Sept 17 - Nov 20
At Var Gallery on 5th
The images in this body of work have grown out of a fascination with architecture’s penchant to imitate and reinforce our deepest origin stories. One part the book of Genesis and one part Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, paradiso is an exhibition filled with walled gardens, obsessive miniatures, and cities etched in stone. Drawing on the empty architecture of the Romanesque and the barren cityscapes of Giorgio de Chirico, these places speak a wordless language of entrances and exits, alleyways and courtyards.
This exhibition is also the premiere of new sand animations. In this type of stop motion video, a camera is suspended over a light table while the artist uses their fingers, brushes, or knives to sculpt a drawing in layers of sand. Once the drawing is satisfactory, it can be manipulated repeatedly to create a sequence; and with each successive photograph, the medium appears to move and breathe.
Adam Stoner (b. 1989) received his Master of Fine Arts in Intermedia Studies from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2019, and his BA in Studio Art and Theater from Williams College in 2011. Stoner makes paintings, drawings, and video installations that visualize the intimate connections between architecture and our memories. How are we mutually inhabited by the very places we inhabit? If we build structures, do they also build us? Stoner is the recipient of UWM’s Chancellor’s Graduate Student Award, Layton Fellowship, and Williams College’s Gilbert W. Gabriel Prize in Theater. Originally trained in scenic design, Adam’s research frequently explores the language of space, the latent agency of materials, and the architectures—visible or invisible— which resonate endlessly in our daydreams. Adam lives and works in Milwaukee; he teaches drawing at UWM’s Peck School of the Arts.
April 9 - June 5
At Var Gallery on 5th
Var Gallery is pleased to announce STRATOSPHERE, a solo exhibition of new works from Andrea Guzzetta at Var’s 5th Street location. The exhibition opens Saturday, April 9th, 2022. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition, though she has long-standing relationship with Var Gallery. She spearheaded the ideation and curation of the very first 30x30x30 exhibition which has since become a Milwaukee staple and recently curated and exhibited in the “Before We Broke Up” Show at the gallery in 2021.
With STRATOSPHERE, Andrea Guzzetta presents a series of new multi-media paintings that explore the fragile impermanence of human relationships to each other and the world. Using traditional techniques of oil painting layered with embroidery, collage, and sculptural elements, Guzzetta’s work explores an obsession with love, death, transition, and growth through visual symbols of raining flowers and rainbows. The layered mediums and symbols are connected through a pastel rainbow palette, often employing twilight gradients of sky blues to sunset pinks. In total, this series presents an immersive meditation on the ephemeral and places human existence in the stratosphere.
Guzzetta bridges concepts of the fleeting with grander existential meaning. She writes, “When I look at the world, I think the most beautiful things are both ephemeral and eternal: clouds, rainbows, sunrises, flowers: they only exist for a brief moment and yet they have existed for millennia. The cloud you're seeing will live a short life, and in the scheme of the universe so will you and I. There's something beautiful about that, about the idea that each individual will love, will grow, will die and that you can chart the beauty of a life in what we leave behind.”
And as much as these works stand in awe of a greater existence, they also consider the particles of what remains. Guzzetta explains, “I believe that the promise of death gives life meaning and makes every life precious. We are like clouds drifting in the sky. We will break apart, but the essence of what we were will nourish new life in the world, and that's beautiful.”
STEPHANIE SARA LIFSHUTZ
no time at all.
July 15 - Sept 24
At Var Gallery on 2nd
Lifshutz’s work centers on communication and her real life encounters and conversations. Her work is a meditation on expressions she said or thought based on lived experiences that have been transcribed and revisited. These excerpts from her writing have evolved as lockdown began in March 2020 for the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore interactions with friends, neighbors, and strangers took on a different reality. No time at all. showcases these seemingly fragmented thoughts, allowing the viewer to decipher their meaning out of context, and eventually learn more about their origins.
Stephanie Sara Lifshutz is an artist and educator residing in Brooklyn, NY. She first began working with glass and neon while attending the University of Wisconsin, Madison as a graduate student. While much of her work comes from a personal place as a female, Jewish artist, Lifshutz’s latest body of work has been about universal experiences and emotions. Lifshutz initially studied photography and printmaking at Franklin & Marshall College and became infatuated with portraiture.
She began learning neon in earnest in order to make some new work in the medium herself, struggling to learn while appreciating the time and process as a reference to the tedium and meditative nature of the darkroom. Lifshutz’s studio practice first focuses on concept and subject matter before deciding which medium to realize the piece, and neon felt like a natural progression to edit down a concept to its simplest form - directly communicating it to the viewer.
Lifshutz’s work has been exhibited nationally, including the Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin & Marshall, Museum of Neon Art, and Aqua Art Miami. She has had work in the traveling show She Bends curated by Meryl Pataky, the first and only collective of womxn bending their own neon. Her work resides in various collections and keeps an active studio practice in addition to her teaching, and currently runs her own neon fabrication shop Pumpkin Studios.
Sept 17 - Nov 20
At Var Gallery on 5th
Though he works with a range of materials, his current preferred media is colored pencil and acrylic paint. His figures often inhabit spaces created out of patterns, collage, marks, and bright colors--invoking places that are somehow ambiguous yet specific. His recent work revolves around themes of hope, gratitude, and perseverance.
Sis creates work consisting of mystical figurative narratives immersed in seemingly free-formed lines, patterns, and shapes that always seem to form a perfect composition. His figures are skewed but highly representational, begging the question of whether these forms are amongst us or are fictional deities that we could not possibly comprehend.
Christian Sis was raised in Madison, Wisconsin.
He graduated from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) in 2012 with a BFA in Drawing. While at MIAD Christian gravitated toward figurative work and the power of narratives conveyed through the human form.