MUSEUM OF WISCONSIN ART PRESENTS DOOR COUNTY ARTIST CRAIG BLIETZ
The Herd is on the Move to MOWA
The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition, Craig Blietz: Herd, which features a new body of work of twenty-three large-scale paintings that depict the artist’s beloved cows. The exhibition will open with a party on Saturday, October 13 and will provide the opportunity to meet the artist.
Created specifically for MOWA’s white-cube gallery, Blietz’sheroic cow parade is the perfect marriage between barnyard chic and SoHo hip. Blietz places his impeccably drawn cows front and center, allowing them to float in a depthless background of muted agrarian symbols, such as sunflowers, corn stalks, and barns. The abstract designs of his cowhides read like boldly patterned canvases within canvases.
The resulting scenes—part Barbizon School, part psychedelic, part Robert Motherwell—are a unique contribution to American art and deserve attention beyond the Midwest.
“My imagery is not about anywhere in particular, it is about everywhere in general, relating specifically torural agriculture throughout the broader American landscape.” said artist Craig Blietz. “Whether viewing froma distance or working in the industry, the agrarian landscape forms the basis of our collective sense of Americana. My work stirs our associations with agrarian place through the use of sign, symbol, and graphic suggestion. Cattle, the leading emblem of agriculture, are given prominence in the work. Surrounding the cattle to provide support narrative are crop graphics, irrigation patterns, renderings of farm implements and architecture as well as agricultural land appropriation references. Abstracted forms, created through the use of tone, texture, and color, evoke memories and feelings that together attach meaning to place.”
Craig Blietz lives and works in Sister Bay, Door County, located in the state’s lush northeastern peninsulawhere farms are abundant and the spotted patterns of cows on hillsides are a ubiquitous sight. Local Door County farmers know the painter well and readily welcome him into their barnyards. Not only can Blietz effortlessly distinguish one animal from the next, but he can easily recite the names of his favorite models Ginger, Lady, and Jerry, a Braham bull, among them. Much like cherished photographs of lost loved ones, more than a few paintings have lingered in his home after his muses passed on or went to petting zoos. Sentimentality aside, Blietz is far from a conventional animal or landscape painter. He is well aware of the long history of cow painters (both in the US and Europe), but he is unconcerned with precedent or art-historical dissertations when it comes to his own work.
CRAIG BLIETZ: HERD
On View: October 13–January 13, 2018 Museum of Wisconsin Art | Hyde Gallery Free with Membership | Walk-ins Welcome
FALL EXHIBITIONS OPENING PARTY
Saturday, October 13 | 2:00–5:00
Celebrate the opening of Craig Blietz: Herd and Corey Fells: 100 Womxn Project. Meet the artists and enjoy art making, live music, light bites, and a cash bar.
Free with Membership | Walk-ins Welcome
Saturday, November 3 | 2:00–3:00
Craig Blietz talks cattle, culture, and craft.Free with Membership | Walk-ins Welcome
CONVERSATIONS WITH CRAIG
Saturday, December 1 | Anytime from 2:00–5:00
Come for the Champagne Shopping Party in the MOWA Shop and stay for casual conversations with Door County artist Craig Blietz.
Free with Membership | Walk-ins Welcome
DRAWING CATTLE WITH CRAIG BLIETZ
Saturday, December 8 | 10:30–3:00
Craig Blietz will teach you techniques that influence the construction of a convincing drawing.Register Online | $80 with Membership
Support for 2018 exhibitions is generously provided by James and Karen Hyde, Cynthia and Tom LaConte, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Pick Heaters, Wisconsin Arts Board, and Julie and John Dedrick.
Jessica Wildes, 262-247-2266, email@example.com
The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) explores the art and culture of Wisconsin. Founded in 1961, MOWA is one of the top museums of regional art in the United States, with over 5,000 works of contemporary and historic art by more than 350 artists. Through rotating exhibitions and educational programs, MOWA provides an innovative forum for the culturally engaged.
In 2013, MOWA opened its new 32,000-square-foot facility in downtown West Bend. The building, the first museum commission by acclaimed architect Jim Shields of HGA Architects, is situated along the west bend ofthe Milwaukee River on a triangular plot of land that inspired the facility’s modern wedge shape. An expansivewall of windows follows the curve of the river bank and minimizes the boundaries between interior and exterior. The museum houses five permanent collection galleries, three temporary exhibition spaces, and two classrooms as well as visible art storage, a shop, and a large atrium for public events.