2017 Day Trip: Milwaukee, Wisconsin / Sculpture Milwaukee: Art Unleashed

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Sculpture Milwaukee: Art Unleashed

June 1, 2017 to October 22, 2017.

Location: Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee.
From O’Donnell Park to 6th Street, along Wisconsin Avenue.

22 sculptures from 21 artists all over the world.

Sculpture Milwaukee is an initiative founded by Steve Marcus.

Curated by Russell Bowman, former director of the Milwaukee Art Museum (1985–2002).

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Shoreline Repast - by Paul Druecke

Shoreline Repast – by Paul Druecke

 

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Reina Mariana - by Manola Valdes

Reina Mariana – by Manola Valdes

 

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Reina Mariana – by Manola Valdes
2005 / Bronze / 98 ½ x 78 ¾ x 47 ¼ inches.

Reina Mariana (Queen Mariana) is part of Valdés’s most famous series of sculptures. It is based on Spanish artist Diego Velázquez’s Queen Mariana (1652-1653), a portrait of the second wife of Felipe IV. Velázquez was the chronicler of court life for the King and his family, capturing them at a time when Spain’s imperial power stretched across the globe. The voluminous and starched costume was worn by the regal Spanish aristocracy.

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Immigrant Family - by Tom Otterness.

Immigrant Family – by Tom Otterness.

 

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Immigrant Family – by Tom Otterness.
2007 / Bronze / 129 x 121 x 108 inches.

The sculpture honors a fundamental truth about the growth in population in North America. This history is vibrantly alive in Milwaukee.

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The Heart Called after the Flood - by Jim Dine.

The Heart Called after the Flood – by Jim Dine.

 

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The Heart Called after the Flood – by Jim Dine
2011 / Bronze / 89 x 78 x 36 inches.

Jim Dine has been using images of hearts to express a range of emotional and symbolic ideas for nearly 40 years. Of the symbols that play a recurring role in his theater of life—tools from his studio, the Venus de Milo statue, the heart is perhaps the most explicit symbol. The sculpture evoking in the viewer a chance to relax our always-critical minds and, instead, think with our hearts.

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Rose #2- by Will Ryman

Rose #2- by Will Ryman

 

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Rose #2- by Will Ryman
2011 / Painted aluminum / 74 ¼ x 100 x 57 inches.

Rose has ancient and contradictory associations in Western culture, representing purity as well as passion and fertility, life as well as death. The gigantic glossy flower attracts us to its pretty throne—just watch out for its huge, sharp thorns. Ryman refers to the romantic history of the rose while slyly commenting on how it is used to sell the products of romance.

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Mixed Feelings - by Tony Cragg.

Mixed Feelings – by Tony Cragg.

 

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Mixed Feelings – by Tony Cragg
2010 / Bronze / 216 1/2 x 92 7/8 x 88 3/16 inches.

The sculpture is formed by two intertwining bronze towers, pushing together and pulling apart as they spiral towards the sky. As the viewer circles the piece, human profiles come into and out of focus. Each tower of feeling exerts a gravitational pull on the other, creating a unique, pulsating form of energy.

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Big Piney - by Deborah Butterfield

Big Piney – by Deborah Butterfield

 

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Big Piney – by Deborah Butterfield.
2016 / Cast bronze with patina / 93 x 112 x 50 inches.

The presence of this animal, Big Piney, in the urban environment of downtown Milwaukee throws into relief the rub between nature and culture. While we have done our utmost to control the hard surfaces in our cities, nature is always present. Butterfield mirrors the temporality of life when using sticks and branches to create her works; but in her bronze statues, like Big Piney, she is able to preserve the majesty of these animals, and creates a permanent, and more peaceful, memorial for horses and their influence in the development of civilizations.

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Pink Lady [for Asha] - by Lynda Benglis

Pink Lady [for Asha] – by Lynda Benglis

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Pink Lady [for Asha] – by Lynda Benglis
2013 / Cast pigmented polyurethane / 95 x 30 x 27 inches.

Benglis’s pink fountain honors Asha Sarabhai, sister-in-law of Benglis’ deceased partner Anand Sarabhai. It was Anand Sarabhai who first invited the artist to work at the Sarabhai’s family home in India in 1979, where Benglis has continued to work ever since.

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Mood Sculpture - by Tony Tasset.

Mood Sculpture – by Tony Tasset.

 

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Mood Sculpture – by Tony Tasset
2017 / Fiberglass, paint / 240 x 48 inches diameter.

In his totemic Mood Sculpture, Tasset draws from the cheerful smiley faces invented in 1963—the original American emoji—and shows the rainbow range of moods that afflict our days, from the sour grape face at the bottom to the Sunny Delight yellow face on top. His cheery, childlike colors remind us of how radical new ideas of the 1960s have today been packaged into consumer products.

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Holla - by Chakaia Booker

Holla – by Chakaia Booker

 

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Holla – by Chakaia Booker
2008 / rubber tires, stainless steel / 96 x 60 x 48 inches.

Holla may also be vernacular shorthand for “holler,” the frame being a site for call-and-response, the artist’s invitation for us to interact with our world. Booker has transformed a functional object and repurposed it, inviting us to examine the very economy that extracts rubber from its natural state to support our lifestyle.

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Untitled - by Michelle Grabner

Untitled – by Michelle Grabner

 

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Untitled – by Michelle Grabner
2017 / Bronze / 72 ½ x 25 ½ x 4 inches.

Grabner elevates hand-made, hand-me-down fabrics to fine art. In her process of translating soft fibers into durable material, she creates a modern-day version of the marble cloaks of classic Greek gods and goddesses. Grabner reminds us to honor the art works that populate our everyday lives.

