On any afternoon, you can wander into a bookshop or cafe and watch people as they read. Maybe they’re scanning the financial section with a furrowed brow, or a gossip column with a smirk. A book picked up at a secondhand store may send their eyes to far away places or they may glow with the reflected pinpoint dots of a digital screen. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, can they tell us what others feel when they read.
Vincent van Gogh’s bedroom in Arles is arguably the most famous chambre in the history of art. It also held special significance for the artist, who created three distinct paintings of this intimate space from 1888 to 1889. An exhibition opening in February at the Art Institute of Chicago brings together all three versions of The Bedroom for the first time in North America, offering a pioneering and in-depth study of their making and meaning to Van Gogh in his relentless quest for home.
Inside the Milwaukee Public Museum is a streetcar that subtly rumbles as it travels — not along physical distance, but metaphorically through time. It is the new entrance of the reopened Streets of Old Milwaukee, and exemplifies the alignment of innovative technology with a proud sense of history in this storied exhibition.
During the holidays, there often is a flurry of travel and excitement as family and friends visit. Whether you are entertaining out-of-town guests for a day or a week, there are plenty of venues to check out that will introduce the visual culture of Milwaukee in ways both conventional and unusual.
The Haggerty Museum of Art has opened a slate of new exhibitions organized around themes of women, changing notions of feminine ideals and their resonance in the art world. Brooklyn-based artist Carrie Schneider will be present on Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. for an artist talk and reception.
In the material world, form follows function, with objects designed to meet the needs for which they were created.
To ceramic artist Debbie Kupinsky, those same functional objects can become art when given a narrative. Properly done, those narratives can add an emotional element to average household items, sparking distinct, personal responses from those who view them.
Speeches, books and outfits belonging to late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — including her wedding dress — have soared above their estimated prices at a London auction.
There’s a glowing house in Bay View, a house lighted by shimmering neon.
It’s the home and studio of Jeff Kelley and Marj Inman, owners of Electric Eye Neon. If Electric Eye sounds like a niche business, that’s because it is. Kelley and Inman pride themselves on being among the few makers of neon art in the area.
The realm of surrealism isn’t owned by men like Salvador Dalí, René Magritte or Marcel Duchamp. Consider Méret Oppenheim, famous for her 1936 work “Breakfast in Fur” in which she covered a cup, saucer and spoon with fur from Chinese gazelle. Or Frida Kahlo, the 20th-century Mexican painter who always denied any surrealist connection but nonetheless draws on some of the same ideas in her work.
The holiday season arrives with a multitude of traditions, memories and decisions concerned with the search for perfect, festive gifts. If you are interested in finding things a little out of the ordinary and made with artistic flair, there are a few exhibitions that have made this year’s recommended list.