The James Watrous Gallery will be CLOSED December 24 - January 2. See you in the New Year!
Maggie Sasso: Fore & Aft
Through her artwork, Maggie Sasso seeks to re-create the imprint of an awe-filled or uncanny experience. Sasso’s recent work in sewn, crocheted, and woven textiles reflects her fascination with ships and maritime culture, and contrasts the softness of fabric with the hard-bodied construction of sailing vessels. Made with exquisite craftsmanship and infused with quiet humor, her objects and installations often straddle the line between tragedy and comedy. In focusing on the material culture of ships and sailing, so rich with metaphor, theater, and nostalgia, Sasso’s work treads the fine line dividing danger and fear from playful delight and resolute bravery.
In Fore and Aft, Sasso poses questions about the textiles of maritime culture. How dependent are boats on textiles? What happens to the textiles as they deteriorate? Where do nautical craft and contemporary craft intersect? How does the material language of domestic textiles contrast with the largely masculine pastime of sea exploration? Visitors will encounter handmade rope rigged in a familiar children's format, a nautical symbol reinterpreted and rendered in tapestry, and handwoven sail and semaphore flags shown alongside photographs of their role in performance pieces at the Milwaukee lakefront.
Nathaniel Stern: Autumnal Tints
For this ongoing print series, Nathaniel Stern straps a desktop scanner, computing device, and custom-made battery pack to his body, then performs the images into existence. He might scan in straight, long lines across tables, tie the scanner around his neck and swing over flowers, do pogo-like gestures over bricks, or just follow the wind over water lilies in a pond. The dynamism between his body, technology, and the landscape is transformed into beautiful and quirky renderings, which are then produced as archival artworks. For his show at the Watrous, Stern traversed the fall foliage in and around Milwaukee's lakefront. As Stern writes about this body of work, "At stake are not only the ways we perform our bodies, media, concepts and materials, but also the implications of water and land, life and non-life, that we perform with every day: as individuals, as a people, and as a part of our habitats."