Wisconsin-native Breehan James has spent the past 10 years depicting her home state and the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. A professor at Boston University, James says the works of 19th-century Nordic landscape painters have greatly influenced her own compositions. Here, she discusses how painting from life is liberating, the benefits of immersing oneself in nature, and why the wilds of Wisconsin always refresh her spirit.
Many fairy tales begin on an ordinary day. Then, something extraordinary happens.
That’s what occurred in the art studio of ceramicist Gerit Grimm in 2010. Grimm, who had long created ceramics with light colored clay and bedazzling glazes, came across some raw, dark clay that somebody had left behind.
Grimm, who teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a meticulous and accomplished ceramicist. Her work reflects an accumulation of influences and interests that date back to her childhood in the former German Democratic Republic, her years as a production potter, and her early fascination with the California Funk ceramic movement. She is a voracious consumer of art history and a determined boundary-pusher at the potter’s wheel.
Our Gallery was fortunate enough to have another one of our artists' works on the cover of Chicago Life magazine - this time it was Jan Serr. The painting has since sold, but please click HERE to see more of her fantastic work.
Exuberant color and painterly interpretations of place and moment fill Rodger Bechtold’s Wisconsin landscapes. Based on direct observation, recollection, and some invention, Bechtold’s paintings illustrate the grandeur in the everyday.
Jason Rohlf’s paintings are abstract, yet conjure ideas of maps or stories. In the exhibition “Kismet,” on view at Tory Folliard Gallery, endless rings of circles, rows of arches, hanging diamonds and more play out in bright acrylic colors, sometimes painted on the relatively modest materials of shop rags or tarps.
New sculptures by Jeremy Popelka in his exhibition “Gravity” are also on view, and it is a good pairing as his figurative pieces share this type of synthesis. Inspired by his recent time in Thailand, Popelka fashions masks out of glass, incorporating textured surfaces that reference symbolic concepts.
In his “New Paintings” show at the Alexandre Gallery, Tom Uttech continues his work as the magic realist painter of environmental consciousness. His crystalline panoramas of the natural world are both magically transporting and, in one interpretation, disturbingly realistic. Mr. Uttech, who lives in Wisconsin, has perfected his encyclopedic depictions of wild things and their north woods surroundings for decades. He says that the flora and fauna along the Canadian border inspire in him “a state of tranquil ecstasy” — and he clearly intends that we experience it, too.
An iron casting ladle, steel blowpipes, and oversize shears rest just steps away from the work stations where Sturgeon Bay artists Jeremy Popelka and Stephanie Trenchard transform molten glass into sometimes practical, sometimes whimsical works of art.
Gerit Grimm claims no kinship to the brothers Grimm, but it’s fair to say her unglazed stoneware figures, fashioned on a potter’s wheel, are amazing tales each and every one. Cunningly crafted part by part, then assembled with elegance and grace, the seven distinct groupings curated by Graeme Reid populate the Hyde Gallery in the white wedge Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA), crowning a hill in West Bend, Wis.
Experience the enchanting sculptures of master ceramist Gerit Grimm. Trained as a factory potter in the former East Germany, Grimm teaches ceramics at UW–Madison and has built an international reputation for her work as a nontraditional ceramist in the twenty-first century. Her figurative works – some life-sized in scale and others composed of dozens of miniature characters– draw upon fairy tales, myths, and biblical stories for inspiration. Her works are imbued with such a force of personality and intricate detail that they immediately engage viewer’s attention with their sense of timelessness.
Artist Michael Velliquette creates minutely detailed installations constructed from thousands of cut pieces of paper, each textured and layered over the next.
When an exhibition closes, though, these large, painstakingly made artworks may not have another home. Some could be lost, documented only in photos Velliquette, an associate faculty member in the University of Wisconsin-Madison art department, has taken himself.
So Velliquette decided to create another piece of art.
Meet Jason Rohlf: an innovative and talented artist of NYC, who continues to document visual sensibilities in his acrylic and collage paintings. Vibrant and beautifully textured, Jason Rohlf’s paintings are a continued exploration of surface and color, like an altered manuscript where traces of earlier layers are noticeable. Elements of collage and drawing are embedded in layers of varnish, obscuring lines and shapes that whisper secrets of their past lives.
