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This week's must-see art shows

Paul Chan, Sade for Sade’s Sake, 2009

Paul Chan, Sade for Sade’s Sake, 2009

If your heart is brimming with philosophical questions, what better thing to turn to than art? This week, Twin Cities galleries and museums offer plenty to stir around as you ponder life's burning questions. 

"Less than One"

Where it’s at: Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

What it’s about: This show, curated by the Walker’s artistic director Fionne Meade, gets its title from a collection of essays by Nobel Prize-winning poet and author Joseph Brodsky, whose writing meditates on human existence and art, arguing that no one person can be whole at one point, driving artists to pursue their identities through artistic practices.

Why you should go: With work by Trisha Brown, Jasper Johns, Meredith Monk, Pope.L, Kara Walker, and others, the show includes some of the most talked about contemporary artists from the 1960s to today. The exhibition also features the first appearances of some important new additions to the Walker’s collection, as well as the multidisciplinary work of artists who have been supported by the Walker throughout their careers.

When: The opening reception this Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. includes a Filmmakers in Conversation talk with Ericka Beckman and Jay Sanders, curator of performance at the Whitney Museum of American Art, at 7 p.m. On Saturday, there’s an artists' talk with Renée Green and Fionn Meade at 2 p.m., plus a discussion/screening with filmmakers Leslie Thornton with James Richards at 7:30 p.m.

Ericka Beckman, You The Better, Film Installation, 1983/2015

Ericka Beckman, You The Better, Film Installation, 1983/2015

"Stanley & Aladdin: Two Stories About Men (The Art of Jeff Johnson)"

Where it’s at: Rogue Buddha Gallery, 357 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis 

What it’s about: Artist Jeff Johnson (a.k.a. his nom-de-plume Jay Jay), explores two contradictory narratives about masculinity: one told to men, and one created by men.

Why you should go: Johnson’s relationship with Rogue Buddha goes back nearly 17 years, when he was first invited to be a part of a two-person show in the gallery’s second-ever exhibition. For “Two Stories About Men,” Rogue Buddha owner Nicholas Harper gives Johnson the reigns to re-invent the space according to his vision for the show, which probes socialized ideas of what it means to be masculine.

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Art-O-Mancy Kickoff

Where it’s at: Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis

What it’s about: This event is all about asking the art at Mia for guidance. First, you pick a personal question whose answer provides the key to your life right now. For instance, should you dump the cheating bastard? Argyle or polka dots? Should you try hang gliding? You get the idea. Next, close your eyes and pick a spot on the map. From there, you'll be led through mindful walking to your art destination, which will reveal the true answer to your soul-searching question.

Why you should go: Who knew that the various Rembrandts, Van Goghs, jade sculptures, and ancient masks inside Mia hold the secrets to your inner truth? If nothing else, this event will provide a new way to experience the art in the museum (and maybe you'll gain some insight into your life, too).

When: 6-9 p.m. Friday. $35 Opening Exhibition of Interact Center Artists

Where it’s at: Workhorse Coffee Bar, 2399 University Ave., St. Paul

What it’s about: Artists from Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts show off their latest masterpieces at Workhorse Coffee Bar’s Smallest Museum.

Why You Should Go: For 20 years, Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts has dismantled perceptions by providing opportunities for artists with disabilities to nurture their talent in profound and meaningful ways. Here’s a chance to experience all the wonderful artwork the Interact artists have created.

When: There will be a public reception from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday.