Milwaukee Art Museum Chazen Museum of Art
Madison, WI

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Chazen Museum of Art
800 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706


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Lynne Clibanoff | Inside Out

Mirror, Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar, from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation

Suzanne Caporael: The Nature of Things


Lynne Clibanoff | Inside Out
June 22 – September 4, 2021

Lynne Clibanoff (b. 1944, Philadelphia, PA) received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Philadelphia College of Art in 1967, where she had the good fortune to study sculpture with Natalie Charkow and printmaking with Jerome Kaplan. Clibanoff has been making prints (serigraphs and etchings), photographs (gelatin silver prints) and sculpture (paper and wood constructions) for more than 50 years. Much of this work has been shown nationally in gallery and museum exhibitions, including a 2003 25-year retrospective here at the Art Museum in Myrtle Beach.

Inside Out features a selection of 17 paper-and-wood constructions of interior spaces in which Clibanoff has lived, worked, studied and admired, from Philadelphia to Ireland and Italy. A Ballinglen Arts Foundation Fellowship enabled Clibanoff to work for several months in 2004 and again in 2006 in Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland, where she found inspiration in the buildings designed by Peter Maxwell, the foundation’s co-founder. It was from drawings made since 2004 – many of which were begun during her Ballinglen Fellowship – that the artist’s three-dimensional work evolved. These “intimately scaled, vacant interiors are intended to convey the complexity and mystery of their subjects,” remarks Clibanoff. In addition to sculpture, Inside Out includes two large-scale drawings that evolved into 3D constructions, as well as 13 drawn portraits of the artist’s family and friends wearing pandemic masks hand-made by Clibanoff, which are meant to document the experience of this challenging time. Collectively, the work invites viewers to reflect on the past unprecedented year during which people from all over the world have endured life confined to their homes and been confronted with faces protected and disguised by face coverings. It is perhaps the minimalism and emptiness of the 3D spaces Clibanoff has created combined with the partially revealed faces in her portraits that create a sense of tension and uncertainty to which we can all relate. And yet, beneath it all is an incredible sense of beauty, order, care and curiosity for viewers to both enjoy and explore.

Clibanoff’s work is represented in many public collections, including the Library of Congress, Museum of Modern Art, NYC, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Smith College Museum of Art and Yale University Art Gallery.

'Mirror, Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar, from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation
June 5 through Aug. 8, 2021

Exhibition of Powerful Prints of American Artist Alison Saar Opens this June at Chazen Museum of Art

A profile of the artist's innovations in the print medium showcases her critical engagement with topics surrounding cultural identity and stereotypes

A retrospective of the vital and articulate prints of prominent American artist Alison Saar (born 1956) underscores her persistent dialogue with some of the most urgent issues of our time, including race, gender and spirituality. Mirror, Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar, from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation features nearly 40 works from the artist's robust body of printmaking over the last 35 years, as well as 5 sculptures, drawn from a renowned private collection. The exhibition will be on view at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin, June 5 through Aug. 8, 2021. The Chazen recently acquired nine prints by Saar, which are represented in the Chazen collection. In all, the Chazen holds 15 prints and one sculpture by the artist.

Mirror, Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar, from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation was organized by the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

"Alison Saar's decades-long explorations of the African American experience as filtered through her personal symbolism connect to today's essential conversations around racial reckoning and cultural belonging," said Amy Gilman, director of the Chazen. "The museum believes this visionary work is crucial viewing for all of our diverse communities and audiences."

Saar, who is based in Los Angeles, where she was born and raised, is known for her incisive sculptures, multimedia installations and printmaking that reflect a broad range of creative influences, including ancient Greek and African forms and American folk art. In all of Saar's wide-ranging work the artist has unflinchingly tackled complex personal and political subject matter with an eye towards accessibility and meaningful exchange.

Mirror, Mirror spotlights Saar's innovation and versatility in both printmaking and sculpture, demonstrating the artist's use of a variety of techniques and materials – lithography, etching, woodblock prints, found objects and installation work. Her inventive styles and strategies in one medium often merge unconventionally and tangibly overlap with the other, when for example printing on layers of used fabrics such as vintage handkerchiefs and antique sugar sacks, or when carved woodblock prints parallel her approach to sculptural objects in wood.

The exhibition's imagery focuses predominantly on solitary women in various poses reminiscent of historical African deities and ancient Greek statuary. In many of Saar's works, she charts the tragic history of slavery in America, but her figures telegraph defiance and strength. Other recurring motifs are jazz, gender roles and desire. Among the exhibition's highlights are the prints Sweeping Beauty (1997), Washtub Blues (2000), Cotton Eater (2014) and Black Bottom Stomp (2017) and the sculptures Mirror, Mirror (Mulata Seeking Inner Negress) (2006) and White Guise (2018).

About Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation
At age 14, Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art from his mother's Portland, Oregon, contemporary art gallery, beginning a lifelong avocation as collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. Today, the collection exceeds 19,000 works and includes many of today's most important contemporary artists. It has grown to be the country's largest private print collection. He and his Family Foundation generously lend work from the collections to qualified institutions, with over 110 exhibitions to date and works exhibited at over 150 museums. For more information about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit jordanschnitzer.org.

Suzanne Caporael: The Nature of Things
Feb. 23-Sept. 12, 2021
Admission: Free

Content: American artist Suzanne Caporael (b. 1949) is inspired by the natural world. Suzanne Caporael: The Nature of Things features nearly 70 artworks, spanning three decades, drawn from the Chazen's permanent collection. The exhibition will be on view in the Pleasant T. Rowland Gallery and will include paintings as well as prints created at UW­–Madison's Tandem Press. The Nature of Things will present Caporael's works thematically rather than chronologically. With five main sections, the exhibition will give viewers insights into her visual explorations of color and chemical structure, flora and fauna, water and ice, the night sky, and perception and memory.

Significance: Caporael often works in series, creating groups of paintings clustered around one topic, such as the Periodic Table of Elements, and using her printmaking practice to deepen her exploration of subjects that she is currently painting. She typically makes prints in the middle of what she calls a "learning project" or painting campaign, when she is not yet finished resolving an image. All the prints included in this exhibition were published by the UW–Madison's Tandem Press, where Caporael has worked closely with master printers to translate her compositions from one medium to another. The Chazen Museum of Art serves as the official repository of the Tandem Press archive, from which these prints are drawn.

About the Artist: Suzanne Caporael (b. 1949), who received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2020, was born in New York. Her father, a civil engineer, moved the family around the United States until they settled in California in the mid-1960s. Caporael earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She has been a visiting professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara and the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2009, she was an artist-in-residence at the Joseph and Anni Albers Foundation in Connecticut. Her work is in numerous public and private collections including The Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; among others.

The exhibition was made possible with support from the Anonymous Fund.

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