Haggerty exhibitions and other events
Kat recommends the Haggerty's new shows, alongside the Lakefront Festival of the Arts and other receptions, for this week's Art Date.
Haggerty Museum of Art
Marquette University Campus
13th and Clybourn Streets
Exhibitions continue through July 28.
A visit to the Haggerty Museum yields a look at three new exhibitions, each with a distinctive theme and aesthetic.
Jim Dow: American Studies is a compact survey of photographs from 1978 to 1998, picturing bits of the American landscape steeped in nostalgia and the passing of time. Roadside diners and dilapidated hotels are part of the subjects, with weather-worn facades and signs that hang on from an earlier time. The locations are vernacular but fixated by Dow’s attention for vivid color and clear, centered compositions. Though the exhibition text describes the works as indicative of social interaction and unseen narratives, it is difficult to escape a sense the past, clinging with a tenuous grip as the future encroaches just outside the view of the camera lens.
The main floor galleries are dominated by two exhibitions drawn from different collections. Works shown from the Norton Collection are a subset of a larger body of contemporary art, organized around concepts of the strange and grotesque in myriad manners. There is a tension between lush visuals and detailed, decaying forms, such as Alexis Rockman’s ink and watercolor Untitled (Apple and Worm). The soft luminosity of color adds a glowing overlay to the scene of transformation and death, like an alluring momento mori.
The human body and its manipulations plays a large role in this exhibition, as the mutability of the body easily lends itself to the surprises often implicit in creating a sense of the macabre. One example is drawn from Surrealist practices of the Exquisite Corpse game, where multiple artists contribute to a composition without awareness of what the others are doing. Olive Ayhens, Phyllis Shafer, and Paul Pratchenko composed their Cadavre Exquis Drawing #465 in three parts, a figure with stern legs and a distorted body. The contours are strong but the torso opens in a leaf-like form. The head is turned and pensive, pierced and shadowed by a complacent purple and green skull. The variations of styles at the hands of three artists are apparent, creating a compilation of a figure perhaps unlike any single vision.
Aberrance and Artifice easily delves into visions of exaggeration and fantasy. Conversely, New Objectivity in German Art: Highlights from the Marvin and Janet Fishman Collection is drawn from a certain time and style, the Neue Sachlichkeit (“New Objectivity”) of the 1920s. Casting an unflinching eye to the people and events of their time, artists sought to represent life with fidelity to harsh reality and unidealized human nature. Expressive draftsmanship captures the spirit of the day and the social ills pervading society, from unemployment and poverty to social inequalities. The unromanticized view of modern society and the artist’s place in it may be seen in works such as Albert Birkle’s drawing Streetszene, Berlin, ca. 1922-1923. An emaciated women with a hollow face and hunched back gestures in the foreground, as though to call attention to the chaos of urban life behind her. Workers and prostitutes and the artist himself are faces of cynicism, anxiety, and despair. This exhibition complements the Norton Collection in an unexpected way, revealing how ordinary life in extraordinary circumstances becomes strange.
Lakefront Festival of Art
Milwaukee Art Museum
700 N. Art Museum Drive
June 21, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
June 22, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
June 23, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
$15 General admission
$8 Milwaukee Art Museum Members
$20 Three-day pass
Free for kids 16 and under
Festival season is swinging into full force, and one of the early annual events is the Lakefront Festival of Art. This year’s event includes over 180 artists from the Midwest and around the country, showing work in all mediums from sculpture, painting and photography to clothing and jewelry, furniture and decorative objects for the home.
In additional to visual art, perennial features include a sculpture garden, a wine garden plus food vendors, and live music. A highlight of Friday evening will be a performance by Milwaukee-based band Jaill, currently signed to Sub Pop Records.
FRIDAY, JUNE 21
Walker’s Point Center for the Arts
839 S. 5th Street
Opening reception 5-9 p.m.
Exhibition continues through July 27
WPCA continues its commitment to contemporary art and new media with this exhibition featuring video works from around the United States. Featured artists include Jason Judd, John Keston, Peter Nelson, Dana Sperry, Ellen Wetmore and Dolores Wilbur.
SATURDAY, JUNE 22
Smokey Places Midsummer Moon Cocktail Party
804 E. Wright Street
Usher in summer with a reception and this exhibition of works by Michael DiMilo, Carol Rode-Curley, and Rae Williams DiMilo.