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Monday, Aug. 30, 2010

Fall Visual Arts Preview

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During Wisconsin’s fall season, nature creates its own array of visual art. Against this vibrant outdoor backdrop, many exceptional indoor art exhibitions begin in September and October.

On Oct. 9, the Milwaukee Art Museum displays European ceramics, glass, furniture, metalwork and product design in “European Design Since 1985: Shaping the New Century.” Amid more than 250 examples from prominent artists and designers, the exhibit uses postmodern and modern traditions to ponder whether artistic concept or function is the leading design principle. Gallery talks and lectures, including a Nov. 18 visit from renowned designer Alberto Alessi, enhance the exhibit.

Marquette University’s Haggerty Museum of Art is currently presenting stained-glass artworks in the exhibition “Let There Be Light: Stained Glass and Drawings From the Collection of Oakbrook Esser Studios.” These elegant artworks span from the 14th century to the present. Accompanying gallery talks and “Lunchtime Learning” lectures begin Sept. 1.

Under the umbrella title “Animal Magnetism,” John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) offers six themed exhibitions. The main gallery’s “Animal Instinct: Allegory, Allusion, and Anthropomorphism” opens Oct. 17. Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair photographer Jill Greenberg presents a JMKAC solo exhibition with “Monkey Portraits,” opening Sept. 26. 

West Bend’s Museum of Wisconsin Art(MWA) holds a Sept. 12 reception for “Here at Last: African-American Artists Who Teach at Wisconsin Colleges, Universities and Schools.” The exhibition documents the rise of six prominent artists who influence Wisconsin education through their creative visions. Information on complementary programming is available on MWA’s website, www.wisconsinart.org.

The Racine Art Museum introduces an internationally known metalsmith to the Midwest on Oct. 24 with “Mariko Kusumoto: Unfolding Stories.” Japanese artist Mariko Kusumoto references the work of Joseph Cornell with intricately adorned boxes that relate to the artifacts she observed at Buddhist temples in her childhood. This fascinating study integrates art and culture in a presentation by one of the top fine craft museums in the country.

A noteworthy contribution to Wisconsin’s legacy is presented in the Charles Allis Art Museum’s “Wisconsin Masters: Bruno Ertz.” This exhibit of nature paintings opens Oct. 13.

Tory Folliard Gallery debuts a solo show Oct. 15 with “Robert Cocke: New Paintings.” Cocke’s intimate images merge detailed landscapes with still life objects. Also at Folliard Gallery, renowned New England artist Eric Aho—one of the nation’s top landscape artists—returns to Milwaukee for “Eric Aho: New Paintings,” opening Nov. 19.

Dean Jensen Gallery recognizes modern abstract expressionist artists in the Oct. 15 opening of “Wisconsin Moderns.” The exhibition includes works by Carl Holty, Karl Knaths, Mark Tobey and Jon Schueler.