PLACES UNKNOWN - CULBERSON and PLANO, TEXAS

Over graciously wide scopes of rolling, open country, the highway winds across a landscape of groomed neatness; out buildings are sturdy, the barns sometimes finer than the big, roomy white frame homes. Sometimes there are plodding oxen in the fields; the next farm may have a tractor. The love of these people for their land is reflected in spick-and-span premises.
—Texas: A Guide to the Lone Star State (1940)

Guide Notes:
Culberson, Texas, 24 x 68 inches, oil on canvas, 2011. 
Plano, Texas, 26 x 54 inches, oil on canvas, 2014. 
Editor’s Note: See Guide Nate Burbeck’s PLACES UNKNOWN at Anna Zorina Gallery in New York City. The show, comprised of works completed since 2011, reveals a haunting world of prototypically American locales such as a suburban cul-de-sac, a highway rest stop, an empty field on the edge of town, each rendered alien by the insertion of an inexplicable surreal element. This disruption of our visual expectations is heightened by the addition of figures that stand trance-like, often placed or facing away from the central subject of the painting, expressionless and passive, like observers from another time and culture. The suspended tension of these juxtapositions allows the paintings, as Nate says, to “explore and to externalize an inner space or a psychological state that I feel permeates…contemporary American society.”
What: NATE BURBECK: PLACES UNKNOWN
When: Opening Thursday, February 20, 2014; 6-8PM; Runs through March 25, 2014.
Where: Anna Zorina Gallery, 533 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011
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Nate Burbeck is a State Guide to Minnesota and an At-Large Guide to the Midwest. He curates a few regionally-themed art tumblrs —beyond 9th avenue (Northeastern artists), fly over art (Midwestern artists), dim with beauty (Southern artists) and in the new frontier (Western artists) and has himself been named one of “Ten Artists to Watch in 2013" on the Walker Art Center’s mnartists blog. Follow Nate’s work on Tumblr at nburbeck.tumblr.com or on his website.
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PLACES UNKNOWN - CULBERSON and PLANO, TEXAS

Over graciously wide scopes of rolling, open country, the highway winds across a landscape of groomed neatness; out buildings are sturdy, the barns sometimes finer than the big, roomy white frame homes. Sometimes there are plodding oxen in the fields; the next farm may have a tractor. The love of these people for their land is reflected in spick-and-span premises.
—Texas: A Guide to the Lone Star State (1940)

Guide Notes:
Culberson, Texas, 24 x 68 inches, oil on canvas, 2011. 
Plano, Texas, 26 x 54 inches, oil on canvas, 2014. 
Editor’s Note: See Guide Nate Burbeck’s PLACES UNKNOWN at Anna Zorina Gallery in New York City. The show, comprised of works completed since 2011, reveals a haunting world of prototypically American locales such as a suburban cul-de-sac, a highway rest stop, an empty field on the edge of town, each rendered alien by the insertion of an inexplicable surreal element. This disruption of our visual expectations is heightened by the addition of figures that stand trance-like, often placed or facing away from the central subject of the painting, expressionless and passive, like observers from another time and culture. The suspended tension of these juxtapositions allows the paintings, as Nate says, to “explore and to externalize an inner space or a psychological state that I feel permeates…contemporary American society.”
What: NATE BURBECK: PLACES UNKNOWN
When: Opening Thursday, February 20, 2014; 6-8PM; Runs through March 25, 2014.
Where: Anna Zorina Gallery, 533 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011
* * *
Nate Burbeck is a State Guide to Minnesota and an At-Large Guide to the Midwest. He curates a few regionally-themed art tumblrs —beyond 9th avenue (Northeastern artists), fly over art (Midwestern artists), dim with beauty (Southern artists) and in the new frontier (Western artists) and has himself been named one of “Ten Artists to Watch in 2013" on the Walker Art Center’s mnartists blog. Follow Nate’s work on Tumblr at nburbeck.tumblr.com or on his website.
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PLACES UNKNOWN - CULBERSON and PLANO, TEXAS

Over graciously wide scopes of rolling, open country, the highway winds across a landscape of groomed neatness; out buildings are sturdy, the barns sometimes finer than the big, roomy white frame homes. Sometimes there are plodding oxen in the fields; the next farm may have a tractor. The love of these people for their land is reflected in spick-and-span premises.

