Weekend Art Date: The last shows of summerSeptember 1st, 2012 |
Ok, fine. It’s September. Even if the thermometer says 80 degrees — honey, it’s done. Summer is over. Bye bye.
And with it go some nifty shows at the Milwaukee Art Museum and Inova/Kenilworth. Lest the waning leisure of summer and its art leave you empty, take heart — exciting exhibitions are on the horizon at both of these institutions. But before we focus on the near future, carpe diem. Do catch these two summer shows before they go.
Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries, at MAM, is a charmer in no dainty way. These advertising images were meant to impress, to sell you the dream, whether it be a nightclub show, a bottle of liquor, or a bicycle. Whatever it may be, these artists very successfully negotiated that tricky leap over commercial sell-out and landed squarely on artistic achievement. Bravo, messieurs, and merci for papering the streets of Paris in such elegant, alluring fashion. Back in the day, people would snatch these posters straight from their advertising displays, and with good reason. Up through Sept. 9.
Closer in time and place to contemporary life is the retrospective exhibition of work by Michelle Grabner at UWM’s Inova/Kenilworth 2155 N. Prospect Ave. Grabner is not an unfamiliar artist to Milwaukee audiences, and this selection, curated by Green Gallery director John Riepenhoff, is a vibrant, quirky passage though various motifs in Grabner’s oeuvre of the past 20 years. The large, spiraling, circular paintings are there, hypnotic as ever, as are unexpected football photographs with motion blurs that suggest both the rush of action and the onset of a concussion. Even art fans allergic to sports can get into these. A number of short films augment the exhibition, and these are not to be missed from this self-described middle-aged, mid-career, midsize car driving Midwestern artist. Grabner is pithy, direct, and more than a little cheeky in her collaborations and solo work. Up through Sept. 23.