Posted by Linda Ganstrom, Exhibitions Director
Sound flows. A sculpted sound translation of Santiago Calatrava speaking the native word thought to be the basis of the name Milwaukee, Jeffrey Mongrain’s spare and elegant signature form represents the flow of sound. Just as a speaker in a sound system vibrates or a vinyl record records sound, this minimal black circle mysteriously reveals its vibration to those willing to pause, observe closely and allow the work to reveal its subtle variations.
Shadow and the play of light is an even more essential ingredient in Jarred Pfeiffer’s Torus. A torus is a geometric form created by following a circle around a circular path. Composed of 36 torus forms carefully arranged in a mathematical pattern with alternating beginning points, the direction of light on the forms creates a shadows that constantly shifts in natural light. When artificially light, these shadows create a intertwining mesh of values that diminish the actual porcelain forms and dominate the wall.
Mihaly’s Drift, references the title of a book on the subject of flow or that intense state of satisfying focus and timelessness an artist feels in studio mode. Ryan LaBar’s Mihaly’s Drift is testament to the enormous labor, craft and dedication he devoted to his vision for filling a wall in the Milwaukee Art Museum until the sculpture spilled or flowed onto the marble flooring. Selected to represent the flow of heat in the glaze kiln, the movement caused by time and temperature on porcelain is clearly evident in the deformation of the pieces as they melt and transform themselves and each other in a dynamic dance of muscular movement. The mesmerizing play of light and shadow on the hundreds of thrown and intricately pierced porcelain elements in Mihaly’s Drift invites the viewer to pause and enter the work, becoming part of the Flow. Backing away, Mihaly’s Driftsurprisingly alludes to another craft; quilting, as the tiles become quilt squares and the porcelain forms a whole, hugging the wall in drapery folds before it crashes to the ground.