Framing the conversation
Milwaukee’s gallery owners build an art community

Written by Kat Minerath,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 21 May 2015 09:36

“Everyone has to do their own bit. Not sit back and wait for other people to do it. Get up off your ass and do it yourself, you’re an artist for f**k’s sake. Get creative.” 

So says Clive Promhows, owner of Milwaukee’s Live Artists Studio, one of several galleries in the city’s artist community. It’s advice that illuminates the energy of that community, unified by tenacity and passion. 

‘Wisconsin Pastorale’ depicts a regional artist’s earliest successes

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 21 May 2015 09:04

Lois Ireland’s “The Homestead” is a prime example of her regional art style, with its detailed yet simplistic depiction of life in the American countryside.
— PHOTO: Courtesy

Even standing at the back of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, the viewer can’t help but be drawn to “The Homestead,” an oil painting by Wisconsin regional artist Lois Ireland. The work lacks the inner luminescence of Ireland’s other works, but the clarity of the objects against the pallid landscape draws the eye for that exact reason.

Yoko Ono espresso cups inspired by tragedy, hope

Written by The AP Monday, 11 May 2015 10:22

Yoko Ono is expressing herself through espresso cups.

The artist and widow of John Lennon has designed a collection of cups and saucers featuring the dates and places of six tragic events written in Ono's handwriting, such as the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 and the day Lennon was shot and killed in 1980. A seventh cup appears untouched to represent hope.

Villa Terrace exposes the usable and beautiful past

Written by Kat Murrell,
Contributing writer
Friday, 24 April 2015 12:00

The present continually folds itself over, layer upon layer, as it forms a historical past. Art and artifacts are material traces with uncertain immortality. They can last far beyond the lifetime of their makers and the environment for which they were made. 

"Private Spaces Public Authority," on view at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, asks what should be done with this usable past. Ceramic tiles, stained glass, doors, fireplace decorations and more are displayed as orphaned beauties, gleaned from two Milwaukee mansions: the Henry Uihlein Mansion and the Elizabeth Plankinton Mansion. 

Fantastic fandoms get the museum treatment at RAM

Written by Larry Zamba,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 23 May 2015 09:30


Most art exhibitions show works from a movement or artist of the past, or perhaps a contemporary portrait of what’s going on in the world of art today. In comparison, the Racine Art Museum’s new exhibit is literally out of this world.

Major works by Mark Rothko and Roy Lichtenstein brought in over $88 million at a Sotheby's auction of contemporary art.

Rothko's "Untitled (Yellow and Blue)'' sold for $46.4 million. The 8-foot-tall abstract painting of large yellow and blue planes hung at the National Gallery in Washington for 10 years while it was owned by the late Rachel "Bunny'' Mellon. She acquired it directly from Rothko's estate shortly after his death in 1970.

The Harlem Renaissance revived in Madison museum

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Sunday, 10 May 2015 12:51

The Harlem Renaissance, the rich period of African-American cultural, artistic and social growth in one of New York City’s most famous neighborhoods during the 1920s, seems miles and decades removed from Madison in 2015. 

But don’t tell that to the founders of the new Harlem Renaissance Museum, on Madison’s east side. They argue there’s no better time or place to tell the tale of one of the richest periods of social growth in American history and illuminate its connections to Madison.

‘Shifting Gears’ exhibits Wisconsin’s love affair with biking

Written by Jay Rath,
Contributing writer
Sunday, 26 April 2015 04:34

Wisconsin’s love affair with biking is the subject of a new exhibit at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison:"Shifting Gears."

Rhinelander arts workshops build community

Written by Jay Rath,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 21 May 2015 09:11

The Rhinelander School of the Arts has been teaching students for half a century.
— PHOTO: Courtesy

One of Wisconsin’s oldest arts education programs, the Rhinelander School of the Arts, soon will begin its 52nd year. The July 17-19 weekend will feature workshops in visual, culinary, writing and performing arts.

Record: Picasso painting sells for $179 million at auction

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 12 May 2015 05:31

A vibrant, multi-hued painting from Pablo Picasso set a world record for artwork at auction, selling for $179.4 million on May 11, and a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti set a record for most expensive sculpture, at $141.3 million.

Picasso's "Women of Algiers (Version O)" and Giacometti's life-size "Pointing Man" were among dozens of masterpieces from the 20th century Christie's offered in a curated sale titled "Looking Forward to the Past."

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MOWA puts photographer duo in the viewfinder

Written by Kat Murrell,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 09 May 2015 12:47

In works like Self-Portrait in the Garden at Dusk, Whitelaw, WI, photographers J. Shimon and J. Lindemann turn the camera on themselves.
— PHOTO: J. Shimon & J. Lindemann

There is a familiar, strange and dark beauty in the lives drawn out by photographer duo J. Shimon & J. Lindemann. You know these people, you know these places. They are particular and peculiar, brought together at the Museum of Wisconsin Art for the pair’s largest museum show yet: a retrospective of their 30-year career. It is an eloquently important exhibition.

Art Gaze Milwaukee, April 9, 2015

Written by Kat Murrell ,
Contributing writer
Friday, 10 April 2015 09:28

Gallery Night and Day is coming up on April 17 and April 18. Here are a few shows not to miss: 

‘Home in the Heart of the City’