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Milwaukee Art Museum Chazen Museum of Art
Madison, WI
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Chazen Museum of Art
800 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
608.263.2246
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www.chazen.wisc.edu

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Exhibitions

Un/Seen: The Alchemy of Fixing Shadows

Southern Rites

Warrington Colescott: Wisconsin Master


Events

Un/Seen: The Alchemy of Fixing Shadows
February 15 - April 14, 2019
Leslie and Johanna Garfield Galleries

The earliest photographic processes were simultaneously science, art, and magic. This new, strange alchemy concealed as much as it revealed, light and silver halide combining, developing, fixing with a swirl of chemical across paper, tin, glass. Historic photographs allowed for new ways of seeing yet kept other things in the dark. Moments, while made visible, were always already echoes of the thing itself, dealing in snapshots of reality that were never quite reality. And while the visible is very much at play, it’s what is rendered invisible—the process—that lurks in the shadows of the end product. The toxic chemicals and rituals photographers employed, happenings outside of camera lenses’ carefully structured views, and the larger social and cultural patterns that shaped the production of images are often hidden and much harder to see. Nineteenth-century photographic and proto-photographic processes—silhouettes, daguerreotypes, tintypes, ambrotypes and cyanotypes—allowed for innovative ways of presenting and shaping images of the world, a toxic labor that left a great deal unseen. Today, these practices offer contemporary artists new tools for telling stories about the ways past and present intersect—about bodies, desires, communities in the shadows, striving to be seen—revealing hidden patterns in the process.

This exhibition was curated by students in AH506/806 Introduction to Museum Studies: Theory & Methods, taught by Sarah Anne Carter, Curator and Director of Research at the Chipstone Foundation, and produced in collaboration with the Chipstone Foundation.

Southern Rites
January 25 to May 12, 2019
Pleasant T. Rowland Galleries

In 2002, Gillian Laub was sent on a magazine assignment to Mount Vernon, Georgia, to document the lives of teenagers in the American South. Mount Vernon seemed the archetype of pastoral, small-town American life. Yet this idyllic town still held segregated high school proms.

Laub photographed surrounding Montgomery County over the following decade, returning even in the face of growing—and eventually violent—resistance on the part of some community members. In 2009, Laub’s photographs of segregated proms were published in the New York Times Magazine. The story brought national attention to the town and the following year the proms were finally integrated.

In early 2011, Justin Patterson, a twenty-two-year-old unarmed African American man—whose segregated high school homecoming Laub had photographed—was shot and killed by a sixty-two-year-old white man. At first, the murder seemed to confirm every assumption about the legacy of inequality and prejudice that the community was struggling to shake. But the truth was more nuanced than a quick headline could telegraph.

Laub has spent the last two decades investigating political conflicts, exploring family relationships, and challenging assumptions about cultural identity. Her work frequently addresses the experiences of adolescents and young adults in transition who struggle to understand their present moment and collective past.

Laub is a 1997 graduate of UW–Madison (BA, Comparative Literature) and studied photography at International Center of Photography in New York. Laub directed the 2015 HBO documentary Southern Rites. A catalogue also accompanies the exhibition.

Southern Rites is organized by the International Center of Photography, New York. Funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Warrington Colescott: Wisconsin Master
Through March 3, 2019
Object Study Room and 2nd floor hallway, Chazen building\

Prints by Warrington Colescott are on view at the Chazen Museum of Art on the second floor of the Chazen building. Colescott, a printmaker and professor emeritus at UW–Madison, died Sept. 10 at his home in Hollandale, Wis. He was 97.

Colescott came to Madison on a one-year appointment in 1949 and taught here for 37 years. He remained active after retiring from teaching and was known for his work's political and social satire.

Works on view are from the museum's permanent collection and span the years from 1973 through 2013.

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