Feeling Minnesota

T. and I just returned from a terrific weekend in Minneapolis, where my older brother and his family are happily planted. Highlights (excluding hanging with the kids, which is the coolest – two jr. hockey games in two days): the Walker Art Center, whose stellar collection (Rothko, Warhol, de Kooning, Close, Kline, Newman, plus newbies like Julie Mehretu) well outdid its talked-about renovation, and whose pre-fab exhibit let me learn even more about Missouri-based Rocio Romero’s LV house, which I’ve been looking longingly at for half a year; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which offered, among other things, Gustave Caillebotte’s Nude on a Couch, John Singer Sargent’s The Birthday Party, and Edouard Manet’s The Smoker, but whose Woman By The Sea (Picasso), Three Bathers (Matisse) and The Living Room(Balthus) were, sadly, not on view; and Bellanotte, a way hip and stylish fine-dining experience we’re not exactly treated to every day. For the drive home: Minnesota’s own Low, who are visiting Madison in April. (Speaking of: there’s an interview w/ Alan Sparhawk at today’s Pitchfork. He seems to be improving, life-wise, which is a good thing indeed.)