Texas: A Guide to the Lone Star State (1940)

Guide Notes:

  1. Culberson, Texas, 24 x 68 inches, oil on canvas, 2011. 
  2. Plano, Texas, 26 x 54 inches, oil on canvas, 2014. 

Editor’s Note: See Guide Nate Burbeck’s PLACES UNKNOWN at Anna Zorina Gallery in New York City. The show, comprised of works completed since 2011, reveals a haunting world of prototypically American locales such as a suburban cul-de-sac, a highway rest stop, an empty field on the edge of town, each rendered alien by the insertion of an inexplicable surreal element. This disruption of our visual expectations is heightened by the addition of figures that stand trance-like, often placed or facing away from the central subject of the painting, expressionless and passive, like observers from another time and culture. The suspended tension of these juxtapositions allows the paintings, as Nate says, to “explore and to externalize an inner space or a psychological state that I feel permeates…contemporary American society.”

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Nate Burbeck is a State Guide to Minnesota and an At-Large Guide to the Midwest. He curates a few regionally-themed art tumblrs —beyond 9th avenue (Northeastern artists), fly over art (Midwestern artists), dim with beauty (Southern artists) and in the new frontier (Western artists) and has himself been named one of “Ten Artists to Watch in 2013" on the Walker Art Center’s mnartists blog. Follow Nate’s work on Tumblr at nburbeck.tumblr.com or on his website.

MARSHALLTOWN, IOWA

Marshalltown, the industrial center and seat of Marshall County, is a city on the prairie, stencilled with railroad tracks and hard-surfaced highways and bordered on the north by the Iowa River. It is built around the courthouse, as is traditional with county seat towns in Iowa. The friendly dials of the clock tower, luminous above a fringe of green trees on Main Street, command the entire community. Farmers in “Sunday best” or everyday overalls, drive in from the country to transact business here and, lingering in the square, discuss the latest prices at the canning factory which contracts with them for sweet corn. Their wives and daughters, strolling along Main or Center Streets, window-gaze or pur chase items on their shopping lists. A constant ebb and flow of foot and automobile traffic suggests the many brisk activities of the neighborhood.
From the courthouse, the residence district spreads fanwise toward the west and north. Most factories are in the southeast. Thousands of trees shade the wide boulevards; in the summer the city appears to be covered with arbors of green from which emerge smokestacks, the courthouse, and the tower of the Iowa Soldiers’ Home in the northwest environs. Beyond Marshalltown’s borders is the corn country flat, almost timberless prairie extending for miles.
—Iowa: A Guide to the Hawkeye State (WPA, 1938)

Marshalltown, Iowa, Oil on Canvas, 24 x 50 inches, 2013
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Nate Burbeck is a State Guide to Minnesota and an At-Large Guide to the Midwest. He curates a few regionally-themed art tumblrs —beyond 9th avenue (Northeastern artists), fly over art (Midwestern artists), dim with beauty (Southern artists) and in the new frontier (Western artists) and has himself been named one of “Ten Artists to Watch in 2013" on the Walker Art Center’s mnartists blog. Follow Nate’s work on Tumblr atnburbeck.tumblr.com or on his website.
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MARSHALLTOWN, IOWA

Marshalltown, the industrial center and seat of Marshall County, is a city on the prairie, stencilled with railroad tracks and hard-surfaced highways and bordered on the north by the Iowa River. It is built around the courthouse, as is traditional with county seat towns in Iowa. The friendly dials of the clock tower, luminous above a fringe of green trees on Main Street, command the entire community. Farmers in “Sunday best” or everyday overalls, drive in from the country to transact business here and, lingering in the square, discuss the latest prices at the canning factory which contracts with them for sweet corn. Their wives and daughters, strolling along Main or Center Streets, window-gaze or pur chase items on their shopping lists. A constant ebb and flow of foot and automobile traffic suggests the many brisk activities of the neighborhood.

From the courthouse, the residence district spreads fanwise toward the west and north. Most factories are in the southeast. Thousands of trees shade the wide boulevards; in the summer the city appears to be covered with arbors of green from which emerge smokestacks, the courthouse, and the tower of the Iowa Soldiers’ Home in the northwest environs. Beyond Marshalltown’s borders is the corn country flat, almost timberless prairie extending for miles.

Iowa: A Guide to the Hawkeye State (WPA, 1938)

Marshalltown, Iowa, Oil on Canvas, 24 x 50 inches, 2013

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Nate Burbeck is a State Guide to Minnesota and an At-Large Guide to the Midwest. He curates a few regionally-themed art tumblrs —beyond 9th avenue (Northeastern artists), fly over art (Midwestern artists), dim with beauty (Southern artists) and in the new frontier (Western artists) and has himself been named one of “Ten Artists to Watch in 2013" on the Walker Art Center’s mnartists blog. Follow Nate’s work on Tumblr atnburbeck.tumblr.com or on his website.

