to his house and studio in the Two Inlets Forest in Minnesota in 2009, his work has grown in a more smoothly abstracted, heavily patterned, and intimate direction. In bas relief, freestanding sculpture, and woodblock and hand-rubbed prints, he continues to explore and provoke the ineffable truths and mythologies of the rural ethos.
Since 1998 Spangler’s work has been the subject of many national and international exhibitions, including solo shows in galleries in New York and Berlin. In recent years he’s been included in group shows such as “Working Thought,” The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Takashi Murakami’s “Superflat Collection,” Yokohama, Japan; the two-person “American Gothic” at Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (with Alison Elizabeth Taylor), Winston-Salem, N.C.; “Spectacular of Vernacular” (2011–12), Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; “Heartland” (2008–10), Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands; and the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago. His work belongs to many public and private collections, including The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Hammer Museum, and the Rubell Family Collection, among others. He has received grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation (2014), McKnight Foundation (2009), Minnesota State Arts Board (1998), and Jerome Foundation (1997). In 2017, Spangler’s first large-scale bronze, Bog Walker, was commissioned by Walker Art Center for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
Spangler lives with his wife, writer Amy Thielen, and their son, just outside their hometown of Park Rapids, Minnesota. In a volunteer capacity, Spangler advises and curates exhibitions for the Nemeth Art Center, a contemporary art center housed in the historic Hubbard County courthouse.