Warrington Colescott exhibition on view June 10–September 26, 2010

Posted on April 20th, 2010


Press contacts:
Kristin Settle            

Vicki Scharfberg

Satirist, printmaker highlights the brazen, bold, and burlesque side of life

Milwaukee, Wis. – April 20, 2010 – The Milwaukee Art Museum celebrates the career of master satirist and brilliant printmaker Warrington Colescott in Warrington Colescott: Cabaret, Comedy & Satire. The exhibition runs from Thursday, June 10, through Sunday, September 26, 2010.

Warrington Colescott: Cabaret, Comedy & Satire chronicles Colescott’s raucous printmaking journey, during which he trained his piercing eye on the fashions and foibles of human behavior. The artist targets scientists, Greek gods, print collectors, tofu lunches, academics, the afterlife, presidents, joggers, famous printmakers, and showgirls, to name but a few, in prints riddled with complexities and contradictions, stinging satirical barbs and playful jokes, and exuberant color and subtle tonal variations. This retrospective exhibition honors the celebrated artist and features more than one hundred prints from his sixty-year career.

“We are thrilled to showcase the work of Mr. Colescott in this captivating and engaging exhibition,” said Mary Weaver Chapin, associate curator of prints and drawings, Milwaukee Art Museum. “This exhibition accentuates the bawdy, the bright, and the beguiling aspects of human behavior. His prints and etchings are fun and purposeful.”   
Channeling the tradition of William Hogarth, Francisco de Goya, Honoré Daumier, and George Grosz, Colescott employs his sharp wit and vivid imagination to interpret contemporary and historical events. In printmaking circles, he is noted for his exceptional command of complex techniques and for his innovative approach to intaglio printing.

“Colescott has played a major role in the print Renaissance in the United States,” said Chapin. “At the heart of Colescott’s enterprise is a deep love of satire, farce, and the burlesque. Viewed in retrospect, his artistic career has unfolded as a hectic, surprising cabaret, teeming with a cast of standard characters and unexpected visitors to the scene. His life, his perspective, and his personality are reflected in his art.”

Colescott’s work is inspired by events and impressions from his Creole Louisiana heritage, his childhood and formative years in California, his time abroad, and his life in Wisconsin. Colescott taught at the University of Wisconsin–Madison for nearly forty years and continues to produce new prints in his studio in Hollandale, Wisconsin, where he lives with his wife Francis Myers.

Warrington Colescott: Cabaret, Comedy & Satire is sponsored by the M&I Foundation, Inc.

The Museum also prepared the catalogue raisonné of his printed oeuvre—The Prints of Warrington Colescott: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1948–2008—copublished by the University of Wisconsin Press. It is the first fully illustrated catalogue to document Colescott’s extensive and varied graphic career. Author and curator Mary Weaver Chapin has worked closely with Colescott, interviewed him at length, and had unique access to his private papers and archives. Hardcover copies ($85/$76.50 for Members) are available in the Museum Store, 414-224-3210 or www.mam.org/store.   

The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Thursdays until 8 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for students, seniors and active military, and is free for members and children 12 and under. 

The Milwaukee Art Museum’s far-reaching holdings include more than 20,000 works spanning antiquity to the present day. With a history dating back to 1888, the Museum houses a collection with strengths in 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, contemporary art, American decorative arts, and folk and self-taught art. The Museum includes the Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion, named by Time magazine as “Best Design of 2001.” For more information, please visit www.mam.org.


Opening Reception
Thurs, June 10, 5:30–8 p.m.
Lecture: 6:15 p.m., with the artist
Appetizers and cash bar
Optional dinner to follow in Café Calatrava, $50/person. Reservations required. Call Krista Renfrew at 414-3856.

Gallery Talks with the Curator
Tues, 1:30 p.m.
June 29 | 60 Years of Printmaking: Exhibition Overview
Aug 10 | Colescott the Historian
Sept 14 | Colescott’s Geography

Artist Lecture and Reception
Living Dangerously: The Art of Visual Satire
Thurs, July 8, 5:30–8 p.m. | Lecture: 6:15 p.m.
Includes book signing

Gallery Talk with the Artist
Tues, July 20, 1:30 p.m.

Also on view
June 8–October 3, 2010
See a selection of works by Warrington Colescott’s artistic influences, including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Käthe Kollwitz, and George Grosz

Book Salon
Sat, July 10, 10:30 a.m. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
RSVP to Amy Kirschke at 414-224-3826 or amy.kirschke@mam.org

MAM After Dark
Fri, Aug 27, 5 p.m.–midnight
Kick off the new season of the after-hours art happening with burlesque and other things bawdy in homage to vaudeville and Colescott’s unabashed wit.
Details and advance admission at www.mam.org/afterdark.
Back to School with Warrington Colescott: Artists Reflect on Influence
Fri, Sept 24, 6:15 p.m.
Join us for a lively discussion with artists Warrington Colescott; Tom Huck, an “outlaw printmaker” inspired by Colescott; and Sue Gosin, former Colescott student and founder of the esteemed Dieu Donné Press and Papermill. Curator Mary Weaver Chapin will moderate. Book signing to follow.

For additional information, images, or interviews, please contact:
Kristin Settle