b. 1962-

Doug Argue (b. 1962, Minnesota, United States) has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions. Most recently, the One World Trade Center in New York City commissioned three paintings to be installed in the lobby. His works are held in the collections of major public, private, and corporate collections including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, and the Weisman Art Museum. Argue has received multiple awards including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant (1995) and the Rome Prize (1997). The non-profit Save Venice Inc. presented Scattered Rhymes, an exhibition of four monumental paintings by Argue that was a collateral exhibition in the 2015 Venice Biennale.

Doug Argue installation: World Trade Centre, New York, NYC

Doug Argue’s paintings are often made with layers of radiant brushwork and scrims of crisp stencilled letters that envelop the entire canvas to suggest the passage of time, light, motion, and how the past informs the present. In technique, his is a dichotomy of precision and painterly gesture. In content, his paintings are cerebral with interweaving narratives and layers of meaning. Argue expresses the flux of life, suggesting the passage of time, and how the past informs the present.

The atomized letters, “particulate matter” as Argue calls them, are culled from various texts including writers such as Petrarch, Melville and Rimbaud. They work harmoniously with other visual elements to create the possibility for unlimited patterns and meaning. Argue’s use of letters are usually not meant to be read, rather they often serve a spatial or rhythmic function, like visual musical notes, the way they float, stretch, skew, or dance en masse in swathes across the plane.

Doug Argue, Untitled, 1994, oil on canvas, 144 x 216 inches, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis

This interest in literature began early in his career: a well-known 90’s monumental painting with thousands of caged chickens was prompted in part by a short story of Franz Kafka in which a dog contemplates where we get our food. It is again on view and the centerpiece at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis.

Unlike much of the process-driven abstract contemporary art, Argue’s work is rooted in ideas and allegories; with every mark Argue is crafting his story. In the end, Argue’s arresting compositions unbind recognizable images and literature to offer a new charged visual language, one that advances a dazzling view of a universe in flux charged with energy and coloratura. His opus is written with a paintbrush.

Argue comments, “there are many different histories in the world, and we often see things in the current moment, yet have no idea what lies beneath. One language is always turning into another, one generation is always rising and another falling, there is no still moment. I am trying to express this flux-this constant shifting of one thing over another, like a veil over the moment itself.”


2018 Marc Straus Gallery, New York, NY press
2017 Waterhouse and Dodd, New York, NY
2015 Palimpsests, Waterhouse & Dodd, New York, NY, Opening October 8, 2015 catalogue
Scattered Rhymes, Venice Biennale, Collateral Exhibition, Venice, Italy, May 5 – September 30, 2015 catalogue
2014 Page Turner, Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, CA press
2013 The Speech of Clouds, Edelman Arts, New York, NY catalogue
Doug Argue, Cafesjian Center for the Arts, Yerevan, Armenia exhibition photographs 
The Art of Translation, Edelman Arts, New York, NY article, press
2012 Catch My Drift, Haunch of Venison Gallery, New York, NY exhibition photographs
2011 The Study of Infinite Possibilities, Edelman Arts, New York, NY
2005 Sherry Leedy Gallery, Kansas City, MO announcement,  exhibition photographs, review
2004 Gallery Co., Minneapolis, MN review
1998 Library of Babel, Associated American Artists, New York, NY exhibition text and photographs
1997 Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
1996 Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, Associated American Artists, New York, NY pamphlet
1994 What is the Grass, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN review
1989 & 1990 Bockley Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
1987 & 1988 Bockley Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
1987 Bockley Gallery, New York, NY
1986 MC Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
1985 Tally Gallery, Bemidji, MN
1984 B square One Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
1983 Bemidji State University Gallery, Bemidji, MN



2009 London International Creative Competition |  Artist of the Year Review
2001 Golden Family Foundation
1997 Rome Prize Fellow catalogue
1995 Pollock- Krasner Foundation
Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship
1994 Minnesota State Arts Board Career Opportunities Grant
1992 McKnight Foundation Fellowship
1991 Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship
1990 Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant
1988 Bush Foundation Fellowship
1987 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
1986 McKnight Foundation fellowship
1984 Jerome Foundation Fellowship


Cafesjian Museum of Art, Yerevan, Armenia four paintings

Port Authority, World Trade Center, NY, NY two paintings

Random House Books, New York NY

General Mills, Minneapolis, MN

Target Corporation, Minneapolis, MN Commissioned in 2001

Minneapolis Public Library, Minneapolis MN Commissioned in 2001

Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis MN three paintings

Minnesota History Center Museum, St. Paul, MN

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis MN six paintings

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Bussiness, Minneapolis MN

University of Minnesota, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis MN; twenty six paintings some promised

Frederic R.Weisman Foundation, Los Angeles, CA three paintings

Would you like to view artworks by Doug Argue? Feel free to contact us at 02 9660 7799 or [email protected]

Doug Argue, Boys and Girls, 2018, oil on canvas, 76.5 x 101.5cm
Doug Argue, Alliteration, 2018, oil on canvas, 172.5 x 233.5cm
Doug Argue, Untitled, 2018, oil on canvas, 127 x 157.5cm
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.