The A.V. Club’s life-altering guide to spring Gallery Night
More Now Hanging
Let’s be honest: there’s only so much one can handle of winter, dark days, and all-around dismal gloom. So, as Milwaukee preps itself for the transformative properties only spring can bring, The A.V. Club presents its guide of Gallery Night (April 19-20) gigs that allow you to escape—even if just mentally—and remind you that place, time, and personality can always be re-imagined. Avant-garde diversions of fantasy, costumed imagination, and superhero-style alter egos—this is your chance to digress from the confines of reality. Regardless of fact or fiction, these Gallery Night artists visualize exactly what could, should, and can be.
• Wisconsin native Jon Schueler served in World War II only to return home with an artistic escapism all his own, rendering some of the most acclaimed abstract expressionism and avant-garde works of his day. Schueler’s show at the Dean Jensen Gallery, “Second Coming,” showcases a series of paintings created while in Scotland in the ’70s. Schueler, who died in 1992, has a second coming of sorts with his second showing at the Dean Jensen Gallery this Friday, 6-9 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Put to rest your lofty aspirations for a double life with a visit to the Iron Horse Hotel and Jessica Kaminski’s “Milwaukee’s Alter Egos,” a series of photographs capturing the character of local men transported by place and time to alter-ego status. Kaminski’s exhibition adds a cinematic flair to everyday Milwaukee streets, transforming industrial corners into Superman landing grounds, and parks into theatrical backdrops. On view from 5 p.m. to midnight.
• “Trace” takes on the invariably stable yet constantly changing complexities of our physical environments. Artists Andy Mattern, Leigh Merrill, and Ravel Romaniko explore historical changes of place and call into question varying definitions of space, existence, and culture. Their show is on display at Greymatter Gallery Friday 5-9 p.m., and Saturday 12-4 p.m.
• What many have only imagined, artists Shana McCaw and Brent Budsberg have done with “The Vanishing Point.” Inspired by respective residency programs in Wendover, Utah and Death Valley, McCaw and Budsberg re-imagine themselves, from head to toe, as pioneers of the 19th century. A series of photographs reveal the duo’s sculpture and performance art—taking on roles as Midwestern farmers attempting to cultivate the harsh, barren landscape of the American West. Part dramatic, part cinematic, this series alludes to both the internal struggle for success as well as the external struggle to survive in unrelenting conditions. On display Friday from 12-9 p.m. and Saturday from 12-5 p.m. at the Portrait Society Gallery.
• Move from intellectual transformations to physical adaptations as you check out Cassandra Smith’s newest work, “Out Of The Wild,” at Sky High Gallery. Scavenging and salvaging original hatchets and deer antlers, Smith plays on the dichotomies of the natural and synthetic, geometric and indiscriminate, as she instills found objects with self-revealing design. Friday, 6-10 p.m.
• UWM’s Peck School of the Arts takes location and culture to heart as students re-imagine the East Side’s Avant Garde Coffeehouse of the ’60s. Employing photography, ephemera, video, sound, and live music performance, the show embodies the artists, performers, and regulars who dotted the coffeehouse’s changing scene for years. Find the show at the INOVA Gallery through May 12, Friday 5-9 p.m., Saturday 12-5p.m.
• “Re[f]use: Transforming the Landscape” makes visible a poignant understanding of a world we very rarely see up close. Photographer Gina Dabrowski unveils the big business of trash as she examines the shift (an evolution or devolution) in landfills since the ’70s. Cardinal Stritch University’s Northwestern Mutual Art Gallery show runs through April 19.