Visual Art

  • Art tickles in a playful exhibition

    What’s the difference between an art museum and a comedy club? Metaphorically speaking, maybe not much, considering the current exhibition at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. “A Sense of Humor,” which runs through Sept. 26, showcases over 20 artists in a cavalcade of works that play on strange juxtapositions, witty words and pictures, plus the playfulness and poignancy of the modern cond.... Read More
  • Drag contest, burlesque show kick off MAM After Dark season

    Milwaukee Art Museum kicks off its MAM After Dark season with Moulin MAM, a night of entertainment that pays homage to the life and work of Wisconsin artist Warrington Colescott, America’s premier satirical printmaker. The evening includes a burlesque show by Milwaukee’s Brew City Bombshells at 8 p.m. and MAM’s first-ever drag contest at 9 p.m., which will culminate with the crowning of the .... Read More
  • Iron Horse Hotel nails the masculine aesthetic

    In the Renaissance, as Italian society was rapidly changing, a diplomat, Baldassare Castiglione, wrote a treatise called “The Book of the Courtier” (1513-1518). In it he tried to categorize the new ideal of manhood or l’uomo universale. He recommended middle height, solid build, “shapely of limb,” light and supple, good wrestling skills, tennis, sportsmanship, fitness, education, knowl.... Read More
  • Artwatch

    The current show at Dean Jensen Gallery opens with two women lounging. One is a drawing of a young woman with her legs thrown over the arm of a rococo loveseat. She wears a bright red unitard and her endless, braided hair wraps around her like a frame, defining her space. The other is a photograph of a mature woman lying on her side on a bed. She wears a ballet costume and a far-off expression tha.... Read More
  • ‘New Media’ provokes unanswered questions

    New media. It speaks to the future, it screams cutting-edge, high-tech, clean and streamlined. And now you can see it in a 100-year-old mansion. The current exhibition at the Charles Allis Art Museum features five contemporary Wisconsin artists whose work is cleverly, successfully inserted among the furnishings and art treasures of this former family home. The new media works enliven rooms on the .... Read More
  • Artwatch

    The Milwaukee Art Museum’s special interest group, the Photography Council, is growing at an accelerated pace of late. Along with the city’s other photography group, The Coalition of Photographic Arts, one would think Milwaukee was turning into a photo hotbed. Lots of good things have come out of this emerging network of collectors, artists and enthusiasts. If you want to climb on board, atten.... Read More
  • The art of entries and exits

    What struck me most about Theaster Gates’ remarkable installation “To Speculate Darkly,” at the Milwaukee Art Museum through Aug. 1, was the beautiful orchestration of the entry and the exit. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show that does a better job of this. The Chipstone Foundation and MAM received a Joyce Foundation grant of $50,000 to invite Gates, who was also included in this year.... Read More
  • Artwatch

    Art doesn’t just imitate life – sometimes it is life. That is the approach filmmaker Ashley Altadonna pursues in her ongoing documentary film “Making the Cut.” A native of Houston and longtime Milwaukee resident, Altadonna is chronicling her experiences and fundraising activities for gender reassignment surgery. In support, an upcoming benefit at the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center will help .... Read More
  • Sailing away to where? | Artistic voyages at the WPCA

    “Sailing the Barbarous Coast,” the new exhibition at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, pulses with contemporary concerns underpinned by history. The ‘barbarous’ reference is to the Barbary Coast, a name that for centuries referred to the region of North Africa comprising Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. Inhabited by the people known as the Berbers, it was also a locus for unsavory .... Read More
  • Artwatch

    Looking for some laughs while looking at art?  In addition to the multiple showings of Wisconsin-based visual satirist Warrington Colescott around town (see June 18 Artwatch by Debra Brehmer), there is fun to be had at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan with the new exhibition, “A Sense of Humor. “ This show brings together a roster of artists from across the nation, as well as .... Read More