ROBBINSDALE, MINNESOTA - STATION TO STATION

…a network of railroads spun from the Twin Cities … diverging east and west as far as the eye can follow

Minnesota, A State Guide (WPA, 1938)

These train tracks run underneath the 36th Ave overpass in Robbinsdale, a northwest Minneapolis suburb. I’d visited back in April, but returned in May once the trees had finally leafed out and again in June. The last visit was with some friends from work who’d agreed to model for me. Once it started getting dark, we actually ran into some deer near the tracks.

The resulting photos were used as reference material for my painting, shown as the final picture in this set:

Robbinsdale, Minn., Oil on Canvas, 24 x 48 inches, 2013

Editors’ note: Some of Nate’s paintings will soon be featured in the group show “Heart of Art”—the inaugural exhibition at Anna Zorina Gallery in New York, on view from September 7 through October 19. Visit annazorinagallery.com for more information.

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Nate Burbeck is a State Guide to Minnesota and an At-Large Guide to the Midwest. He curates a few regionally-themed art tumblrs —beyond 9th avenue (Northeastern artists), fly over art (Midwestern artists), dim with beauty (Southern artists) and in the new frontier (Western artists) and has himself been named one of “Ten Artists to Watch in 2013" on the Walker Art Center’s mnartists blog. Follow Nate’s work on Tumblr atnburbeck.tumblr.com or on his website.

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THE AMERICAN GUIDE is joining STATION TO STATION for a cross-country train ride. Stop: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Follow your guide along the rails and see America. [Track A/G’s trip here]  

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE - MINNESOTA - MISSOURI - CALIFORNIA 

"You should enter a ballpark the way you enter a church."

—Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Left Handed Pitcher, Boston Red Sox (1969-1978) and Montreal Expos (1979-1982)

Guide Notes: (Pictured, top to bottom)

Minneapolis, Minnesota. June 29, 2013. Royals 2 Twins 6. 

Kansas City, Missouri. July 4, 2013. Indians 7 Royals 10.

Anaheim, California. July 24, 2013. Twins 0 Angels 1. 

Los Angeles, California. July 25, 2013. Reds 5 Dodgers 2. 

San Francisco, California. July 27, 2013. Cubs 1 Giants 0.  

Oakland, California. July 28, 2013. Angels 6 A’s 10. 

San Diego, California. July 30, 2013. Reds 2 Padres 4. 

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Nate Burbeck is a State Guide to Minnesota and an At-Large Guide to the Midwest. He curates a few regionally-themed art tumblrs — beyond 9th avenue (Northeastern artists), fly over art (Midwestern artists) and in the new frontier (Western artists) and has himself been named one of “Ten Artists to Watch in 2013" on the Walker Art Center’s mnartists blog. Follow Nate’s work on Tumblr at nburbeck.tumblr.com or on his website.

CODINGTON COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA

…abandoned shacks stand in dejected silence to give testimony of over-optimism and the unwise use of land. Here the legendary “wide open spaces” roll away as far as the eye can see. There is something about the vast expanse that appeals to strangers and holds the scattered inhabitants.

A South Dakota Guide (WPA, 1938)

In June 2011, a friend and I drove out to take pictures of some abandoned buildings in far Western Minnesota and South Dakota.  Shown here is an abandoned farmstead in a grass field in Codington County South Dakota, about 10 miles north of Watertown.  It was incredible to walk around in such a vast, open space, even if we had to trudge through knee high grass (and ticks, we later discovered).  After walking around and photographing the various buildings on site we went inside the main house.  Judging from how decayed and weathered these structures were we guess that they must have been abandoned for at least several decades, maybe longer.

The photos taken at this site worked perfectly for the painting idea I had at the time.  The final result of that work can be seen in the last image of this set:

American Decadence (Codington Co., South Dakota), Oil on Canvas, 24 x 64 inches, 2011

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Nate Burbeck is a State Guide to Minnesota and an At-Large Guide to the Midwest. he curates a few regionally-themed art tumblrs —beyond 9th avenue (Northeastern artists), fly over art (Midwestern artists) and in the new frontier (Western artists) and has himself been named one of “Ten Artists to Watch in 2013” on the Walker Art Center’s mnartists blog. Follow Nate’s work on Tumblr atnburbeck.tumblr.com or on his website.

