If you can only see three (or so)…
Mary Overman and Jessica Sattell, TCD's newest visual arts writers, help you set Gallery Night priorities.
With the super-abundance of Winter Gallery Night exhibitions Friday, unless you’ve got the power to stop time and free up parking spots, you’ll have to prioritize.
TCD’s newest art writers, Jessica Sattell and Mary Overman, offer their top three suggestions:
1. Timothy Westbrook: The Pfister Hotel—Artist In Residence
Reception 9-11:30 p.m. Friday January 18. 424 E. Wisconsin Avenue, 414-273-8222.
Westbrook celebrates his last gallery night as Pfister Artist-in-Residence by presenting a culminating tale of “The Life of Mrs. Charles Pfister” through a gorgeous body of fiber art. His garments for the imagined Mrs. Pfister, all utilizing recycled materials such as cassette tapes and plastic bags, evoke strong statements on the unexpected connections between sustainability and fantasy. It’s exciting to see how Westbrook’s time at the Pfister all these months has inspired his costume creations, and how the hotel itself, in all of its Victorian/Art Noveau/Steampunk beauty, sparks some interesting conversations on the role of “building as muse.”
For more about Westbrook, read Ryan Findley’s March 2012 report for TCD.
2. New Work by Claire Stigliani. Cut Scenes: The Artist and Her Muses Recast
Dean Jensen Gallery. Artist reception Friday 6-9 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 759 N. Water Street, 414-278-7100
Stigliani’s new paintings featuring the artist as a waif of a heroine amidst flurries of her historical and pop cultural inspirations are refreshingly playful; they remind me of fashion editorial illustrations and the paintings of Maira Kalman. What I find really engaging about this body of work is that Stigliani presents herself with little self-judgment and a great deal of trust, on both her part and as offered to her viewers. This series is brave and wonderfully imaginative, and it is obvious that the artist has a great deal of talent for evoking that small part of ourselves that holds all of the pleasures and obsessions that we’re so often afraid to indulge in, let alone admit.
3. Ari Rosenthal
The Iron Horse Hotel. 500 W. Florida Street, 888-543-4766
Rosenthal’s colorful, hyper-saturated “photo+graphic design” works speak to an architect’s eye, and they are sure to be a nice contrast to the Iron Horse’s subdued interiors. His work reveals visual elements that we often take for granted amidst the stimulations of an urban landscape. These pieces have even made me reflect on how I’ve become desensitized to digital imagery and unconsciously view the world through an iPhone lens or an Instagram filter. I can only imagine how bold these would look in person.
Mary Overman’s Gallery Night Picks
1. Shane Walsh: The Available Language & Kevin Giese: Winter Chapel (4)
Portrait Society Gallery. Friday, 5-9 p.m., Saturday noon-5pm, 207 E. Buffalo Street, 5th Floor.
Walsh’s paintings are methodically structured and subtly light-based. His images are active despite the fact that he paints stagnant objects: the shadows, colors and lively brushstrokes create an almost arbitrary movement in the image.
Giese’s gentle and undemanding character reflects in his sculptures and installations, which emerge from his interest in Buddhist philosophy, nature and traditional wood-joining techniques. Giese has been known to create outdoor installations, but when he exhibits pieces of nature in the gallery, his work is wistful, poignant and accessible. The Winter Chapel is an annual exhibition in which an artist or collaborative artist team are invited to “explore how a space can be fashioned to enhance quietude and spiritual reflection via the secular language of the artist rather than the established vocabularies of formal religions.”
These exhibitions will be displayed at the Portrait Society from January 18 – March 3, 2013.
2. Makers In Print
Inova/Kenilworth, Friday 5-9 p.m., Saturday 12-5 p.m., 2155 N. Prospect Ave.
Featuring the work of internationally acclaimed artists from Mexico, South Africa, South Korea. The eclectic and playful William Kentridge will be included in this exhibition, and if you need an introduction to the medium and to his work, take a look at the wonderfully produced William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible on Art:21’s website.
Makers in Print will be at Inova — UW-Milwaukee’s Institute of Visual Arts — Jan. 18 – March 24.
3. Dark Blue, The Water as Protagonist
Friday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University Campus, 13th & Clybourn
Water rejects all cultural barriers: it’s a universal. It is pervasive as a necessity and literally and metaphorically reflects the very diverse and distinct lives we live. The photographs in this exhibition articulate all of this visually.
Dark Blue, The Water as Protagonist will be showing at the Haggerty from January 16 – May 19, 2013.