Although parts of the United States are digging themselves out from under piles of ice and snow — especially the Northeast — artists and galleries are still fighting for spring! There’s something beautiful blooming in Milwaukee…
Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is poised to open a brilliant and radiant display of new paintings by artist James Winn. It opens on March 18 and continues through April 15; the gallery will showcase a number of Winn’s beautiful floral compositions sure to warm one’s soul.
Strata & Cipher: Barbara Manger and Richard Taylor brings together two artists who work closely with color and layering, and have developed a process-oriented studio practice that transforms surprising source materials into metaphors for their experiences. Manger uses monoprinting techniques to create richly composed images that reference the textures of moving waterways, and Taylor collects found materials to inform his use of shape, color, and surface, creating sculptures reminiscent of weathered urban artifacts.
Claire Stigliani creatively expresses her ideas of femininity, sexuality, beauty, desire, and female empowerment through paintings, drawings, puppet theaters and videos. In timeless spaces filled with historical portraits, literature, and pop-culture references, Stigliani places fairy tale like characters often based on her own personal identity.
Kat visited Claire's new exhibit, Dream Within A Dream, on display now until June 30, 2017, at Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward.
Doomed love and fractured fairy tales dominate Claire Stigliani's vision. Her artwork is an imaginative reflection on longing and transgression.
Stigliani sees herself as an artist doomed to indirectly reflect her world, too, and her visions are mediated through layers of objects and mediums in the show. The exhibit features five distinct cycles, or series, each presented through a group of drawings, paintings, video and three-dimensional puppet sets.
When I finish a work, I have to distance myself from it. I never want to be the center of attention, and though I hope my work sells (running a gallery is expensive!), it’s because I want to do right by the people I’m working with. But my commitment is to my work, to the next painting I’m making, to this imaginary space that I have created for myself. So maybe it is a kind of sleeping that I’m after…a looking inward rather than outward at the world.
“For transgender people, there is a prevailing narrative that success entails trading one binary identity for another to pass as the opposite sex,” says Alex Orellana, third-year MFA student in the UW-Madison Art Department. “Despite not wanting to transition, I have my own health reasons to take hormones, and the effects of that process led me to create this body of work. The medicine makes me increasingly androgynous, and I want to share the experience of how that affects my social interactions.”
“The Foreseeable Past,” a solo exhibition by T. L Solien at Tory Folliard Gallery, is full of paintings with overtones of tradition, but intriguingly strange despite their friendly, vivid hues. They bring together collage and flat colors with subtle notes of disconcerting places. A companion exhibition by Swedish artist Erika Nordqvist follows suit, but with distinct variation.
10thirtysix™ is a monthly news magazine that highlights the eclectic mix of the fascinating people and gripping topics from throughout southeastern Wisconsin. In the episode that aired on May 19th, 2017 the program featured Tory Folliard Gallery artists, and husband and wife, Katie Musolff and Andy Fletcher.
The ruins of time and domesticated dreams currently greet visitors to the Tory Folliard Gallery. T.L. Solien and Erika Nordqvist straddle autobiographical narrative and novelistic fantasy in their concurrent solo exhibits.
Brilliant color combinations provide jolts of positive energy in works by Derrick Buisch. Vibrating lines morph into playful monsters and pop culture symbols in his abstract visual vocabulary. Buisch's paintings are meant to be visually engaging and potentially unnerving as he combines evocative imagery with moments of uneasy hilarity.
Laurie Hogin: “Implacable Demons and Better Angels” at Tory Folliard Gallery
Laurie Hogin’s mutated menageries are simultaneously extremely beautiful and intensely horrific. A bit more the former than the latter, though; this is all as if you took Edward Hicks’ The Peaceable Kingdom (1826) and added to it about 100 years of pesticides, radiation, inbreeding and ecosystem destruction—Hell never looked so gorgeous.
In his novel Barnaby Rudge, Charles Dickens wrote, “It is curious to imagine these people of the world, busy in thought, turning their eyes towards the countless spheres that shine above us, and making them reflect the only images their minds contain…So do the shadows of our own desires stand between us and our better angels, and thus their brightness is eclipsed.”