NEAR WORTHINGTON, MINNESOTA - I-90

Open year-round, Interstate 90 in Minnesota is 276 miles and traverses the southern side of the state, parallel to the Minnesota-Iowa state line. The route connects the cities of Worthington, Albert Lea, and Austin. 

Near Worthington, Minn., Oil on Canvas, 20 x 42 inches, 2013

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Nate Burbeck is a State Guide to Minnesota and an At-Large Guide to the Midwest. he curates a few regionally-themed art tumblrs — beyond 9th avenue (Northeastern artists), fly over art (Midwestern artists) and in the new frontier (Western artists) and has himself been named one of “Ten Artists to Watch in 2013" on the Walker Art Center’s mnartists blog. Follow Nate’s work on Tumblr at nburbeck.tumblr.com or on his website.

STEARNS COUNTY, MINNESOTA

ST. CLOUD (alt. 1,032; pop. 21,000), on the Mississippi River, which forms the eastern boundary of Stearns County, is the county seat and trade center for a large agricultural area that extends in all directions…In other parts of the country, St. Cloud’s importance rests on its numerous quarries, the stones of which have been used since the 1870’s by builders and architects throughout the United States for many of their most noteworthy structures.

— Minnesota, A State Guide (WPA, 1938)
Artist and Guide to Minnesota Nate Burbeck scouts around the country, shooting panoramic images to use as the basis of his paintings. Yesterday, we posted part one of his dispatch — the photos from his latest reconnoiter. Today, Nate provides images of the process and results:
Stearns County, Minn., Oil on Canvas, 24x50 inches, 2013.
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Nate Burbeck is a State Guide to Minnesota and an At-Large Guide to the Midwest. He curates a few regionally-themed art tumblrs — beyond 9th avenue (Northeastern artists), fly over art (Midwestern artists) and in the new frontier (Western artists) and has himself been named one of “Ten Artists to Watch in 2013” on the Walker Art Center’s mnartists blog. Follow Nate’s work on Tumblr at nburbeck.tumblr.com or on his website.
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STEARNS COUNTY, MINNESOTA

ST. CLOUD (alt. 1,032; pop. 21,000), on the Mississippi River, which forms the eastern boundary of Stearns County, is the county seat and trade center for a large agricultural area that extends in all directions…In other parts of the country, St. Cloud’s importance rests on its numerous quarries, the stones of which have been used since the 1870’s by builders and architects throughout the United States for many of their most noteworthy structures.

— Minnesota, A State Guide (WPA, 1938)

Artist and Guide to Minnesota Nate Burbeck scouts around the country, shooting panoramic images to use as the basis of his paintings. Yesterday, we posted part one of his dispatch — the photos from his latest reconnoiter. Today, Nate provides images of the process and results:

Stearns County, Minn., Oil on Canvas, 24x50 inches, 2013.

* * *

Nate Burbeck is a State Guide to Minnesota and an At-Large Guide to the Midwest. He curates a few regionally-themed art tumblrs — beyond 9th avenue (Northeastern artists), fly over art (Midwestern artists) and in the new frontier (Western artists) and has himself been named one of “Ten Artists to Watch in 2013” on the Walker Art Center’s mnartists blog. Follow Nate’s work on Tumblr at nburbeck.tumblr.com or on his website.

WHITE BEAR LAKE / STEARNS COUNTY, MINNESOTA

WHITE BEAR LAKE, 142.9 m. (941 alt., 2,600 pop.), is a resort town favored by St. Paulites. Indians believed that the lake, whose shores are lined with summer homes, was haunted by the spirit of a white bear, slain by a brave as it was about to attack his beloved.

— Minnesota, A State Guide (WPA, 1938)

Artist and Guide to Minnesota Nate Burbeck scouts around the country, shooting panoramic images to use as the basis of his paintings. We’ll be bringing you another post with the results of this expedition, but for now, part one of his dispatch:

The first cluster of photos I took was in White Bear Lake, Minn., a northern, “inner-ring” suburb of St. Paul that I suppose I would categorize as older (post-War housing boom), with maybe even slightly blue-collar type of neighborhoods — at least when compared to some of the further out, newer exurbs I’ve photographed before. 

A few weeks later I drove up I-94 to Stearns County, Minn., to take pictures of a small cluster of houses just outside the St. Joseph/St. Cloud area. This part of Central Minnesota (and Stearns County in particular) is considered by many to be one of the more politically conservative areas in the state. I even saw a yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag flying on a pole in one of the neighboring yards (not pictured here). Though still mostly rural, the area’s been steadily growing as more people have flocked to commuter towns spilling out of the Twin Cities Metro. The housing sites I photographed here worked very well and thankfully the weather was nice and gloomy — just what I was hoping for. It’s a lot more open than the more established suburb of White Bear Lake, and the house/backyard I ended up using for my painting is right next to unused wooded areas and small-scale farmland that surrounds it.

