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 Grey Sleeping Painting 2010-12
I was taken by this rough mixed media piece by Lawrence Carroll, an artist I’d never seen before: https://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Carroll Of course, the stitching drew me in! This piece is made of wax and canvas on wood.
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.
S. LeWitt Wall Drawing #88
This piece by Sol LeWitt was drawn on an entire wall of the museum in pencil.
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.
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.
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.
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. www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFQQJIUTv9M
You can get an app for your phone showing different views of the wings opening and closing.