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Mitchell Squire

Author: Heather Sauer | Image: Heather Sauer

“Smoke (no. 1)” (graphite, salvaged law-enforcement paper targets shot through, in artist-made painted plywood frame, 2015, 34.5″ x 50.5″ x 3″) by Mitchell Squire, a professor of architecture at Iowa State University, has been added to the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s permanent collection.

“Smoke (no. 1)” is part of a seven-piece series of works on paper Squire created in 2015 to explore the afterimage recorded on the backs of salvaged law-enforcement firearms-training targets. For this series, he applied multiple layers of graphite to the back side of compressed masses of targets. Each mass contains several dozen sheets stapled atop each other per each round of training. When positioned with the back side toward the viewer, they are said to “resemble highly abstracted human figures.” Select pieces from the series appeared in exhibitions in Des Moines, Chicago and New York.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) acquired the work through a generous gift from a private collector in the spring of 2017. The gift included two similar works from another 10-part series, titled “The Young Gladiators,” Squire created in 2013. Numbers 7 and 8 from this series have been on view at the museum since late 2017 and will remain on view through June 2018. Mia has a total of four Squire works in its permanent collection; in 2014 the museum acquired his lithograph, “Gladiators.”