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Contact - byrnefilms@gmail.com, 612-702-5849, 883 Linwood Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

Artist Statement

My work in video, film, and installations has expanded to include digital media on canvas, paper, fabric, and projected.  The images are whimsical, unlikely, sometimes stark and always heartfelt.  I hope that others will enjoy my work, be challenged, or simply embrace the moment of seeing something new.  The circle of art making becomes whole when an audience is engaged.                   James Byrne 

Current Exhibitions
Vine Arts Center, Minneapolis, Art Inspired by Music, group show, February 2020
Zacheta-National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Early American Video Art, February - April, 2020
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,  San Francisco, The Body Electric, group show,  through February 2020
Artactile Gallery, Minneapolis, group show, January 2020
Rogue Buddha Gallery, Minneapolis, Mourning Glory, group show, November 2019
Upcoming Exhibitions 
Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Design, Miami
Cloister Gallery, House of Hope Church, St. Paul, James Byrne: New Works
Recent Exhibitions
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, The Body Electric, group show
2019 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival,  Made in Minnesota Short Films

About the Artist

James Byrne explores semi-abstract, richly colored imaginary worlds in 2D digital media and installations.  Themes and content range from dream-like scenarios, to landscapes, to folktales gone awry, to portraits, and more.  A narrative lingers in the background and invites multiple interpretations.


His video installation, “Scale Drawing”, showed at Walker Art Center in The Body Electric exhibition late spring 2019.  It is now showing at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco through January 2020. "Scale Drawing" will travel with this exhibition to Miami Dade College of Art and Design late fall 2020. 


Byrne has won arts fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bush Foundation, and McKnight Foundation, as well as grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Jerome Foundation.


His video art can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Kunstmuseum, Bonn; Banff Center for the Arts, Banff; The Kitchen, New York; and others.


Byrne earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Video Art from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and completed additional graduate study at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York.  He has a Bachelor of Elected Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Gallery view:  "Scale Drawing", Walker Art Center, July 2019
Gallery view:  "Scale Drawing", Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, September 2019

An excerpt from Alicia Eler's preview in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about Byrne's "Scale Drawing"

in The Body Electric exhibition at Walker Art Center, March 30, 2019.

  The first piece visitors will see is by the only Minneapolis artist in the show.  James Byrne's "Scale Drawing", an early installation and re-created for this exhibition, is the black outline of a man drawn on a wall with a felt-tip marker, with the figure's left hand shown on an old television screen.  This investigation into the mediated body and television, which curator Pavel Pys found in the Walker's permanent collection, acts as an anchor for the show.

  "It was kind of an icon for the show, this meditation on da Vinci's Vitruvian Man," said Pys.  "It summarizes so much." 

Artactile Gallery, Minneapolis, November 2019