Chazen Museum of Art


Exhibition of Works by Michael Lucero at the Chazen Opens May 10

***Corrected May 8, 2013***

Madison, Wis., April 22, 2013—Michael Lucero, now best known for his ceramic sculpture, began developing a body of life-sized figures as a graduate student. When he moved to New York City in 1978 he didn’t have access to a kiln and instead constructed a series of 17 hanging figures from fruit crates scavenged in Chinatown. All 17 figures will be on view together in Michael Lucero Installation, May 10–August 18, 2013. The artist has also prepared contemporary monoprints specifically for this exhibition.

These oversized, totemic works recall childhood memories of towering wire and burlap figures Lucero encountered at Native American trading posts on family car trips along Route 66. Lucero was also playing with convention, suspending pieces in air rather than putting them on a pedestal, assembling them out of shards rather than more traditional sculptural practices. The human figure, remains of ancient cultures, and innovative use of materials continue to be hallmarks of his ceramic sculpture.

Stephen and Pamela Hootkin, avid collectors of Michael Lucero’s work, acquired fifteen of the seventeen wood figures and have generously loaned them to the museum for this exhibition. The other two figures are lent by the Montclair Art Museum and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine. The complete group of wood works has only been exhibited once, at the Wake Forest University Art Gallery in Winston Salem, North Carolina, in 1980.

There will be a preview reception on Thursday, May 9, 2013, 6–8 p.m. Michael Lucero will talk about his work before the reception at 5 p.m.

Generous support for this exhibition has been provided by the Chazen Museum of Art Council and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Digital images for media use are available upon request. Contact: Susan Day, Editor, (608) 263-2068

The Chazen Museum of Art is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The museum is located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The main entrance is accessible to wheelchairs. Parking is available at the City of Madison State Street Campus Ramp (entrances on Frances and Lake streets) and under University Square. Hourly parking is available in the UW lot 46 with credit card payment. Evening and weekend parking is also available in UW lot 83 under Fluno Center, entrance on Frances Street, and in UW lot 7 under Grainger Hall, entrance on Brooks Street. The Chazen will provide sign language interpreters for associated programs by three-week advance request to Anne Lambert, Curator of Education, weekdays, (608) 263-4421 (voice). Information is also available by visiting our website at

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