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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tracy Cirves Debuts at Portrait Society Gallery

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UW-Madison BFA graduate Tracy Cirves returns to Wisconsin for her debut exhibition at the Portrait Society Gallery. Cirves, who earned an MFA from the prestigious Yale University painting program in 2010, incorporates several paintings from her thesis work in the large-scale figurative images of "Tracy Cirves: New Work."

The 1892 story The Yellow Wallpaper—a short fictional work about a physician who uses a supposed nervous condition as a reason to confine his wife to a room colored in the distinctive wallpaper—inspires the exhibit's themes of fashion, feminism and isolation. Cirves paints women in dreamlike interior spaces, perhaps to reflect on the hidden emotional places in one's life.

Cirves' painting techniques commingle thick impasto surfaces with translucent washes applied with spontaneous brush marks in vivid colors. As curator and Portrait Society owner Debra Brehmer says, "Cirves flickers our attention back and forth between the object being painted and the act of painting."

Cirves intentionally omits titles from her paintings so that viewers may create their own narratives for the works. "Cirves actively keeps the mind moving between the painting and the artist," Brehmer says.

With blended elements of abstraction and decorative touches, Cirves' figurative paintings astutely illuminate the truths and fictions in a woman's life. "Tracy Cirves: New Work" opens July 15. A 6-9 p.m. reception takes place on Gallery Night, Friday, July 29.

Of this exhibition, Brehmer says,  "I'm really thrilled to have an actual painting show—big, luscious, light-infused paintings."

Art Happenings


Art Venture

Racine Art Museum and Downtown Racine

441 Main St., Racine

Visit art galleries and talk to artists while strolling through downtown Racine on Saturday, July 16, 5-9 p.m. At the Racine Art Museum, renowned artist Francis Myers will present a 6:30 p.m. gallery talk on her aquatints and prints displayed in the current exhibition "The Wright Stuff."

South Shore Frolics Festival of Arts

South Shore Park

2900 S. Shore Drive

The Bay View Arts Guild presents its seventh annual outdoor art festival, featuring 70 juried artists, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, July 17.