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Miller Art Museum Features Surrealist Works from Permanent Collection

A new exhibit featuring 41 works from the permanent collection of the Miller Art Museum (millerartmuseum.org), Extraordinary Things: Wisconsin Surrealism in the Permanent Collection, will open July 27 with a free, public reception, 5-6:30 pm. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served, and Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead, executive director; and Helen del Guidice, curator of exhibitions and collections, will provide welcoming remarks. All of the works on view in the main gallery through Aug. 19 are from the museum’s permanent collection. 

Extraordinary Things highlights important post-war American works by Wisconsin artists who were influenced by the Surrealism movement – paired with contemporary works – for a curious exploration of the period and related genres, including Magical Realism and American Regionalism. Artists John Wilde, Aaron Bohrod, Tom Uttech and Santos Zingale are among the artists featured.

Wilde, associated with the Magic Realist school of painting, created fantastic, darkly humorous images that brought him fame far beyond his native Wisconsin. His works often included a figure of the artist and were imbued with memory as he reflected on death, sex, adolescence and life in Midwestern small towns.

Also featured is “Kagai-Bibon,” a 1995 oil painting by Tom Uttech, a Wisconsin native and leading American landscape artist who paints outside of Milwaukee. Since the inclusion of his paintings in the 1975 Whitney Biennial, Uttech’s work has appeared in more than 40 one-person exhibitions. He is best known for the hyper-realistic landscape paintings he forges from memory. 

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