THELMA SADOFF CENTER FOR THE ARTS
 

 

Current Exhibitions

Scott Zieher: Local Poet

Exhibit Dates: April 16 - June 21, 2015
Reception Date:  April 16, 5 - 8 pm

Born in Waukesha, Scott Zieher has written and published poetry since the early 1980s.

Since then he has also kept sketchbooks and made drawings in abundance. Favoring speedy, gestural images often including figures, abstraction, text and the random, atmospheric touches inherent in working quickly and on the move.

Since 1992, Zieher has lived and worked in New York City, traveling often and always writing, sketching and making collages. The dozens of works on paper seen here are part of an ongoing, decade-long effort to utilize a mounting surplus of cheap (often found in office building dumpsters) paper, children's crayons and markers and pedestrian office supplies.

With this paucity of means Zieher creates a constant sketchbook or work tablet containing subjects and referents to family life as much as his day job as a contemporary art gallery owner in Manhattan's Chelsea district. 

Learn more.

New York Times named Zieher's gallery as one of the Top 10 to see in Chelsea! Read more. 

 

 

Scott Zieher, along with Mike Womack and THELMA curator Shane McAdams will be participating in High | Low| Middle, Friday April 24 at Kenilworth Square East, 1925 East Kenilworth, Milwaukee. Read more here.

Read the background:

After seeing an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 2002, Shane McAdams and Mike Womack locked horns in a discussion about curatorial practice that would last for a decade. Amid abundant annual international biennials, triennials, dealer and curator driven art fairs, billion dollar auction blockbusters, gallery shows curated by artists, artists represented by Hollywood agents, they concluded the best art has nothing to do with the art world, handbags, panties or trending, it has to do with geography. 

The two, believing a viable, organic alternative might reside outside the echo-chamber of the New York/Berlin/Los Angeles/London/Tokyo art world, considered a barstool alternative to the prevailing curatorial model. They quixotically spoke of the possibility of a curator set out in U-Hauls to take a visual core sample of America, collecting the sprawling visual mass-consciousness and putting it away for safe keeping. Not a biennial, not a fashion show, but a project aiming to circumvent the Culture Industry and assess the actual visual pulse of the country. Would it be possible? Wishful thinking? This was more parlor game than academic proposal— most cultural institutions have little interest in yesterday’s barometric readings when they could be making tomorrow’s weather. And prestigious curators would rather create culture than document it firsthand. As entrenched studio artists on the 50-year plan, with no means or inclination to hit the road on a visual art and culture odyssey to show the curatorial world what it was missing, the two “young” artists haphazardly vowed to make it happen, “eventually.”

Skip ahead 13 years— Womack, fellow artist and dealer, Scott Zieher, and McAdams reignited that conversation. Everything had changed since 2002— it was a different conversation, to be sure: social media, increasing globalization, and an increasingly destabilized avant-garde. Mike and Scott had recently completed a social practice residency in Nashville, Tennessee based on gentrification and the status of the creative class, presenting their findings in a series of 5 exhibitions in venues across Nashville in August 2014. With the help of a student intern Zack Rafuls, Zieher and Womack presented a belief in the urgent need to explore a more social, decentralized approach to art making, eager to incorporate other local milieu as closely as possible.

Energized and optimistic from that experience, the group met in New York for a drink. Scott (a Waukesha native) suggested that the “core sample” of Wisconsin culture might be among the funkiest around. For sheer diversity, eccentricity, and range, from bleeding-edge to all-out kitsch, it was agreed Wisconsin could be the most typically un-balanced and therefor representative regional art center in this brave new visual world. Its idiosyncratic complexion reflects the utter chaos and decentralization of culture, and the collapse of high and low that faces America, and the world at large. Perhaps, he thought, the most fertile psychological environment for art making lied somewhere between high and low; somewhere between the left and right coasts.

The questions remained for them: “Is there an actual middle in this brave new visual world, multiple middles, or is the old model of high and low a natural law that will endure?” The four sought to answer those questions in a manner few inside-the-high-art beltway–curators have: by hitting the road and omnivorously collecting objects and conversations, both personal and universal, spiritual and cathartic, while engaging in a dialogue about how that visual material might map onto a larger cultural topography.

This project is their ditty bag.

