Beer, Cows, Tattoos
The Milwaukee Art Museum's Amund Dietzel exhibit and Tory Folliard's "Craig Bleitz: Creamery" show close, while Kat recommends the ongoing "Afghan War Rugs: The Modern Art of Central Asia," at Villa Terrace.
Green Gallery opens a new exhibition revolving around beer while other exhibitions featuring cows and tattoos (among other things) are closing at Tory Folliard Gallery and the Milwaukee Art Museum. If you haven’t seen it yet, the Afghan War Rugs exhibition at Villa Terrace is highly recommended viewing:
Afghan War Rugs: The Modern Art of Central Asia
2220 N. Terrace Avenue
Exhibition continues through January 6, 2014.
Afghan War Rugs: The Modern Art of Central Asia presents handwoven textiles that tell of centuries of traditional craft, and the more insidious permeation of weapons and war into daily life.
There are about 40 works on view, representing certain types of well-established subject matter. Portraits are popular, and often the persons honored are military leaders or martyrs, standing in commanding poses surrounded by decorative details. Some examples, such as the portrait rug of Amanullah Khan, include these typical floral elements along with the stylized patterns of handguns, helicopters, and tanks.
Other rugs are decorated with cityscapes and maps. The three-dimensionality of buildings is typcially skewed and flattened but the details still communicate a sense of place. Similarly, the map rugs orient the viewer to location, but with a more abstracted, conceptual perception of the world.
Each piece in the exhibition speaks with a unique voice, telling of the complicated history of the region, from the clashes with Soviet occupiers in the 20th century to the more recent presence of the United States. Each knot in the rugs is tied by hand, each one a single note in a long, complex, woven story.
A presentation on The Art of Weaving and Rug Restoration will be held on Thursday, October 24, 5:30-7:30pm.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12
1500 N. Farwell Avenue
Opening Reception: October 12, 2013, 6-9 PM
Exhibition continues through November 24, 2013
Green Gallery opens an group show on Saturday simply titled Beer. A nod to local culture, perhaps? That is a convenient reference but the show is really about the connections made over frothy beverages. Curated by Drew Heitzler, the exhibition’s motivations are set out as such: “Drinking beer is good but it isn’t business. It may be the exact opposite of business. Beer is conversation. Business is negotiation. Beer is use value. Business is profit margin. Beer is generous. Business is not. There is a lot of talk these days about art business. This is a show about beer.”
the lonliest gods
Craig Blietz: Creamery
219 N. Milwaukee Street
This is the last day to catch two exhibitions at Tory Folliard Gallery: Craig Blietz: Creamery and “the loneliest gods” featuring the work of T.L. Solien. Solien’s paintings balance punchy vibrant candy colors with an edge of satire and sharpness. Solien’s work looks at times like collage, layered so space expands and compresses, figures emerge in recognizable but surreal forms.
Blietz is particularly known for his paintings of cows, but this body of work goes outside the animal, so to speak. The prompt for these paintings was the inspiration from an old creamery and meditations on the changing nature of today’s dairy operations. Blietz’s color palette is rich and earthy, a beauty which illuminates the serene images of animals.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13
Tattoo: Flash Art of Amund Dietzel
700 N. Art Museum Drive
This summer saw a slew of exhibitions in honor of the 105th Harley-Davidson anniversary celebration. This is the last of the exhibitions to close, and the final day to see the intricate work of Milwaukee tattoo artist Amund Dietzel. Dietzel, a native of Norway, came to Milwaukee in 1913 and established a successful tattoo parlor. The banning of tattooing in the city in 1967 was devastating for Dietzel’s practice, but the proliferation of skin art in recent years signals its acceptance in pop culture. This exhibition brings his historical practice to life for a contemporary audience.