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'Romano Johnson: The Glitterati' at the Museum of Wisconsin Art

Aug. 22, 2017
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Playfulness is the first quality lost when an artist becomes too concerned with being taken seriously. Romano Johnson, on the other hand, is a seriously playful painter. In his first solo museum exhibition, “Romano Johnson: The Glitterati” at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, the Madison-based self-taught artist shows himself to be, in the words of MOWA Director of Collections Graeme Reid, “one of the most original artists working in Wisconsin today.” 

Johnson’s playfulness is evident in both his subject matter and style. Popular music stars such as Michael Jackson, Prince and Tina Turner comprise a significant percentage of Johnson’s subject matter. Stylistically, Johnson depicts his figures without the illusion of a third dimension and set against a background of brightly colored patterns. The large-scale acrylic canvasses are accented with generous portions of glitter, which catch light and ensoul Johnson’s figures. “Romano Johnson: The Glitterati” is on display Aug. 26-Nov. 5.

“Men of Metal”

Kenosha Public Museum

5500 First Ave., Kenosha 

Fathers have been essential in the artistic development of sculptor Bruce Niemi. “I steal from God, first off, using nature,” he says. But Niemi’s earliest teacher was his biological father, who was himself a self-taught sculptor and ornamental iron artist. “Men of Metal,” Aug. 26 through Nov. 4 at the Kenosha Public Museum, presents sculptures by father and son set side by side. There will be an opening reception on Sunday, Aug. 27, from 1:30-4 p.m. during which Bruce Niemi will speak at 2:30 p.m.

Batik Workshop

Cedarburg Cultural Center

W62 N546 Washington Ave.

The Cedarburg Cultural Center’s August Artist In Residence is Lynn Barber, a batik watercolor specialist. The technique, which involves the selective application of dye-resistant wax to paper or fabric, is best recognized in the hypnotic patterns and understated earth tones of Javanese art. The public can visit Barber at work on Tuesday, Aug. 29, and Thursday, Aug. 31, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. On Thursday, Aug. 24, from 7-9 p.m., Barber will offer a crash course in the non-traditional, multi-layering technique of batik with watercolors and wax on Ginwashi rice paper. The workshop is $35 for members, $42 for non-members. The CCC requests that interested parties register online or by phone. 

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