August art mixes emotions
“Rewoven,” the latest exhibition at 100State, creates a space for expression, exploration, dialogue and understanding. Featuring 21 local artists, the show delves into issues of gender identity, visibility, censorship and acceptance. From small black and white line drawings to bright, expansive paintings, the art on display is vibrant and often deeply personal.
Portraits are a theme that carries through “Rewoven,” from Christy Grace’s “Swatches,” in which a face features segments of color and pattern, to Loey Blue’s mixed media wall featuring paintings of individuals at tables, in a kitchen and at a restaurant.
“Feminine, trans and non-binary individuals are expected to give farm more of themselves in all spheres: from the personal to the professional, to the societal and cultural realms,” an exhibition description states.
The show, which runs through Sept. 1., allows artists to shape their own narratives and prompt conversations and better understanding from their own work and on their own terms.
Bold color takes an exuberant and more playful turn at Hatch Art House. There, ink on paper works by Puerto Rican-born and now Madison-based Monica Dalmau focus on birds.
More than a dozen pieces feature delightful birds, each carried out in a unique combination of color and pattern. Dalmau lines the birds up or arranges them in clusters, almost as if they were posing for a photo.
While these subjects are more whimsical than true-to-life, they’re influenced by birds Dalmau sees in the city.
“My drawings are inspired by the critters that live around my neighborhood,” she states. “I have developed a little bit of a fascination with the local birds.”
The show runs through Aug. 31.
Over at the Madison Public Library’s central branch, three exhibitions up through the end of the month pick up on observations, memories and experiences and explore them in interesting ways.
In “The ’70s, Projected,” Kandy Watson takes inspiration in images from her husband’s family captured at their farm and lake cottage. “Being the 1970s, everyone developed their photos as slides,” she writes.
To further the connections between the family, their memories and the places they made them, she projected the slides onto the exterior of their home. The show features photos she took of the experience.
“These were captured on a crisp March evening, no leafy branches or tall clematis to block the stark, white surfaces,” she states. “Not to mention, March is a good month for reflecting.”
While the photographs—such as an image a woman holding a child projected on one wall, while around the corner is regular siding or kids at a birthday party, the scene obscured in parts by bare branches or interrupted by a window—reveal memories unique to one family, the nostalgia translates to any viewer, and the original approach to revisiting memories appeals.
Her series “takes a deeper look into the catastrophe that lies been a memory and a photograph,” investigating how what were once utterly personal and intimate keepsakes eventually become documentations of strangers.
By taking old photographs and replacing human forms and faces with blank space, she establishes new relationships by upending the memories.
For instance, one work of a man and woman standing on a city sidewalk features a message hand-written on top of the white form of their bodies. “Paul and I taken in front of the ‘y’ on June 26, 1949,” it says. That bit of information along with lack of detail shown in the couple allows you to create your own ideas for their story.
And up on the third floor of the library, Brandon Norsted’s “Time Again” probes memories.
While fixing up an old Volkswagen, the artist made several trips to junk yards and found his attention drawn to discarded cars.
“I started looking at the cars and seeing people’s lives in them trapped in time,” he writes. He noticed the small personal objects left inside, from ketchup packets to grocery lists to hair ties and was intrigued by their “funny and sad stories.”