Some Time Later (by Clairan Ferrono)

photo 4

E Hesse


Some time ago I posted about an art filled trip I’d taken to Wisconsin.  This post was meant to follow shortly thereafter, but life intervened.  Finally, we move on to the Milwaukee museum of art. I had limited time, so I quickly determined to see only the modern art (which is what I am most interested in).  One room was closed, which was a disappointment, but that allowed me to spend more time with each piece that intrigued me.

L Carroll

L Carroll Grey Sleeping Painting 2010-12

Carroll detail Carroll detail 2


I was taken by this rough mixed media piece by Lawrence Carroll, an artist I’d never seen before:  Of course, the stitching drew me in! This piece is made of wax and canvas on wood.


G. O’Keeffe

There was a room of O’Keeffes, but I found none very interesting except for this small still life.  The vegetables seem to me to have her particular sensuality, and I like how they are clearly situated in the white bowl? on the white cloth? which is narrowly delineated at the top of the painting.

De Witt detailDeWitt detail

S. LeWitt Wall Drawing #88

This piece by Sol LeWitt was drawn on an entire wall of the museum in pencil.

Sol de Witt

The work was conceived by de Witt specifically for the Milwaukee Museum of Art, but not executed by him.  He gave instructions (above) that  6″ grids should be drawn to cover the wall and that freehand lines (looking very much like quilting!) should be drawn inside each square.  He further instructed that the inside of the wall have blue and yellow lines, but this was not done.  He clearly believed that “the hand of the artist” was not essential, only the idea.  However, I wonder what the work would have looked like if he himself had drawn all the lines.

Joan Mitchell

J. Mitchell Untitled 1969

I spent most of my time with the abstract expressionists (no surprise here!).  I like the movement around the dark clotted enter of this piece by Joan Mitchell. I also like the texture of the thick paint.

Mitchell detail



Rothko Green Red Blue 1955

This is not one of the best Rothkos, but his work is always worth looking at to my mind.


H Hoffman Dew and Dusk 1957

Hans Hoffman was the teacher of the early abstract expressionists and a master of color.  His work is so exuberant I couldn’t help smiling the entire time I was looking at it. The multiple colors are so saturated  that there is no hint of the “rainbow” effect.

Hoffman detail




Diebenkorn 2

R Diebenkorn OCEAN PARK #88 1974

The Diebenkorn was too large for me to get a full shot of, and again, it’s not his best work, but still quite lovely melting soft soothing sea colors kept from being too sweet by some dark and sharp lines of color containing them. I love the blurred edges as well.

As it turned out, I had 15 minutes extra which I spent just sitting in a big comfy chair, looking out a window at a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan.  In addition, it is worth a trip to this museum for the building itself designed by Saarinen. It has wings which are opened and closed at specific times of day.

You can get an app for your phone showing different views of the wings opening and closing.


8 Responses to “Some Time Later (by Clairan Ferrono)”

  1. 1 snicklefritzin43 August 4, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Thanks Clairan for a great visit to see works that, for the most part, were created by folks with whom I am not familiar. The “O’Keeffe” you selected to photo is quite wonderful, one artist about whom I have done much reading and have seen exhibitions of her work and been to her museum in New Mexico and have visited Abiqui and the Ghost Ranch, and while staying at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, to stand and look out the window at the cross painted from that very spot by O’Keeffe. Seeing this still life has me now wanting to spend more time looking at the still life paintings that are not the “usual” choices in publications.
    New artists to explore…what a treat. Many thanks for your descriptions and explorations in the MAM of work that will give me new avenues to study. Thank you very much for taking us on the museum visit with you..

  2. 3 olganorris July 29, 2014 at 12:58 am

    Clairan, thank you for this post. I have enjoyed looking up the work of Lawrence Carroll, of whom I had not heard either. His work seems to be the amalgam of others’, but attractive in its own right nonetheless. Interesting that like Twombley he has taken to living in Italy.

    I also enjoyed looking up Milwaukee’s collection of Georgia O’Keeffes. I love the breadth of her work, and was delighted to see some early pieces there. It was interesting also to see her apples so soon after the Cezanne ones!

    The Sol LeWitt piece I think should be described as a collaborative work of art, not least because his instructions leave so much open to the folks doing the drawing. It is interesting that he gives permission at the end to use as many colours and lines as desired, simply specifying that there be at least one line in each square. Perhaps the participants got more out of making the work than the onlookers did? In cases like these I’d love to know how each of the manifestations differs, and why.

    The Diebenkorn reminded me that it is a long time since I had a good look at his work. I must put him on my list for revisiting. I see that MAM has a lovely drawing too, although not on show at present. I do love his abstracts, but I also like his figurative work.

    • 4 clairan July 29, 2014 at 4:39 am

      I think most of us would agree that work conceived changes as it is made. For this reason alone I largely reject Le Witt’s philosophy.

      BTW I posted about Diebenkorn here several years ago. One of my favorites

  3. 5 Sheila Barnes July 28, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Regarding the LeWitt. I am tempted to say, what a cop out! It looks like dozens of exercises I’ve seen for line drawing/mark making and yes, quilting (Dijanne Cevaal’s 72 Ways Not To Stipple book comes to mind). Do I like it and am I intrigued by it? Yes and yes! The heck with LeWitt – I’d rather have whoever executed it get some credit. This is an on-going issue with me – art that is not actually executed by the artist but merely directed by him/her. Personal bias that I’m trying to get over, or at least understand. But as you see, I tend to go into a rant instead. 😉

  4. 6 meta July 28, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    It looks like the work of Eva Hesse.

  5. 7 Karen Goetzinger July 28, 2014 at 5:00 am

    Hi Clairan, Thanks for the photos from the MAM collection. Whenever I am in Milwaukee I try to get there. Just last week I went to see the Kandinsky exhibition. Loved it. BTW The stunning addition to the museum was designed by Santiago Calatrava.

  6. 8 olganorris July 28, 2014 at 1:51 am

    In haste, will comment in more depth later. Could your first photo be an Eva Hesse? Perhaps this one:

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