Deen Meeker retrospective highlights three new exhibits at Museum of Wisconsin Art

The Museum of Wisconsin Art opened three new exhibitions in January featuring Wisconsin contemporary artist Rafael Francisco Salas, photographer Douglas Edmunds and legendary printmaker and sculptor Dean Meeker.

RAFAEL FRANCISCO SALAS: IN FLOWERED FIELDS

On view through May 2, 2021

Rafael Francisco Salas, an artist and Professor of Art at Ripon College, pairs his recent work with rarely seen art  from MOWA’s permanent collection, initiating a visual dialogue with the tradition of Wisconsin landscape painting.

“Rafael Francisco Salas’s darkly poetic paintings of the American landscape are populated by anonymous  musicians singing the praises and lamenting the struggles of rural life,” said Associate Curator of Contemporary Art J Tyler Friedman. “The exhibition is sure to initiate discussions about the Midwest—its overlooked beauty, contemporary conflicts, and the sins that remain inscribed on its soil.”

The installation engages viewers’ senses by creating an immersive experience through the use of  subdued lighting, raw sheep’s wool, tractor tires, and a curated playlist. In Flowered Fields is on  view at MOWA’s Milwaukee location MOWA | DTN, located inside Saint Kate—The Arts Hotel.

ANDY WARHOL AND THE PORTFOLIO OF FAME: PHOTOGRAPHY BY DOUGLAS EDMUNDS

On view through May 2, 2021

Forty years ago, Douglas Edmunds sought introductions from everyone he knew as he spent six years traveling from coast to coast to photograph “people of influence, notoriety and accomplishments” as part of his “National Portrait Series.”

Edmunds captured a number of names famous to most of America: Andy Warhol, Hank Aaron, Ella Fitzgerald, Aaron Copeland, Allen Ginsburg, Lily Tomlin, Willie G. Davidson, and more. The portraits showcased in the exhibition capture the distinctive personality—even aura—of these larger-than-life individuals and together provide a spectrum of leading figures of the time.

DEAN MEEKER: MYTHS AND LEGENDS

On view through April 11, 2021

This full-career retrospective includes never-seen-before early paintings, large- scale sculptures, and prints from every phase of Dean Meeker’s career. Meeker’s figurative art focuses on the strengths and foibles of humankind, often drawing on the biblical and mythological subjects he learned about as a student. An internationally known printmaker and sculptor, Meeker received many major awards, and in his forty-six years on the art faculty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he became a legendary figure in Wisconsin.

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