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Thursday, July 10, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 66.0° F  Fair
The Daily

ART

James Watrous Gallery's Systems for Abstraction asks thorny questions about perception

The familiar shapes of people, buildings and plants help viewers form an instant connection with many figurative works of art. Abstract pieces often engage observers more slowly, helping them examine perceptions that lie beyond the realm of sight. Featuring works by Wisconsin artists Jill Olm, Beth Racette and Leslie Vansen, the Systems for Abstraction exhibit at James Watrous Gallery (through Aug. 25) dares visitors to ponder things they can't quite see or quantify, from physical experiences to ever-changing relationships. >More
 Upstart art: Several new groups want to strengthen Madison's creative economy

From the Capitol to North 6th Street, East Washington Avenue is transforming. There's a fresh crop of apartments, buzz about a new business incubator, and an onslaught of road construction. The most exciting addition, however, isn't a fresh layer of pavement. An art movement seems to be brewing, yet it's so far underground that many locals can't see it. >More
 Small spaces, big ideas: Little Galleries arrives on Monroe Street

Last Friday a new art gallery opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monroe Street. The building's sleek black lines and glass windows blend in with the surrounding architecture, and its first exhibit is attracting plenty of foot traffic. Pretty good for a gallery with less than three square feet of space. >More
 Promising visual artists work under the radar in Madison

At first glance, Madison seems like a fertile environment for visual artists. We have two quality museums: the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the UW's Chazen Museum of Art. We also have a smattering of galleries, a top-ranked printmaking program with award-winning alumni, and several residents who show and sell work in major cities. But do these elements add up to a flourishing scene for drawing, painting, photography or sculpture? >More
 Gifts of the Ebb Tide highlights some of the Chazen Museum's finest Japanese prints

Every museum collection has its particular strengths. Local lovers of Japanese prints " or elegant design in general " are lucky that the UW Chazen Museum of Art has significant holdings of high-quality prints. The museum is showing off a recent purchase and some long-held prints in the exquisite "Gifts of the Ebb Tide: The Sea in Japanese Prints," (through Sept. 1). >More
 Michael Lucero's suspended sculptures give life to the inanimate at the Chazen Museum

These days Michael Lucero is known for his clay sculptures, but he got his start building human-like figures from old wooden crates in the 1970s. The oversize works in his installation at the Chazen Museum of Art (through Aug. 18) point to a larger-than-life imagination and a big interest in ancient cultures. >More
 Grace Chosy Gallery to close in August

The face of Monroe Street is changing quickly, and so are the faces inside its establishments. Grace Chosy Gallery will close its doors on Saturday, August 10 as director Karin Ketarkus prepares to retire. >More
 Leslie Smith III's paintings explore trauma through abstraction at MMoCA

Leslie Smith III's new painting exhibition at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (through Sept. 1) is called "I Dream Too Much," but it's clear that the UW-Madison art instructor isn't asleep in the traditional sense. Like many of his paintings, these recently created works use abstract imagery to explore anguish, anxiety and other byproducts of trauma. >More
 Lisa Frank and Nova Czarnecki reanimate ailing ecosystems in new works at James Watrous Gallery

Wisconsin artists Lisa Frank and Nova Czarnecki share an interest in the natural world's frailty. Their side-by-side solo exhibitions at the Wisconsin Academy's James Watrous Gallery (through June 30) explore this theme with digital photography and visionary painting. >More
 MMoCA's Focal Points photography show examines American life from many angles

American faces and places are the heart of the newest Madison Museum of Contemporary Art show, Focal Points: American Photography Since 1950 (through Sept. 1). On display are more than 100 works from the museum's permanent collection. Taken collectively, they're an intriguing record of our country over the last half-century or so. >More
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