Five great works in Haggerty's "The Viewer's Voice" exhibition
Up on the second floor (the balcony of which has been closed off, much to our dismay) of Marquette's Haggerty Museum of Art, visitors can get a new perspective on the permanent collection in "Re-Seeing the Permanent Collection: The Viewer's Voice."
The small show – there are 18 works on view – runs through Dec. 22 and is the result of museum curators drawing on the opinions and tastes of Marquette students, faculty and staff, who were asked to weigh in on objects from the collection.
The result is an exhibition with a quirky mix of works, from photography by Dawoud Bey and Diane Arbus to 16th and 17th century paintings by Juan Correa de Viva and a disciple of Anthony van Dyck to works on paper by Robert Rauschenberg, George Grosz and Kara Walker.
Contributing community members wrote essays that accompany each work.
While it's worth seeing everything in the exhibit – admission is free, so you've got no excuse – we picked five striking images – in no particular order – to whet your whistle.
- Robert Rauschenberg's "Trust Zone," 1969.
Rauschenberg's Trust Zone captured the essence of human engineering capacity in the late 1960s to protect life from the unfiltered harshness of our environment as we explored the moon. He reminded us through use of detailed technical jargon highlighted on the spacesuit that creating a trust zone – a place of safety – is a highly complex enterprise. Engineering intellectual firepower does not come easy. By overlaying the technical data and figures on the backdrop of the Florida coast, he drives home that point that we are coupled to our planet. –Robert H. Bishop, OPUS Dean, College of Engineering
- Joachim Brohm's "Motel," 1983-84/2008.
This photograph could have been shot in any of the big cities, New York, Chicago, D.C., even our very own Milwaukee (I'm thinking from the corner of National and South 1st, looking north). And while the photo may have been taken in 1984, it could have been shot yesterday. Driving across the 16th Street Viaduct to work every day and seeing Marquette from just beyond the distance, I think of those folks living in the near South Side and wonder if they look at Marquette in the same way. Having worked with low-income, first-generation students, this photo keeps me grounded as to the hardships and challenges of the students we serve. Growing up living in this type of neighborhood, you look past the present everyday despair and dream of a better life. –Eddie M. Guzman, Associate Director, Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program, Educational Opportunity Program.
- George Grosz's "To Them Peace is Assured," 1919
When I look at this drawing, I am reminded of the price that many men have had to pay throughout the centuries. Because of their sacrifice, many other men would be assured the same peace that these fallen soldiers were assured. Certainly they have been granted peace, but at what cost? –Jake Jumbeck, student, Klingler College of Arts and Science, History '14
- Helen Frankenthaler's "Flirt," 2003
I like pink. Helen Frankenthaler's work has been criticized for using colors that are too sweet. For being too poetic. For being too soft. For being, in other words, too female. ... It is easy to be blind to the power in pink. To miss the courage present in sweetness. To overlook what is tough and tenacious about beauty. To ignore the fierce, death-defying nature of things that are lyrical. ... It's pink. Deal with it. –Pamela Hill Nettleton, Assistant Professor, Journalism and Media Studies, Diederich College of Communication
- Kara Walker's "no world," 2010
At the focal point – slightly off-center – two enormous hands rise Godlike from the sea, lifting a fragile ship against a torn and roiling sky. In the foreground, a woman swims out to sea, her truncated arms extending upward to the waves. At first glance, the hands appear to be hers, the dislocation the effect of refraction. Look again and they seem not to belong to her: the proportions are incompatible, the angles incongruous. When light waves abruptly change course upon passing from one medium to another, a refracted object may appear enlarged or distorted. A drop of dew magnifies the surface of a leaf; a straw in a glass of water seems to bend. Refraction may dazzle our eyes with rainbows or deceive them with mirages, raising questions about what we know, or think we know. As a visual metaphor in Kara Walker's no world, refraction signals rupture, dislocation, the breach between appearance and reality, known and unknown. –Sarah Wadsworth, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies Department of English
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