Sophie Bolich

Sculpture Milwaukee Returns For 7th Year

Featuring 7 artists from across the globe, 39 works, and a meditation on Michael Jackson.

By - Jul 12th, 2023 09:50 am
Suns Fall by Katy Cowan. Photo taken June 29, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Suns Fall by Katy Cowan. Photo taken June 29, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Milwaukee’s leading public art exhibition, Sculpture Milwaukee, is back for its seventh year, featuring seven distinguished artists from across the globe.

This season’s exhibition, Actual Fractals, Act I, curated by John Riepenhoff, includes both difficult-to-spot and impossible-to-miss works in a range of colors, shapes and mediums — an homage to the diversity of the city where it resides.

“There are many Milwaukees within this single city,” Riepenhoff said in a statement. “While our parts can appear, and be, disjointed, there are also patterns that play out in our experiences across communities, generations and public and private spaces, connecting us intricately.”

Sculptures were flown in from all over the world and thoughtfully placed in key locations throughout the city. Most are concentrated along Wisconsin Avenue between the Milwaukee Art Museum and N. 6th St. — where the exhibition is traditionally installed. But the event’s footprint has expanded with each season.

The exhibition will run through October 2024.

Eight new pieces are now on display:

The sculptures cover a wide range of sizes and mediums, with Fisk’s piece, a tiny, spherical house, juxtaposed against some of the city’s tallest buildings, amid the hustle and bustle of Wisconsin Avenue.

Meanwhile, Miller’s sculpture, derived from a fragmented mold of Michael Jackson‘s 1987 body, is tucked away in a corner of the symphony building. The quiet environment suits the mood of the piece, which was created as a meditation on celebrity and image.

While viewing the sculpture from inside the building is a powerful experience, seeing it through the window from the street — separated from the outside world by a sheet of glass — adds another layer of meaning to the work.

The newest additions to the 39-piece exhibition were installed throughout the past several weeks, joining existing sculptures from the collection, Nature Doesn’t Know About Us, which was guest curated by Ugo Rondinone. Additions to the exhibition were installed on a rolling basis as a nod to the fluidity of nature.

Nature Doesn’t Know About Us will be on display through October 2023. The latest additions include:

Sculptures from Agnes Denes and Meg Webster will soon be installed.

Sculpture Milwaukee also has an indoor exhibition at The Avenue complex featuring works of students and faculty from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), Milwaukee School of EngineeringUW-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts and UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning.

A handful of sculptures including Roxy Pain‘s “Cleft,” the stainless steel tree, have been purchased for permanent display.


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