Milwaukee, WI, April 3, 2008-
An efficient entanglement of sculptures, ambient sounds, and everyday absurdities: welcome to the intervention of Milwaukee-based artist Santiago Cucullu. On view April 24, 2008-January 4, 2009 in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Calatrava-designed Schroeder Galleria, On Site: Santiago Cucullu is a head-on collision between an artist’s imagination and the built environment of his neighborhood.
Cucullu’s installation fills the galleria — a light-filled, marble-floored arched pathway approximately 300 feet long and 30 feet wide, visible from the city’s busy Lincoln Memorial Drive — with monumental vinyl wall drawings. Created by a collage process of manipulated photo sampling and montage, they sprawl over the Museum’s white walls and arches. Raw urban subject matter such as brick buildings, streetlights, shipping palettes, security cameras, and graffiti establish a backdrop for the artist’s ever-shifting, home-grown narrative.
The wall pieces are interspersed with twenty televisions installed on various elementary stands. Facing into the space as well as out onto the street, they broadcast images and sounds from 10 separate DVD loops that are free of any strict beginnings or endings. Further setting the stage for “a world in flux, yet never changing,” scenes include two lovers kissing, unaware of the camera; a train station at night, shot vertically and scrolling down the screen continuously; and a woman gardening, her movements repeated in an endless gesture. To complete his installation, the artist intuitively positions sculptural objects described as “neo-concretist-based structures” within the galleria.
An artist inspired by the readymade tradition of progenitors like Marcel Duchamp and Lygia Clark, Cucullu delivers a curious artistic culmination by thoughtfully utilizing materials that are readily accessible to him. As a result, his exhibition draws the unregulated space of the city back inside Calatrava’s exclusive lakefront design, thereby juxtaposing a Milwaukee ideal of “the new” with material sourced in obsolescence. While examining the cityscape, On Site: Santiago Cucullu also holds a mirror up to the artist’s own subjectivity. Cucullu observes, “I live here in Milwaukee largely because of circumstance, and it is circumstance that drives some of my projects. While other places in the world may seem more exotic, Milwaukee seems as strange and alluring as anywhere.”
Santiago Cucullu was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and received his MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1999 and BFA from the Hartford Art School in Connecticut in 1992. Cucullu has been awarded residencies at the Glassel Core Program in Houston, Texas, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine; his solo projects include exhibitions at Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; and INOVA, Milwaukee. Cucullu has exhibited widely in group shows at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla; Camden Arts Centre, London; REDCAT, Los Angeles; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
On Site: Santiago Cucullu is supported by Harpo Foundation.
The Milwaukee Art Museum presents On Site: Santiago Cucullu April 24, 2008-January 4, 2009. The exhibition is curated by John McKinnon, curatorial assistant of modern and contemporary art.
Thursday, April 24
Lecture 6:15 p.m.
Free with general admission
See Milwaukee through the artist’s eyes as Santiago takes you through his process of creating works for On Site in a lecture in Lubar Auditorium. Enjoy free hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar amidst the installation in Schroeder Galleria.
About On Site
A longstanding tradition at the Milwaukee Art Museum, On Site takes art out of the galleries into locations traditionally not used as exhibition spaces. Through On Site, the Milwaukee Art Museum has been displaying works of art in its Schroeder Galleria since 2001. Artists previously featured in the space include Alvin Lucier, Andrea Zittel, Richard Long, and, most recently, Liam Gillick.
About the Museum
The Milwaukee Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for Thursdays when the Museum stays open until 8 p.m. (supported by Greater Milwaukee Foundation). General admission tickets are $8 adults, $6 seniors, $4 students. Members and children 12 and under are admitted free.
The Milwaukee Art Museum includes the Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion, completed in October 2001 and named by Time magazine “Best Design of 2001.” For more information about programs, events, and exhibitions, please visit us at www.mam.org.