Doug Argue Prints


Doug Argue explores infinite time and space in his paintings by fusing abstraction with math, science and the anthropology of language. The results are momentous, ethereal, visceral-bordering on spiritual. Argue embraces the tradition of painting while employing modern concepts of realism, abstraction and expressionism.

Influenced by Tintoretto, along with Einstein and Pythagoras, Argue has spent his career focusing on the formal qualities of painting while schewing classical or traditional subject matter. Using various techniques, including those employed by Renaissance painters, Argue has created conceptual and monumental paintings on tires, books and chickens on a scale traditionally reserved for history painting. His new body of work presents a move toward abstraction while continuing this exploration.

Argue's work is represented in numerous public collections including the Walker Art Center, Minnesota Museum for American Art, Weisman Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Argue has also been the recipient of many awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Rome Prize, a Bush Foundation Fellowship and a Pollock Krasner Grant.

Curriculum Vitae

    Born 1962 in Saint Paul, MN
    Lives and works in New York City.
    1983 University of Minnesota
    1980-82 Bemidji State University
    2009 London International Creative Competition, Artist of the Year.
    2001 Golden Family Foundation
    1997 Rome Prize
    1995 Pollock- Krasner Foundation
    1992 McKnight Foundation
    1991 Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship
    1990 Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant
    1988 Bush Foundation Fellowship catalogue
    1987 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
    1986 McKnight Foundation fellowship
    1984 Jerome Foundation Fellowship
    2013 The Art of Translation, Edelman Arts, New York, NY
    2012 The Art of Translation, Edelman Arts, New York, NY
    2012 Catch My Drift, Haunch of Venison, New York, NY
    2011 Studies for Infinite Possibilities, Edelman Arts, New York NY
    2005 Sherry Leedy Gallery, Kansas, MO
    2004 Gallery Co., Minneapolis, MN
    1998 Associated American Artists, New York, NY
    1997 Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
    1996 Associated American Artist, New York, NY
    1994 Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
    1989-1990 Bockley Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
    1986 MC Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
    1985 Tally Gallery, Bemidji, MN
    1984 B square One Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
    1983 Bemidji State Unniversity Gallery, Bemidji, MN
    2013 Contained Conflict, Driscoll Babcock, New York, NY
    2012 Abstraction: What is Real, Edelman Arts, New York, NY
    2010 Tuffatore, Grand Rapids art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI
    2010 Haunch of Venison, New York, NY
    2007 Made in California, Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA, traveled to Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA
    2004 Scope LA, Refusalon, Los Angeles, CA
    2004 Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
    2002 Post Gallery, LA, CA
    2002 Culture Club, Oakland, CA
    2001 Refusalon, San Francisco, CA
    2001 Biennale Internazionale Dell 'Arte, Florence, Italy
    2001 Introductions, Refusalon Gallery, San Francisco, CA
    2000 Twin Cities Collects, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
    1999 Minnesota Museum of American Art, Saint. Paul, MN
    1998 American Academy, Rome, Italy
    1996 Thread Waxing Space, New York, NY
    1996 Composing A Collection, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
    1996 Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
    1994 Minnesota Historical Society, Saint Paul, MN
    1993 McKnight Foundation Exhibition, MCAD Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
    1990 The Persistent Figure, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
    1987 Art and the Law, presented by West Publishing Co., Saint Paul, MN, traveled to Plaza Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Albrecht Art Museum, St Joseph, MO, Landmark Center, Saint Paul, MN, traveling exhibition
    1986 Eight McKnight Artists, MCAD Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
    1985 Doug Argue and Jim Lutes, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
    1984 Five From Minnesota, MCAD Gallery, Minneapolis, MN, traveled to New Museum, New York, NY
    Random House Books, New York, NY
    General Mills, Minneapolis, MN
    Target Corporation, Minneapolis, MN, commissioned in 2001
    Minneapolis Public Library, Minneapolis, MN, commissioned in 2001
    Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN, four paintings
    Minnesota History Center Museum, Saint Paul, MN
    Minnesota Museum of American Art, Minneapolis, MN
    Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, six paintings
    University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Business, Minneapolis, MN University of Minnesota, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN, twenty-six paintings, some promised
    Frederic R Weisman Foundation, Los Angeles, CA, three paintings

Selected Press

VIDEO: Doug Argue's The Art of Translation Featured on Blouin Artinfo
Artinfo, by Dion Tan
March 12, 2013

Doug Argue: The Art of Translation Featured on Jaunt Magazine
Jaunt Magazine
February 4, 2013

Bye-Bye Birdies
Star Tribune
December 7, 2012

Catch My Drift: Works by Doug Argue
Art Agenda
June 2012

Inside Doug Argue's Studio
May 5, 2011

Interview with Doug Argue
The Art List
January 2010

For painter Doug Argue FAAR'98, the 2009 London International Creative Competition First Priz
Society of Fellows: American Academy of Rome
September 8, 2009

Selected Quotes

"The meanings I find in life evolve from my actions, from me living my life. I am not trying to adapt myself to a set of rules or a particular philosophy and I approach my paintings in the same way. Each is a survivor of its own odyssey, which gives it a unique history. The scale gives me the space I need to create a record of the changes I make through time, and it helps generate the feeling that the painting extends through time, outside of my peripheral vision and imagination."
- Doug Argue

"Then you realize suddenly that aesthetic choices are politics. Believe it or not, I am a big sucker for formal issues, and, yes, someone like me- the Other- can indeed deal with formal issues. This is not a white-men-only terrain. Sorry boys."
- Felix Gonzales- Torres

"I was up to my eyes in Mental debt. By this I mean that in becoming a writer I hoped to bring out somehow my singular reactions to existence. Why else write?"
- Saul Bellow

"My purpose was to speak about the poets creed, but, looking into myself, I have found that I have only a faltering kind of creed. This creed may perhaps be useful to me, but hardly for others. In fact, I think of all poetic theories as being mere tools for the writing of a poem. I suppose there should be as many creeds, as many religions, as there are poets." - Borges

"Like the notion of medium or genre within more traditional contexts for art, an automatism would involve the relationship between a technical (or material) support and the conventions with which a particular genre operates or articulates or works on that support. What "automatism" thrusts into the foreground of this traditional definition of "medium, " however, is the concept of improvisation, of the need to take chances in the face of a medium now cut free from the guarantees of artistic tradition. It is this sense of the improvisatory that welcomes the word's associations with "psychic automatism", but the automatic reflex here is not so much an unconscious one as it is something like the expressive freedom that improvisation always contained, as the relation between the technical ground of a genre and it's given conventions opened up a release - the way a fugue makes it possible, for example, to improvise complex marriages between it's Voices."
- Rosalind Krauss, A Voyage on the North Sea

"Foramen Magnum, with letters from my old artist statements and formed into ephemeral columns is about the fragility of truths and facts through time. Greek columns are often used as a metaphor for the staying power of rational truths and the march towards modern civilization. But what was believed to be true in the past is always flipped around by new generations and changed, proved wrong, or abandoned, and always will be. The reason the text is important is that language is constantly going through the same transformations and changes, Latin turning into French, Spanish and Italian or one original human language turning into the 6,000 that now exist, for example. The title refers to the hole in the back of the head that sends messages to and from the brain to the body, using the spine, a different kind of column, but one that does not completely abandon the body, emotions and our senses to the rational mind. So it is also about personal transformation to me. It is best to keep moving. The ephemeral nature of everything is in fact my main theme. Genesis is the text from Genesis but reformed into something new, and the title is meant to refer to this meaning of the word. So be the sources of abstraction in my work."
- Doug Argue

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