I thought it was worth mentioning again the great press we have been receiving for the Anxiety Dreams Exhibition. I am especially delighted as it was my first curatorial venture. Two years ago, Ellen Mueller and I had only a great idea for an exhibition. Here are some of my favorite highlights from the articles that have been written:
“Artists Ellen Mueller and Tonja Torgerson curated “Anxiety Dreams,” a collection based on discussions they had while working at The Soap Factory last summer. In fact, Torgerson’s mixed-media pieces are inspired by dreams she had while putting together an exhibit at the Soap. The show required delicately arranging red string, which wove itself into her nightmares.
Torgerson’s wooden boxes are whimsical yet foreboding, private and revealing. Encased in one is a medical-book-like painting of a foot. Red string represents blood dripping from a half-toe. The missing tip appears in the corner, next to a bloody razor blade. “They’re biographical,” Torgerson says. “I had been struggling with illness. And I had these work dreams, too.”
Like anxiety dreams themselves, many of the pieces in this exhibit are personally revealing. In fact, this exhibit of young artists’ work — from large-scale drawings to videos – is pleasantly compelling. Torgerson and Mueller have an eye for creating a cohesive show of up-and-comers.”
— Molly Priesmeyer, MinnPost
“Altered Aesthetics has picked an irresistible premise for one of two shows currently up at the gallery. Who hasn’t had dreams that the universe may be more malevolent than you thought? Anxiety Dreams, curated by Tonja Torgerson and Ellen Mueller, features the work of nine artists offering their take on this familiar expression of subconscious angst in the form of photographs, paintings, mixed media, and video.”
“White night gowns, paper-doll streamers, and haunted expressions figure prominently into Noelle McCleaf’s photographs. Tonja Torgerson’s bright, graphic shadow boxes depict not-so-bright-and-cheery subject matter. Lindsay Noble’s zombie-like, life-sized, 3D cutouts are straight out of a down-market catalog. Each offers the familiar turned askew, much the way dreams do.” — Stephanie Xenos, The Morning After