Special event: A Magical Day with Sculpture Milwaukee
The event features Mayor Tom Barrett and Sculpture Milwaukee Director of Exhibitions and Programs, Marilu Knode. Meet at Richard Wood’s “Holiday Home (Milwaukee)” at 2:00 p.m. to be a part of the tour.
The tour concludes back at Museum Center Park (formerly O’Donnell Park) with a show starting at 3:30 p.m.
Magician Glen Gerard puts on an act inspired by Actual Size Artwork’s “Magical Thinking”. This is part of Mayor Barrett’s Walk 100.
This eloquently expressive bronze sculpture (above) from the current Sculpture Milwaukee exhibit on Wisconsin Avenue especially moved me. Radcliffe Bailey’s “Pensive” depicts African-American writer, historian, sociologist, editor and activist W.E.B. Du Bois (1868 1963) in the position of Rodin’s iconic work “The Thinker,” originally designed in 1880 as the cornerstone for Rodin’s masterpiece “The Gates of Hell.” In Rodin’s version, “The Thinker” is 14th-century Italian poet Dante Alighieri, author of “The Divine Comedy,” completed in 1320. Dante sits in his well-known position, contemplating the circles of hell as described in Christian theology. In his epic poem, Alighieri wrote about his own life and exile, mirroring perhaps DuBois’ own alienation. Both Du Bois and Alighieri are depicted as deeply philosophical men, pondering the harsh realities of human behavior although separated by centuries of time.
Bailey’s work is “…a meditation on “double consciousness,” a term coined in the section titled “Of Our Spiritual Strivings” in Du Bois’ seminal work, The Souls of Black Folk, published 1903….[DuBois) describes (a black person’s plight in a racist society,) a second sense of self that is seen through the eyes of others.”
DuBois’ The Souls of Black Folk is also one of blogger Kevernacular’s all-time favorite books. For info on the book, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Souls_of_Black_Folk
— DuBois sculpture is located on E. Wisconsin Ave. between Jefferson & Jackson Sts. Milwaukee.
A frontal detail of “Pensive,” the DuBois portrait sculpture on Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee. Photos by Kevin Lynch
On a lighter note (though gastronomically heavier) is this scene from Red Grooms’ tableau “Tango Dancers.” This hound chows the dogs down, from the same Sculpture Milwaukee show, running through October 27th.
Another piece that impressed was the heroic-scaled “Penguin” by noted artist John Baldessari. Here’s a detail shot of the great bird’s head. It’s located on Wisconsin Avenue just west of Prospect Avenue.
Perhaps the show’s most intriguing and formally compelling sculpture is “Hera (half)” by Tony Matelli. It combines pure stone carving with the whimsical smattering of watermelon and other fruit, I believe cast-and-painted metal objects, in this multi-media sculpture.
There’s also a sculpture by Sean Scully located outside the St. Kate Art Hotel, at 139 E. Kilbourne Ave.
This is just a sampling of the show’s 23 sculptures, all on Wisconsin Ave, except the one noted above.