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Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014

‘TIMELINE’ at RedLine Milwaukee

10 emerging artists on view

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RedLine Milwaukee is a nonprofit venue with a busy schedule of workshops and artists’ studios, plus a fine gallery space. One of the exhibitions currently on view is “TIMELINE,” presenting 10 artists from its emerging artists residency. Each has a notably distinct identity, but collectively there are strong moments of cohesion and dialogue among the artworks.

Some artists take issues such as the environment and housing as the subject for their work. Natalie Schmitting’s The Sign that Led to a Sign is a stop-motion video of decay, abandoned buildings and the struggle of the landscape to regain lost ground. The mutability of her images has a sublime quality as grainy textures allude to the forces of nature as a constant, though changeable, force. Lindsey A. Weigel shows pieces from her Maiden’s Rest project. She illustrates the potential of a small, sustainable living space through architectural representations and a floor plan (drawn in tape on the gallery floor) of a trailer-borne house, which measures 8-by-18 feet and comes replete with a fireplace. All the comforts of home are artfully laid out.

A number of the painters have a distinctly expressionistic quality, particularly in choices of color and dynamics of brushwork. Skully Gustafson is playful but smart; his bold works are dense and evocative with biomorphic shapes, but every now and then a recognizable object like a shoe pops up amid his translucent colors. Jeff Redmon is also keen on a bright palette, but within curvaceous contours of black lines that hold down the fort. His backgrounds are often a bit softer and cloudier, conjuring a floating sense of distance contrasting with the solidity of the foreground arrangements.

Nina Ghanbarzadeh is the most delicate of the artists shown. In abstract design and curvilinear text forms, she adopts materials such as electric light, charcoal and silver stick pins for her compositions, never losing sight of the airy space afforded by her medium, yet judiciously placing materials in the creation of strong but gossamer forms.

Make some time and check out these and the other artists at RedLine Milwaukee, 1422 N. Fourth St. “TIMELINE” continues through Aug. 30. Also on view is “Existentialism,” an exhibition featuring six artists from RedLine’s teen residency program.