James Watrous Gallery: Inhabited Landscapes exhibition opens September 10

August 6, 2013

Contact: mailto: Jason A. Smith, communications director, or mailto: Jody Clowes, exhibitions manager / 608-265-2500
Inhabited Landscapes

Exhibition opens at Watrous Gallery September 10

MADISON–Inhabited Landscapes, a group exhibition of paintings, drawings, and prints by Wisconsin artists Barry Roal Carlsen, David Lenz, Cathy Martin, John Miller, Charles Munch, Dennis Nechvatal, and Tom Uttech will be on view beginning September 10, 2013, at the Wisconsin Academy’s James Watrous Gallery, located on the 3rd floor of Overture Center for the Arts in Madison. Exhibition details are as follows:

Exhibition dates: September 10 – October 27, 2013

Opening reception: Sunday, September 15, 2:00-5:00
pm, with a curators’ talk by Randall Berndt and Martha Glowacki at 2:30 pm.

Gallery talk by John Miller and Charles Munch:
Friday, October 4, 5:30-6:30 pm. Held in
conjunction with Fall Gallery Night.

Gallery talk by Tom Uttech: Saturday, October 19, 1:30-3:00 pm.


A group show of work inspired by the artists’ relationships to the Wisconsin landscape, Inhabited Landscapes includes paintings, drawings, and prints by seven of Wisconsin’s most accomplished artists: Barry Roal Carlsen, David Lenz, Cathy Martin, John Miller, Charles Munch, Dennis Nechvatal, and Tom Uttech. The title expresses the notion that landscapes can be “inhabited” by an artist’s memories, ideas, and experiences of nature.
The work selected for Inhabited Landscapes is widely diverse in style and content, and encourages viewers to think about the landscape genre in new ways. David Lenz and Cathy Martin’s paintings, for example, are breathtakingly realistic; for Lenz, the landscape is a fundamental element of his richly developed portraits, while Martin is dedicated to capturing the lyrical beauty she sees in rural Wisconsin. John Miller and Charles Munch take a more abstract approach: Miller often records landscape with the sensibility of Japanese ukiyo-e prints, using blocks of color and defined outlines, while Munch takes his cue from sign painting and graphic design, creating bold compositions that explore the relationship between people, animals, and the land. Barry Roal Carlsen’s moody, dramatically lit images evoke powerful emotions and sensations; for Carlsen, the landscape is inextricably linked to human memory. Dennis Nechvatal’s intensely detailed canvases have a curiously hallucinatory impact, delineating each leaf and stone in hauntingly still tableaux. Tom Uttech’s wilderness scenes have a similarly mythic resonance, yet are filled with accurate depictions of specific plant and animal species.

The work in Inhabited Landscapes goes beyond the decorative or the descriptive, asking the viewer to enter the artists’ interpretations of our place in nature. While its imagery derives from a deep knowledge of the history of landscape art, the work of these artists is rooted in their relationship with the natural world and reflects a personal search for meaning.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Dane Arts and the Wisconsin Arts Board, with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. The James Watrous Gallery also receives ongoing support from Doubletree Hotel-Madison and the members of the nonprofit Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.

About the James Watrous Gallery

The James Watrous Gallery is dedicated to Wisconsin visual art and artists. A program of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, the Watrous Gallery’s mission is to promote the visual arts in Wisconsin through quality exhibitions and educational programs. For gallery hours and more information on exhibiting artists, please visit wisconsinacademy.org/gallery or call 608-265-2500.