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Minneapolis Institute of Art
2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Current Exhibitions

Chaos: Ken Matsubara’s Buddhist Masterwork

September 2, 2023–March 10, 2024
Bell Family Decorative Arts Court (Gallery 333)

Two paintings, 600 years apart: the 14th century Taima Mandala and the 20th century Chaos by Ken Matsubara. Despite the chronological distance between them, these two pieces are connected by Buddhist threads. In this installation, accompanied by the echoes of singing bowls, the visitor acts as the bridge between Matsubara’s depiction of human struggle and the Taima Mandala’s immaculate Pure Land. Take a moment to sit, be still, and focus on being with art.

Ken Matsubara was born in Toyama prefecture, Japan, in 1948. Growing up in a relative’s temple, he admired and copied traditional Buddhist artworks displayed throughout the complex. In his late twenties, he apprenticed with Sankо̄ Inoue, a renowned Japanese painter of Western abstraction. Chaos (1983) marked a moment of synthesis and departure. He merged his knowledge of Buddhist concepts with his teacher’s abstraction to create a new form of representation, his own abstraction of space and sound.

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The Root Collection: Living with Japanese Ceramics

August 19, 2023 - February 18, 2024
Galleries 251, 252, 253

Tamara and Michael Root have created one of the largest, most diverse collections in the Twin Cities of studio ceramics from the 20th and 21st centuries. This exhibition in the Japanese galleries celebrates their generous donation and presents a selection of tea bowls and other tea ware, standing and hanging vases, as well as sculpture. The Roots did not venture into Japanese ceramics until 2001, when they acquired the first of almost 50 tea bowls. The collection eventually encompassed 168 works, dominated by functional ware. While their focus remained strongly on contemporary works, the Roots also added a number from the mid-20th century, including pieces by the Mingei (folk-craft) artists Hamada Shōji, Kitaōji Rosanjin, and Arakawa Toyozō.

To learn more, click here.