Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Madison full of art

I spent an art-filled day in Madison recently. Here are some snapshots and a taste for what's on exhibit now. Follow the links for more info, or better yet plan a trip over to Mad-town for some good art.

This new mural celebrating the unity of women on the Willy Street Coop was dedicated Friday evening. The mural was done by Panmela Castro (below), who is from Brazil. Castro is sponsored by Vital Voices around the Globe. Her work intends to remind us that women in many parts of the world suffer oppression. Extending the length of the building, the piece is certainly dramatic and beautiful, but that message isn't clearly evident in it.

The Willy Street Coop is at 1221 Williamson St. on the near east side of Madison.

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMOCA) has several exhibits to see. The featured exhibit is called One must know the animals. Drawn from the museum's collection, this is a large and diverse show that strays far from the typical wildlife art that might be expected from the title.  Read more. The exhibit runs through Aug. 19.
Sergio Gonzalez-Tornero, Wolf, courtesy MMOCA
The exhibit to which I was especially drawn was Within a Stone's Throw, by Cecelia Condit. The exhibit is dominated by a three-panel large screen video, but goes further. This is from the museum's website: "Although Condit is best known as a video artist, this exhibition signals her new immersion into the world of still imagery. A series of seven photographs complements Within a Stone’s Throw, each image a complex, digitally constructed composite of Lake Michigan and its environs. These works showcase the sublime beauty of the natural world, at once threatening and delicate, while addressing both the fragility and the timelessness of our planet." Read more.

This exhibit runs through Sept. 23.
Cecilia Condit, video still, courtesy MMOCA
While you're at MMOCA walk over to the adjacent Overture Center for a slew of smaller but engaging exhbits.

The top-floor James Watrous Gallery hosts a pair of very different bodies of work.

Milwaukee photographer James Brozek and art historian Debra Brehmer of Milwaukee's Portrait Society Gallery teamed up to create a portfolio of vintage photographs called Flowers by Livija. If you missed it at the Portrait Society, here's another chance to see the "hundreds of hauntingly beautiful still-life compositions, self-portraits, and images of the floral arrangements [Livija] created for her husband’s grave."

Courtesy Watrous Gallery
The other half of the duo couldn't be more dissimilar. "Lon Michels’s large, lavishly detailed figure paintings, landscapes, and still lifes are rich with art historical references, but their primary subject is his love affair with color and pattern."

Don't take the elevator back down after your visit to the Watrous Gallery. There are three discrete exhibits in each of the even smaller hallway spaces known collectively as the Overture Galleries. The short hallways are easily overlooked. They extend away from the central rotunda. Most people likely go there to find the restrooms. But if you go now you will find more intriguing art.

In Gallery 1 you will find At Your Service, which "presents the common domestic plate as a site for cultural investigation." Seven artists appropriate, alter, and re-interpret ceramic dinnerware. Read more. (Through Sept. 16.)

Courtesy Overture Galleries

Have you heard of "Alternography?" I hadn't heard the term before and I'm curious to know if "The Alternography Group" who comprise the artists in the Gallery 2 exhibit coined the term. Whether or not the term is new, the methods they use decidedly are not, and that is the point. Alternative techniques and processes, whether primitive cameras or darkroom printing methods (yes, some of them use darkrooms!), drive the creative output of this sub-group of the Center for Photography at Madison. More interesting to me than the use of alternative processes in themselves is the content of the show, entitled Trespass, which "explores three types of trespasses: trespass to person, trespass to property, and trespass to land." Read more. (Through Sept. 12)

Courtesy Overture Galleries

Gallery 3 hosts a more diverse collection entitled Once and Again, which "explores images and ideas related to symmetry." Read more. (Through Sept. 16.)

Courtesy Overture Galleries

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Edee! We love these shows too, and are glad you found your way to see them.
    Jody Clowes, James Watrous Gallery