Art Thoughts

Levitas/Gravitas at the Milwaukee Artists Resource Network Gallery

With the freedom to select artists whose work revolves around an idea and approach to their medium rather than focusing on the medium itself gave current MARN curator Maggie Sasso’s final exhibition; Levitas/Gravitas a feeling of ease and cohesiveness.

 

Bringing together a unique and diverse group of two and three dimensional artists; Tiffany Knopow, Kevin Andrew Kraus, Ana Hanso-Ogren, and Allison Welch, whom all presented their distinct artworks with a sense of lightness and precision seemed effortless.

Tiffany Knopow – Levitas/Gravitas

As one enters the intimate venue at MARN the viewer is greeted on the first wall by the small and delicate yet powerful artwork of Tiffany Knopow.  Reexamining everyday materials like dryer lint, Knopow presents a vision which is both graceful and timeless in its beauty as she highlights the texture and varying color hues of a resource we would often overlook and discard.

Kevin Kraus – Levitas/Gravitas

Taking a new perspective on an old tradition, Kevin Andrew Kraus presented three sculptures which took on multiple meanings once investigated.  At first glance what appeared to be wedding cakes turned out to be intricately designed wooden sculptures.  Reinterpreting the ritual of the wedding cake and arranging it on display as a sculpture gave new life, vitality, and a sense of permanence to a significant moment of what many consider to be a fleeting precious event.

Ana Hansa Ogren – Levitas/Gravitas

Building upon the surrounding elements Ana Hanso-Ogren presented a selection of work consisting of video performance, free form installation, and multiple hand crafted objects.  The most dynamic of which I considered a tirelessly and painstakingly detailed black woven cone created on canvas.  Engulfing the viewer and drawing them in upon closer inspection this piece speaks volumes about the time and dedication we artists place in our work and processes.

Allison Welch-Levitas/Gravitas

On the far wall is a collection of photographs by Allison Welch who explores childhood fantasy’s with an adult mentality.  Images of the artist in various poses in nature dressed in a costume mimicking the youthful American Girl Doll bring forth questions of feminine authenticity and history.  Smart and sassy, Welch’s images are thought provoking and powerful.

 

Overall the exhibition has a playful balance of social statements, humorous insights, and intellectually stimulating artwork, all of which holds a fine line.  The show never gives into contemporary norms; instead its structure relies upon its ability to be ever evolving and changing.  See it once and I promise you’ll want to go back for a second look.

Levitas/Gravitas is currently up at the MARN location until July 22nd; stop by during Gallery Day/Night.