Comprised of thirty objects, Under the Influence includes sketchbooks, prints, and drawings c. 1964–75, a period of intense evolution for Gaard’s practice, during which the artist absorbed and responded to elements of pop culture, drugs, religion, psychiatry, and art history. To further illustrate the artist’s progression, this early work will be installed alongside Gaard’s 1975 large-scale painting Untitled (for John and Alice), which is part of Mia’s permanent collection.
“Frank Gaard has had an indelible influence on the Twin Cities arts community, and Mia is thrilled to have this opportunity to share a glimpse into the machinations of his mind,” said Nicole Soukup, Mia’s assistant curator of contemporary art, who organized this exhibition. “Under the Influence is one of the few shows to open his archive to observe his artistic style. Despite his experience as a curator, publisher, and artist, few know his earliest work. From childhood to mental health, this exhibition peels back the layers of creativity to expose Gaard’s observations of color, line, and the human figure.”