 

Read more...

Mike Womack: Roadcut

Exhibit Dates: April 16 - June 21, 2015
Reception Date: April 16, 5 - 8 pm

Roadcut refers to a segment of a hill or mountain where rock and soil have been vertically cut out to make way for a road.

These minimalist planes of stratified earth reveal layered bands of differently colored and structured material. Womack will be showing minimalist architectural forms cast from Cheetos, a vending machine snack, alongside altered 17th, 18th, and 19th century engravings of architectural structures.

In this exhibition the high cultured tradition of architecture and modernism lies alternatingly upon the low culture material of processed convenient store fare. Each stratum mixes with the other and confused the class distinction between form, material, image, and object.

Womack was born in Houston in 1976 and now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and Boulder, Colorado. He has a master's degree in fine arts from the Pratt Institute and a bachelor's in fine arts from the University of Georgia. Both degrees in painting. Womack has had solo exhibits in New York and Connecticut and his work has been part of group exhibits throughout the United States, and in Canada and Mexico. 

Learn more.

 

Mike Womack, along with Scott Zieher, and THELMA curator Shane McAdams will be participating in High | Low| Middle, Friday April 24 at Kenilworth Square East, 1925 East Kenilworth, Milwaukee. Read more here.

Read the background:

After seeing an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 2002, Shane McAdams and Mike Womack locked horns in a discussion about curatorial practice that would last for a decade. Amid abundant annual international biennials, triennials, dealer and curator driven art fairs, billion dollar auction blockbusters, gallery shows curated by artists, artists represented by Hollywood agents, they concluded the best art has nothing to do with the art world, handbags, panties or trending, it has to do with geography. 

The two, believing a viable, organic alternative might reside outside the echo-chamber of the New York/Berlin/Los Angeles/London/Tokyo art world, considered a barstool alternative to the prevailing curatorial model. They quixotically spoke of the possibility of a curator set out in U-Hauls to take a visual core sample of America, collecting the sprawling visual mass-consciousness and putting it away for safe keeping. Not a biennial, not a fashion show, but a project aiming to circumvent the Culture Industry and assess the actual visual pulse of the country. Would it be possible? Wishful thinking? This was more parlor game than academic proposal— most cultural institutions have little interest in yesterday’s barometric readings when they could be making tomorrow’s weather. And prestigious curators would rather create culture than document it firsthand. As entrenched studio artists on the 50-year plan, with no means or inclination to hit the road on a visual art and culture odyssey to show the curatorial world what it was missing, the two “young” artists haphazardly vowed to make it happen, “eventually.”

Skip ahead 13 years— Womack, fellow artist and dealer, Scott Zieher, and McAdams reignited that conversation. Everything had changed since 2002— it was a different conversation, to be sure: social media, increasing globalization, and an increasingly destabilized avant-garde. Mike and Scott had recently completed a social practice residency in Nashville, Tennessee based on gentrification and the status of the creative class, presenting their findings in a series of 5 exhibitions in venues across Nashville in August 2014. With the help of a student intern Zack Rafuls, Zieher and Womack presented a belief in the urgent need to explore a more social, decentralized approach to art making, eager to incorporate other local milieu as closely as possible

Energized and optimistic from that experience, the group met in New York for a drink. Scott (a Waukesha native) suggested that the “core sample” of Wisconsin culture might be among the funkiest around. For sheer diversity, eccentricity, and range, from bleeding-edge to all-out kitsch, it was agreed Wisconsin could be the most typically un-balanced and therefor representative regional art center in this brave new visual world. Its idiosyncratic complexion reflects the utter chaos and decentralization of culture, and the collapse of high and low that faces America, and the world at large. Perhaps, he thought, the most fertile psychological environment for art making lied somewhere between high and low; somewhere between the left and right coasts.

The questions remained for them: “Is there an actual middle in this brave new visual world, multiple middles, or is the old model of high and low a natural law that will endure?” The four sought to answer those questions in a manner few inside-the-high-art beltway–curators have: by hitting the road and omnivorously collecting objects and conversations, both personal and universal, spiritual and cathartic, while engaging in a dialogue about how that visual material might map onto a larger cultural topography.

This project is their ditty bag.

 

 

Read more...


 

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