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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Art Review

In some respects, Santiago Cucullu’s on-site installation at the Milwaukee Art Museum encapsulates the postmodern spirit. Rather than being a single cohesive piece, it’s an agglomeration of micro-narratives. Titled MF Ziggurat, an allusion to the centrality and untouchable sacredness of those imposing Mesopotamian and Central American structures, the piece seeks to transgress the inviolable quality of our modern-day ziggurats—soaring skyscrapers and elegant art museums in whose deep shadows the city churns in habitual ferment.
Sunday, March 23, 2008

Art Review

If Walker Evans' document of tenant farmers in 1930s Alabama were stripped of its human element, the residue might resemble jw lawson's "Southeastern View," a series of photographs made by the Milwaukee-based artist and gallery owner over the past seven years on sojourns home to his native Tennessee. In lawson's second solo exhibition at his eponymous gallery, he excavates the ruins below the Rust Belt to uncover contemporary artifacts otherwise imperceptible to interstate tourists traveling along prescribed four-lane routes through the South.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Art Preview

Abrush stroke of translucent color over pure white paper often defines a watercolor painting. Sometimes the resulting image is wet and spontaneous; other times contained and structured. You can see a variety of results from this demanding medium as two exhibits highlight watercolor artists in Milwaukee this month. In “A Survey: Drawings and Paintings by John Wickenberg,” which opens March 19, the Charles Allis Art Museum presents an award-winner from the 2005 Forward Survey of Wisconsin Art NOW. In addition to exhibiting his art both regionally and nationally since 1967, Wickenberg achieved professor emeritus status at UW-Whitewater . . .
Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Art Review

Hotcakes Gallery may be preparing to shut down in a couple of months, but the work currently on the walls doesn’t suggest it. This show, at minimum, is great fun for the viewer, who is treated to superb illustration and sculpture at the hands of Portland artists Meredith Dittmar and Betsy Walton. It’s a well-conceived show, with a sense of unity between the two artists, culminating in a collaborative piece that combines Dittmar’s polymer clay figures with Walton’s stoic faces.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Art Preview

The unknown artist who labors in obscurity unto death, only to be discovered afterward, has long been a cliche. In the case of Richard Mouw (1910-2001), the clich inched toward reality last winter when the director of Milwaukee’s Landmarks Gallery, Mary Manion, stood in the shivering cold of an unheated shed where the artist’s family had stored his life’s work. It was as if the contents of Mouw’s basement had been gathered up and deposited in stacks against the shed’s cement walls.
Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008

Art Review

It’s an age-old question: What is love? The love we feel for friends, partners or spouses often determines what we consider necessary truths to create fulfilling lives. This truth exists differently for each of the artists in the exhibit “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Relationships and Love.” Sponsored by African-American Artists Beginning to Educate Americans about African-American Art, this national juried exhibition at the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts explores the intricacies of love with acute and perceptive insight.

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