Stella Cretek

Guilt Free Bones

By - Aug 15th, 2008 02:52 pm
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I finally got around to visiting the Gilbert & George show at MAM’s Baker/Rowland Galleries. It was coordinated by Chief Curator Joe Ketner, who will be moving on shortly before G&G moves out on September 1.

Anyway, I decided to see the show after visiting with Dean Jensen, who runs a Water Street venue bearing his name. He was sitting alone at his desk, clad in a splendid suit, smart shirt and tie, complaining about computer trouble. Eventually our chatter got around to the G&G event, and Jensen said he was working on an appraisal of a G&G piece owned by a generous local couple who are donating it to the Milwaukee Art Museum. He had attended a lecture, a basic Q & A with the London duo, and commented that G&G had been around for so many years that they’d answered every possible question about their careers. However, I was in Jensen’s gallery not to talk about G&G, but to select a frame for a Laurence Rathsack watercolor (“Skeletal Church”), purchased by my son who is now grown up enough to appreciate what art is. By way of comparison, Rathsack’s work, quiet and unassuming, is the exact opposite of the bodacious work of G&G. One whispers, the other shouts. One is a candle, the other a bottle rocket.

Jensen has been around for what seems like forever, and for much of that forever, I’ve been around to view his exhibitions. Like me, he’s getting a bit long in the tooth, but it takes time to develop a great career and a great following, and he’s certainly done that. If anyone is a survivor, he is. In addition to being a fine gallerist, he is a fun interesting writer (perhaps because he cut his writing chops at the Milwaukee Sentinel in the long ago). The work in his various shows is frequently of the narrative kind, a perfect fit for a chap who knows how to spin a tale. Should you doubt me, buy a copy of 2006’s Daisy & Violet Hilton: The True Story of Conjoined Twins.

In an earlier blog, I wrote about my “feelings of guilt” and those of the others who hadn’t yet seen the G&G show. You may have been somewhat confused by the image (“Bacon & Eggs for Gilbert & George”) accompanying that particular blog. Stella sez the art (made from Play-Doh) is definitely not for sale, though it may be on eBay someday.

For more on G&G, look up www.mam.org/gandg, then go to Cedar Block’s MAM event on August 15 to see what Milwaukee area artists are up to. Inspired by G&G, it’s a one night stand, 8pm – midnight.

Categories: Dem Bones

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