June Exhibit to Feature Works on Paper by Late Milwaukee Sculptor Nancy Metz White
While she often chose floral designs for her colorist projects, Metz White’s imagery in her paper works is primarily abstract.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Grove Gallery will mount the one-woman show Nancy Metz White: Works on Paper during two weekends in June. The exhibit will feature framed and unframed prints, pastels, and “colorings” by the late Milwaukee sculptor Nancy Metz White (1934-2018), best known for her monumental welded steel sculptures in two Milwaukee parks, “Tree of Life” in Mitchell Boulevard Park and “Magic Grove” in Enderis Park Playfield.
Metz White began her artistic career as a painter and printmaker and later worked in pastels. “Even in her printmaking, you can see that my mother was fascinated by dimensionality,” notes Jacqueline White, of Minneapolis, the younger identical twin daughter of Metz White. “Though she started out making wood cuts, she gravitated toward relief prints—and could be counted on to point out how the images had been embossed on the paper. In fact, she even made ‘prints’ that were essentially ink-less, in which the white-on-white forms were made visible by the embossing.
“We’re excited to acquaint Wisconsinites with Nancy’s more two-dimensional works,” said White, who explained that funds raised by exhibit sales will go toward upkeep of the two Metz White sculptures in Milwaukee parks, as well as “Fantasy Flowers” at Saint John’s on the Lake retirement community in Milwaukee and “Helping Hands” at Mead Public Library in Sheboygan. As a special bonus, the artist’s models for her “Tree of Life” and “Magic Grove” sculptures will also be on display, on loan from the Milwaukee Historical Society, which houses the White family papers.
While she often chose floral designs for her colorist projects, Metz White’s imagery in her paper works is primarily abstract. The forms are often circular: One print, “Emergence,” features “O”s made by wooden letterpress letters. Other shapes in her prints are freeform—and reminiscent of the painted foliage, made from forge flashings recycled from Milwaukee heavy industry, in her large-scale sculptures.
“It’s particularly meaningful to our family that Grove Gallery is hosting this retrospective exhibit,” said the older twin daughter of Metz White, Michele Beaulieux, of Chicago. Designated a “Walker’s Point Building of Architectural Interest,” the Lamars Building, which houses the gallery, has been lovingly restored by a cousin of Metz White, Celine Farrell. A noted Milwaukee printmaker and sculptor, Farrell’s work will also be on view in her studio behind the gallery.
The artist’s daughters will be on hand to greet visitors during gallery hours. The show will be open Saturdays, June 15 & 22, 2019, Noon – 5pm and Sunday, June 23, 2019, 2 pm – 5 pm. In conjunction with the show, a family-friendly performance, “The Buundid in the Magic Grove: A Fable for All Ages” will be performed in Enderis Park on Sunday, June 23 at noon.
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