Warrington Colescott Retrospective at MAM
narratives cover some 60 years in the MAM exhibition titled “Warrington
Colescott: Cabaret, Comedy & Satire” (June 10 through Sept. 26).
Mary Weaver Chapin, MAM
associate curator of prints and drawings, and Colescott formed an extraordinary
collaboration to produce the retrospective. They carefully selected about 100
prints over a four-year process.
retrospective includes Colescott’s 1948 Lady
at Leisure and 2008 Mardi Gras at the
Gay Ball from his “Suite Louisiana”
series.New Orleans became a second home of sorts for
Colescott and his wife, artist Frances Myers. The city’s quirky lifestyles,
both during the day and at night, often filter through Colescott’s mind. A
series from The Big Easy concurrently appears at the New Orleans Museum of Art
(NOMA) in “Sweet Suite Louisiana,”
a tribute to Colescott’s Creole heritage.
Cut print plates with a
superb use of white space feature intense images that draw the eye into every
corner to examine each mark Colescott makes. By applying numerous techniques
and mediums, including found prints, crayon, pastel and pen, Colescott invents
his own continually evolving process.
To document Colescott’s
illustrious career, Chapin authored The
Prints of Warrington Colescott: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1948-2008,which elaborates on the artist’s life and
more than 350 prints. The elegant catalog not only transforms Colescott’s work
into a reference book for printmaking, but also records his pointed views on
society, which will resonate far beyond the retrospective.
encapsulates Colescott’s bawdy, biting and very humorous commentary. He’s
already planning a new image for “Suite Louisiana”
on the recent Gulf oil disaster. This will allow him to revisit a November 1986
print, Leak,which satirized a spill from a pipeline.
Colescott’s mind and
hands constantly create, and as Chapin comments, “Warrington doesn’t play by the rules… His
curiosity and intellect are too wild.”
An opening reception
from 5:30-8 p.m. June 10 includes a lecture by Colescott at 6:15 p.m. The
museum also plans a lecture and book signing on July 8 at 5:30 p.m. Additional
programming for all ages will incorporate Colescott’s art into the MAM’s summer
In an effort to promote the art of drawing, Bucketworks (706 S. Fifth St.) hosts DrawCamp on Saturday, June 12. Registration for the daylong event begins at 9 a.m. A party is planned for celebrating the day’s seminars and experiences at 9 p.m. The organization asks for donations of $10 or more, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit ArtWorks for Milwaukee. To register online, visit www.drawcamp.org.