Summer exhibition, Portrait Society
July 7 to September 8 (July 21 gallery night)
Opening Reception: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 7
Review: Now Figuration
Closing reception and Artist Talk moderated by art historian Deborah Wilk: 2 p.m. Saturday, September 2. Free, open to the public.
In 1983, Russell Bowman, then director of the Milwaukee Art Museum, initiated a major exhibition called New Figuration in America. National artists such as Eric Fischl, Robert Longo, David Salle, Richard Prince and Cindy Sherman were returning to figurative modes and, in this exhibition, Bowman asked what they were bringing anew to the genre. Why was figuration being reinvigorated on the heels of the more conceptual and minimalist 1970s?
Now Figuration (35 years later) will bring together a group of Portrait Society artists such as Lois Bielefeld, J. Shimon, Rafael Salas, Skully Gustafson, Della Wells and Romano Johnson, along with recent art school grads and artists new to the gallery to look back at Bowman’s show for comparison, and ask again: Why the figure? What has been brought to the discussion? How do the concerns of contemporary artists relate to their historic forebearers?
Herman Aguirre, (Chicago), Brian James Bartlett (Madison), Tom Berenz, Lois Bielefeld, Steve Burnham, Cameron Bliss (Atlanta), Dominic Chambers (New Haven, CT), Tracy Cirves, Eric Fischl (New York), Skully Gustafson, Romano Johnson (Madison), Jerry Jordan (Madison), Rosemary Ollison, CJ Pyle (Indiana), Rafael Salas, Jacob Salzer, Carri Skoczek, J. Shimon (Appleton), Patrick Stromme, Ariana Vaeth, Della Wells.