Mad Contemporary: Current exhibitions at MMoCA

Written by Kat Minerath,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 08 October 2015 23:35

Have you been feeling starved for contemporary art? The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is celebrating its 10th anniversary, which means the museum is currently packed full of exciting exhibitions, including one in a new multimedia gallery. 

In Bay View, art needs no galleries

Written by Kat Minerath,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 24 September 2015 10:04

Bay View’s Tonic Tavern is home to John Kowalczyk’s “Golden Gazelle” and “Yellow Faced Kudu,” densely patterned mixed media works.
—Photo: Kat Minerath

There’s already a lot to do in Bay View. With the biannual Bay View Gallery Night on Sept. 25, the list gets longer. 

Contemporary textiles illustrate the fabric of life

Written by Kat Minerath,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 10 September 2015 07:50

Material Fix’shuge opening installation by Jesse Harrod, Frosted Pink Lipstick Smeared All Over His Face, is an apt introduction to the tactile works within Sheboygan’s JMKAC.
— Photo: Kat Minerath

“Frosted Pink Lipstick Smeared All Over His Face” is an apt title for the huge installation opening the exhibition Material Fix. It is a cloud of bright, multicolored, printed fabric pieces rising weightlessly from the floor about 9 feet high. The giant assemblage, decorated by glitter, sequins and other shiny notions, is an explosion of floral patterns that draws back into the style of the 1960s or 1970s. It calls to mind the parlors and house dresses of older female relatives who, in their delight at young progeny in the house, are eager and cloying in their affections, reflected on years after childhood with sweet nostalgia. 

RedLine Milwaukee’s diverse ‘Timeline’

Written by Kat Minerath,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 27 August 2015 07:01

Miles Buss’ deliberately naive paintings are charming fun and just one of the 11 collections of work in Timeline.
— Photo: Kat Minerath

From across the room, Jody Emery’s “Universe” catches light like a cosmos of stars twinkling in the night. Enamel paint glistens in a cloudy crush of three-dimensional texture that builds from the artwork’s surface. Approach more closely and see that this murky constellation is built from metal detritus of various chains, tool bits and other tough implements. 

UNL art students recreate Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Bedroom’

Lincoln Journal Star
Monday, 05 October 2015 08:39

University of Nebraska at Lincoln’s Richards Hall houses a ceramics workshop, a fabrication space and the one-room Medici Gallery reserved for student work. The closest thing to a study lounge, however, is a couch in the hallway.

Haley Heesacker, 26, saw an opportunity to provide fellow fine arts students with a temporary study space, one that lends itself to learning about the classics.

MoMA: 1st US exhibition of Picasso sculptures in 50 years

Written by By ULA ILNYTZKY
Associated Press
Thursday, 17 September 2015 12:22

New York’s Museum of Modern Art is devoting an entire floor to the sculptures of Pablo Picasso in the first major U.S. museum survey of his three-dimensional work in nearly 50 years.

From his earliest piece, a tiny terra cotta of a seated woman created in 1902, to a head of a woman made in 1964, “Picasso Sculpture” features more than 140 works on loan from private and public collections that showcase the scope, range and variety of his sculptures. They include his bronze “She-Goat” from 1950 and sheet metal and wire “Guitar” from 1914 from MoMA’s own collection.

Olbrich gardens set to 'gleam'

Written by Jay Rath,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 27 August 2015 07:23

Call it Art Nouveau for the high-tech age: landscape, light and sculpture merge in a cutting-edge exhibit at Madison’s Olbrich Botanical Gardens this fall.

“The projects are diverse and very exciting,” says David Wells, artistic director of GLEAM: Art in a New Light, which opens Sept. 2. “They’ll invigorate viewing. They will provide counterpoints to nature yet be engaged with the nature of the gardens themselves.”

Secrets seen: John Wilde’s private collection at MOWA

Written by Kat Minerath,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 August 2015 09:27

John Wilde’s “Eventide at the Duchess’s” is considered by MOWA director Laurie Winters to be the last great painting of Wilde’s career, and is a highlight of Wilde’s Wildes.
—Photo: Museum of Wisconsin Art

The night is coming on in “Eventide at the Duchess’s.” The sky glows orange with an apocalyptic burn, familiar in the paintings of artist John Wilde (1919–2006). The sunset bathes a wild bunch of cavorting bodies. Some couples embrace and others face off, while in other vignettes single figures dot the improbable landscape. A woman lounges on a gigantic leaf as another balances on a beach ball floating in water, or on a head sticking up from the ground. In the distance, with striking nonchalance, is the painter who busies himself working at his easel. 

Injustices exposed in new Prairie du Sac exhibition

Written by Jay Rath,
Contributing writer
Friday, 25 September 2015 13:17

Cultural commentators become transformative artists in Kelly Parks Snider’s Hidden in Plain Sight. Her new exhibition, decrying inequality of all kinds, makes collaborators out of nationally regarded political and social justice experts.

The multimedia show opened on Sept. 24 at the River Arts Center in Prairie du Sac, in south-central Wisconsin. It moves to Milwaukee on Jan. 17.

Ballen’s ‘freeky’ photos aim for the psyche

Written by lisa neff Thursday, 10 September 2015 07:57

Muscleman and Ninja is one of Roger Ballen’s unsettling photos on display at the Chazen.
— Photo: Roger Ballen

Art is created to educate and inform, to stimulate and inspire. In the case of Roger Ballen’s work, it also disturbs and, perhaps, even frightens.

Natasha Nicholson’s studio, recreated at MMoCA, is a work of art in itself

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 27 August 2015 07:05

The Artist in Her Museum recreates Natasha Nicholson’s studio with various eclectic rooms.
— Photo: Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Natasha Nicholson stands in the middle of “Studiolo,” an immense room filled with hundreds of arranged artifacts and found objects that replicates part of the Madison artist’s home studio. She looks around to make sure every piece of her collection is where it needs to be — to foster the artistic environment she considers critical to her work.

Madison art examines war, climate change and teapots

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 August 2015 09:23

The Flowers are Burning features a series of incandescent watercolors to imply fields of wildflowers ablaze in a world whose climate is rapidly changing.
— Photo: Courtesy

Art often reflects the most deeply held feelings and beliefs in the minds and hearts of artists — and, by extension, the audiences who view the work. Several new exhibits at Madison-area galleries speak to a variety of emotions, with many works even cathartic for their creators.