John Craig: New Work
After a successful career as an illustrator and graphic designer, John Craig has turned to making more personal artwork. This exhibition will focus on two series of prints Craig has been developing over the past few years. Equivalences is a study in perception using pairs of found postcard images allied to each other to underline their graphic similarities and related sense impressions. Lost Treasures from the Heart of the Driftless, a group of images collaged from historic photos of southwestern Wisconsin, presents an alternative narrative of the region’s development. Each print—from “The Lost Ark of the Kickapoo” to “When the Sheep Got Out in Viroqua”—is accompanied by a short, dryly witty prose poem that sets the scene.
Valerie Mangion: Night Vision
Valerie Mangion’s Night Vision paintings are based on photos taken by a trail camera placed on her farm in the Driftless region. Trail cameras have motion-activated sensors and use infra-red light to take photos without human intervention, day or night. In capturing images of animals rarely seen during the day, Mangion says, “It feels like I am fishing with light, and it is thrilling to check the images I've caught in my ‘net.’” Translating the photographs to paintings, Mangion alters the accidental compositions, changes the format and size, and strives to work with colors so subtle that it appears the images are black, white, and gray. She approaches this challenge with a combination of warm and cool grays and optical blacks all mixed from dark blues, browns, violets, greens, purples, and reds. As the series has progressed, Mangion has begun exaggerating the strange, surreal effects of infra-red digital technology. These sensitive, subtle paintings offer fascinating glimpses of the nocturnal lives of animals, and express the artist’s rich sense of humor and compassion for her subjects.