Smart shows on their way out
Shane Walsh and Claire Stigliani's exhibitions close this weekend, while shows from Jessica Z. Schafer and Beki Borman open.
Let your eyes wander through photographs, prints, pop culture icons, witty quips on Cubism, plus a meditative chapel where you can find your artistic zen.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28
On the Horizon
Anaba Tea Room
2107 E. Capitol Dr., Shorewood
Anaba’s latest tenant is Beki Borman, a Milwaukee-born artist who specializes in “color through the filter of landscape.” On the Horizon depicts a variety of those landscapes, distinctive in their bright hues and textured surfaces. The show runs through April 28, with an opening reception Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.
Featured Member Exhibition: Jessica Z. Schafer
Walker’s Point Center for the Arts
839 S. 5th St.
Jessica Z. Schafer will be featured at WPCA, which is showing her project, cinephile. Her series of photos operate in ensembles, alternately expressing singular moments and the extended time of memory. That exhibit runs through April 6.
La Ceiba Gráfica
Walker’s Point Center for the Arts
839 S. 5th Street
While you’re visiting WPCA, take some time with this important exhibition of over 30 prints from La Ceiba Gráfica, a prominent printmaking workshop located in Veracruz, Mexico. It enjoys an international reputation for innovative techniques and an emphasis on traditional and local materials. This exhibition, which opened Feb. 1 and closes April 6, coincides with the upcoming SGCI Conference, which will be held in Milwaukee from March 20 through 23 and welcomes printmakers from across the country.
SATURDAY, MARCH 2
Saturday marks the last day to immerse yourself in the rich landscape of Stigliani’s life and imagination at Dean Jensen Gallery. Her art is a contemporary trip though the looking glass with a thoroughly 21st-century protagonist, mingling with characters from history, fiction, and all points between. Stigliani is meticulous about her drawings and her collections of references. In Studying Sexy, she includes an extensive list of visual samples, including music videos featuring Alison Mosshart, Fiona Apple, and Chris Isaak featuring Helena Christenson; paintings of Twiggy and Marie-Antoinette by Karen Kilimnik and Jean-Étienne Liotard, respectively; posters of Katy Perry and Marilyn Monroe; and ads depicting Kate Moss and Claudia Schiffer.
That is just one piece exemplifying Stigliani’s witty orchestrations of pop culture, history, and seductive strata of glamour, desire, and image. There is plenty more in this exhibition, but this is your last chance to see it.
Saturday is the last opportunity to enjoy two exhibitions at Portrait Society. Walsh’s brilliant colors animate his cerebral, quasi-cubist paintings and sculptures, which hang out in the gallery like Russian Constructivists chilling in California hues. They have a playful nature yet a deeply serious core, a study in the energies of form and color halting just on the precipice of explosion. His almost-figures dance with notions of representation, musing seriously while remaining coyly, knowingly aloof.
This year’s installation of the Winter Chapel is the creation of Kevin Geise and his installation titled Ancestors. The curved contours of the chapel and its pale neutral color form an austere retreat. Inside, hollow birch trees are weighty ghosts, made only of delicate bark and subtle interruptions of stitching. They are powerful forms but mysterious and vulnerable with their internal voids, suggesting unknowable secrets of nature in a tame, patient quotation of a forest. This tiny room in the middle of a city is a harmony of manmade space and earthly presence for the cool, quiet wintertime.