Chazen Museum of Art


Spring exhibitions at the Chazen Museum of Art begin celebration of 50th anniversary

Dec. 19, 2019 | For immediate release

In 2020 the University's art museum will mark its 50th year. In celebration of its beginings as the Elvehjem Art Center in 1970 and with an eye to its dynamic future, the year will be replete with celebration and recognition.

Faculty Exhibition 2020 

Feb. 1-May 10, 2020, throughout the galleries of the Chazen and Elvehjem buildings and in the Rowland Galleries.

Preview reception, January 31, 5:30-7:30 pm

Every four years, the Chazen showcases art by university faculty. A tradition since the museum opened, the show has usually included only faculty and emeriti from the art department. In celebration of the Chazen’s 50th anniversary in 2020, and in acknowledgement that art-making increasingly crosses disciplines and departments, Faculty Exhibition 2020 welcomed proposals from all departments across the campus that utilize art-making in their teaching and research. In addition, rather than confining the show to a single gallery, the exhibition will showcase parts of the collection and buildings that are often overlooked. Projects will explore relationships between the artist’s own work and specific art works in the museum’s collection, or the artist’s own work and the museum’s public spaces and architecture.

Proposals were reviewed by an outside juror, Gary Garrido Schneider, director of the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey. A total of 31 submissions were accepted from 26 artists representing 10 different departments on campus, including Art, Dance, Asian Languages, and Music. Highlights from the show will include a performance piece in which a meal inspired by the collection will be staged in the museum’s galleries (Spatula & Barcode, art department), dance performances that will lead visitors though both buildings (Li Chiao-Ping, Vilas research professor, dance department), cut glass typographic forms above the bridge over East Campus Mall (Helen Lee, assistant professor and head of glass, art department) and a presentation of Indian manuscripts alongside Indian works from the collection (Anthony Cerulli, associate professor, Asian languages and culture department).

All of the Chazen Museum of Art’s 50th anniversary year activities are supported by a grant from the UW–Madison Anonymous Fund, with additional support from the office of the Chancellor.


Speaking of Book Arts: Oral Histories from UW–Madison

Feb. 1-April 19, 2020, Leslie and Johanna Garfield Galleries

In celebration of the Chazen’s 50th anniversary, Speaking of Book Arts: Oral Histories from UW–Madison is a first-time collaboration between the Chazen, Kohler Art Library, and UW Archives and will cover 50 years of book arts at the university. Interviews with 21 students and teachers (past and present) recorded by the UW–Madison Archives Oral History Program will be presented alongside examples of their works from the Kohler Art Library’s Artists’ Book Collection. Each of the two galleries dedicated to the exhibition will have a customized sound installation playing different audio loops approximately 20 minutes in length. In addition, a printed audio guide will be made to help orient visitors to the books being described in the audio recordings, and also to provide access for the hearing impaired. 

All of the Chazen Museum of Art’s 50th anniversary year activities are supported by a grant from the UW–Madison Anonymous Fund, with additional support from the office of the Chancellor.



Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials

Through Jan. 5, 2020 | Pleasant T. Rowland Galleries 

Featuring an international array of emerging and mid-career artists, Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materialsexplores the environmental, aesthetic and technological entanglements of our ongoing love affair with this paradoxical, infinitely malleable substance. Organized around the curatorial concept of entanglement – which describes the literal entanglements of animals and plastic detritus as well as the plasticity of global networks – the exhibition assembles artistic investigations of humanity’s reliance on a material that is at once ubiquitous and, for that reason, virtually invisible. 

Visitors will encounter a varied array of artwork, from meticulous drawings, photographs and video installations to 3D-printed objects and sculptures fabricated from found plastic. 

Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art of The Pennsylvania State University, Plastic Entanglementsat the Chazen is supported by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Fabrice Monteiro: The Prophecy 

Through Jan. 5, 2020 | Garfield Galleries

Combining haute couture with full-color depictions of ecological crises, Belgian-Beninese photographer Fabrice Monteiro’s The Prophecy is a multiyear project created to raise awareness about the environment and consequences of mass consumption. The series of 13 large-scale photographs, set mostly in Africa, combine storytelling, fashion photography and photojournalism in order to highlight site-specific environmental issues within the context of West African culture and traditional beliefs. This exhibition is the first time the entire series will be shown in the United States. 

The Prophecy depicts djinns – supernatural spirits – emerging from garbage heaps, ravaged forests, motor vehicle exhaust and poisoned waters. Monteiro collaborated with Senegalese fashion designer Doulsy, who created costumes that materially signify each ecological concern. Inspired by African masquerades and evoking high fashion, the designs incorporate tar, garbage, nylon fishing nets, animal remains, firewood, rubber tires and electronic waste.

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