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S2 - by Santiago Clatrava

S2 – by Santiago Calatrava

 

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S2 – by Santiago Calatrava
2015 / painted, welded plate aluminum and stainless steel. / 197 x 179 x 18 inches.

S2 recalls both the unfurling, dangerous tail of a scorpion and the internal chamber of a nautilus shell in an expressive, gravity-defying work. Wands of steel are held in compression by threads of metal. The energy of this work is palpable—as anyone who has ever held an elastic band in tension knows, that energy has to be used wisely.

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Untitled - by Joel Shapiro.

Untitled – by Joel Shapiro.

 

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Untitled – by Joel Shapiro
1985-86 / Bronze / 168 x145 x 130 inches.

In Untitled, from the mid-1980s, Shapiro continues to suggest contradictory ideas, stability and collapse, of defying gravity by flying and also of falling. Shapiro combines these opposite feelings by having elements jut awkwardly beyond the normal plane of a real body. By suggesting a body suspended in air, Shapiro’s figure escapes the confines of architecture. The artist rarely uses titles in his work, preferring instead that it is the forms of his sculptures, drawings and paintings that become their own language.

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Safety Cones - by Dennis Oppenheim

Safety Cones – by Dennis Oppenheim

 

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Safety Cones – by Dennis Oppenheim
2017 / Blaze cast fiberglass, steel, acrylic / 216 x 86 x 86 inches.

This work harkens back to Oppenheim’s earliest works, made when he first moved to New York in 1966, where he simply marked off spaces in the city with engineer’s stakes, creating zones of art, or curiosity, or danger. Oppenheim’s Safety Cones remind us that humans continually change their environment, often losing what is poetic and historical about our place on this land.

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Arrow Sculpture - by Tony Tasset.

Arrow Sculpture – by Tony Tasset.

 

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Arrow Sculpture – by Tony Tasset
2016 / Car paint, aluminum / 117 x 195 x 39 inches.

Tasset’s Arrow Sculpture points to American obsession with rankings, like the “10 Best Lists” that are sprinkled across the media landscape at the end of every year. As an artist in an enormously hierarchical, competitive art world, Tasset knows all too well that “one day you’re in, next day you’re out,” to paraphrase Heidi Klum of Project Runway.

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Plant - by Donald Baechler

Plant – by Donald Baechler

 

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Plant – by Donald Baechler
2003 / Bronze / 85 x 67½ x 12 inches.

Plant, 2003, is cast with Baechler’s familiar jumpy lines and roughed up surface, as if the petals are trembling in the wind. Yet there is a dark side to this cheery little work. Baechler calls his series of black tulip paintings “funereal.” Indeed, as any gardener knows, we must kill a flower to capture and contain it. As in his other work, Baechler creates a cheerful smile for a somber topic.

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Tower - by Sol LeWitt

Tower – by Sol LeWitt

 

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Tower – by Sol LeWitt
1996 / Concrete blocks / 225 x 112 x 112 inches.

In Tower (Gubbio), commissioned for the XXIII Biennale in Gubbio, Italy, LeWitt has removed his own artistic hand by using concrete blocks, a coarse building material that is both part of our modern urban environment but also was a materials used by the Romans to construct their cities. There is not a functional purpose to LeWitt’s tower as it inches towards the sky in mathematically proscribed increments.

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Vortex - by Saint Clair Cemin

Vortex – by Saint Clair Cemin

 

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Vortex – by Saint Clair Cemin
2008 / Hammered stainless steel / 472 ½ x 122 x 122 inches.

Cemin’s Vortex is a shiny tornado of energy turned upside down. Its mirrored surfaces reflect the street life around it.

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Angled Tangle - by Jessica Stockholder.

Angled Tangle – by Jessica Stockholder.

 

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Angled Tangle – by Jessica Stockholder
2014 / steel, aluminum, auto paint, plastic bollards, wood chips /480 x 240 x 144 inches.

Angled Tangle uses materials typically found in the street—the bollards and curbs that control how we navigate our channels of travel. She tops her playful maze with a tangle of bright lights, giving us a new outdoor room in which we can romp. Stockholder reclaims public spaces away from the rational calculations of urban planners, and restores a sense of cheer for adults as we navigate the demands of daily life—suggesting that play should be part of our adult world.

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Zach's Tower - by John Henry.

Zach’s Tower – by John Henry.

 

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Zach’s Tower – by John Henry
2007 / Painted steel /312 x 168 x 144 inches.

In Zach’s Tower, Henry balances delicate forms and buoyant lines against strong, leaden anchors. Henry’s work seems vibrant and expressionistic against 100 years of architectural history found in Milwaukee’s downtown, enlivening the solidity of buildings with the inventive visual experiments of the artist.

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Summer - by Alison Saar

Summer – by Alison Saar

 

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Summer – by Alison Saar
2011 / Bronze / 96 x 28 x 30 inches.

In Summer, a woman in simple dress holds her round belly, which is alive with small fireflies of light. Saar’s figure is every woman, bringing forth new life, as well as shaman, protecting the fragile spark of life that ensures the continuity of civilizations. Summer is based on Saar’s interest in African traditions, like Nkisi, (or “power figure”) where spirits inhabit objects.

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Legend of the White Snake - by Jason S Yi.

Legend of the White Snake – by Jason S Yi.

 

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Legend of the White Snake – by Jason S Yi
2010 / PVC tubes, connectors / 144 x 264 x 108 inches.

Yi chose the Legend of the White Snake after his first trip to China, and in recognition of how the story permutated over centuries as it spread from China to other countries in East Asia. The Legend of the White Snake is an ancient Chinese folk tale dating to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 C.E.). The White Snake yearned to join human society so she took the form of a woman and married a scholar. Because snakes are considered evil in Chinese culture, a monk imprisoned Madam Snake—it is her cage that Yi evokes in his tangled construction.

 

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