Frank Juarez Opens Gallery in the Third Ward
There is a new gallery in Milwaukee, but its history actually goes a long way back. Frank Juarez has been active in the arts scene in Milwaukee, as well as Sheboygan, for more than a decade.
Juarez’s eponymously named gallery has opened on the sixth floor of the Marshall Building, inside of Material Studios. The large location is a fascinating place, an open warren of workspaces and enclosed offices where artists, designers, and nonprofits find workspace and a collaborative atmosphere. This is especially fitting for Juarez, as the sense of exchange and artistic support is something inherent to his ideals as a gallery owner.
The five artists in the inaugural show at Frank Juarez Gallery all have established relationships with the gallery, and have largely self-curated the works on view. However, there is a distinctly streamlined and strong aesthetic in the exhibition. Abstract and figurative pieces are present, but if there is one element that stands out as bringing the varied pieces together, it is their unique senses of texture and technique.
If you follow the Milwaukee art scene, you are likely familiar with Melissa Dorn Richards, who is a painter as well as a tireless arts advocate. She often works in series, producing brightly hued paintings that sample and clarify objects of daily life. Mops are a subject she has explored, and her new pieces on this subject take the ordinary scrubber into territory where it is pulled to such a point that it is hard to discern any overt references to a mop. This is not a problem in the least, as her handling of paint and color break away into open-ended compositions, like one where white impasto paint serves as a background while neat red rectangles float downward.
Tony Conrad’s work is also abstract, as well as wedded to technique. His delicate paintings are the amalgamation of repetitiously drawn lines, often following linear or geometric forms with a tight cohesiveness that comes together out of innumerable distinct strokes. It is a metaphor that is reflected by all of these artists, and even the gallery itself.
Through May 6 at Frank Juarez Gallery, 207 E. Buffalo St., sixth floor.