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Nate Burbeck is a State Guide to Minnesota and an At-Large Guide to the Midwest. he curates a few regionally-themed art tumblrs — beyond 9th avenue (Northeastern artists), fly over art (Midwestern artists) and in the new frontier (Western artists) and has himself been named one of “Ten Artists to Watch in 2013" on the Walker Art Center’s mnartists blog. Follow Nate’s work on Tumblr at nburbeck.tumblr.com or on his website.

Nate Burbeck from Minneapolis, Minnesota, travels the country taking panoramic landscape photos he uses as the basis for his paintings. Here’s a series of #AmericanGuideWeek dispatches (L to R, top to bottom):
Lakeville, Minnesota
American Decadence (Codington Co., South Dakota)
Shakopee, Minnesota
Culberson, Texas
Sighting Near Scipio, Utah
For more of Nate’s wide open skies and hints of the surreal, follow him on Tumblr and check out his website. Nate also curates a couple of very cool regionally-themed art tumblrs — beyond9thavenue (northeastern artists) and flyoverart (art from the midwest).
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Nate Burbeck from Minneapolis, Minnesota, travels the country taking panoramic landscape photos he uses as the basis for his paintings. Here’s a series of #AmericanGuideWeek dispatches (L to R, top to bottom):
Lakeville, Minnesota
American Decadence (Codington Co., South Dakota)
Shakopee, Minnesota
Culberson, Texas
Sighting Near Scipio, Utah
For more of Nate’s wide open skies and hints of the surreal, follow him on Tumblr and check out his website. Nate also curates a couple of very cool regionally-themed art tumblrs — beyond9thavenue (northeastern artists) and flyoverart (art from the midwest).
Zoom Info
Nate Burbeck from Minneapolis, Minnesota, travels the country taking panoramic landscape photos he uses as the basis for his paintings. Here’s a series of #AmericanGuideWeek dispatches (L to R, top to bottom):
Lakeville, Minnesota
American Decadence (Codington Co., South Dakota)
Shakopee, Minnesota
Culberson, Texas
Sighting Near Scipio, Utah
For more of Nate’s wide open skies and hints of the surreal, follow him on Tumblr and check out his website. Nate also curates a couple of very cool regionally-themed art tumblrs — beyond9thavenue (northeastern artists) and flyoverart (art from the midwest).
Zoom Info
Nate Burbeck from Minneapolis, Minnesota, travels the country taking panoramic landscape photos he uses as the basis for his paintings. Here’s a series of #AmericanGuideWeek dispatches (L to R, top to bottom):
Lakeville, Minnesota
American Decadence (Codington Co., South Dakota)
Shakopee, Minnesota
Culberson, Texas
Sighting Near Scipio, Utah
For more of Nate’s wide open skies and hints of the surreal, follow him on Tumblr and check out his website. Nate also curates a couple of very cool regionally-themed art tumblrs — beyond9thavenue (northeastern artists) and flyoverart (art from the midwest).
Zoom Info
Nate Burbeck from Minneapolis, Minnesota, travels the country taking panoramic landscape photos he uses as the basis for his paintings. Here’s a series of #AmericanGuideWeek dispatches (L to R, top to bottom):
Lakeville, Minnesota
American Decadence (Codington Co., South Dakota)
Shakopee, Minnesota
Culberson, Texas
Sighting Near Scipio, Utah
For more of Nate’s wide open skies and hints of the surreal, follow him on Tumblr and check out his website. Nate also curates a couple of very cool regionally-themed art tumblrs — beyond9thavenue (northeastern artists) and flyoverart (art from the midwest).
Zoom Info

Nate Burbeck from Minneapolis, Minnesota, travels the country taking panoramic landscape photos he uses as the basis for his paintings. Here’s a series of #AmericanGuideWeek dispatches (L to R, top to bottom):

Lakeville, Minnesota

American Decadence (Codington Co., South Dakota)

Shakopee, Minnesota

Culberson, Texas

Sighting Near Scipio, Utah

For more of Nate’s wide open skies and hints of the surreal, follow him on Tumblr and check out his website. Nate also curates a couple of very cool regionally-themed art tumblrs — beyond9thavenue (northeastern artists) and flyoverart (art from the midwest).