Museum of Wisconsin Art presents Chris Maddox: Atlas Chronos

Jan. 6, 2019 – West Bend, WI –  The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition, Chris Maddox: Atlas Chronos, which features new mixed media works inspired by a 2018 emerging artist-in-residence program at Bourglinster Castle in Luxembourg—an opportunity made possible through a partnership between Ansay Development Corporation and MOWA. The exhibition will open with a party on Saturday, Jan. 19 and will provide the opportunity to meet the artist.

Living in Luxembourg—bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany—immersed Maddox in an invigorating mix of cultures, with the architecture, art, currency, and manufactured goods and services all proving inspirational in their unfamiliarity. Maddox used red, white, and blue, the official colors of the U.S. and Luxembourg flags, to create fields of color with intermittently embedded found images.

The visual simplicity and symbolic depth of the flag motif appealed to Maddox’s interest in political and economic theory as well as his background in visual communication design. Maddox titled this new body of work Atlas Chronos in reference to German cultural scientist and historian Aby Warburg (1866-1929), whose influential research investigated the evolution of cultural symbols. In his Mnemosyne Atlas, Warburg assembled over 1,000 diverse images intended to suggest how cultural artifacts spanning human history, when seen together, might illuminate immutable aspects of the human experience. In Atlas Chronos, Maddox reinterprets Warburg’s work with original compositions that similarly suggest connections and complex interwoven narratives.

Maddox is the second artist selected for this opportunity offered exclusively to Wisconsin artists. The first was photographer Lois Bielefeld in 2015. “Chris stood out as a rising star from an incredible group of artist applications,” said Laurie Winters, MOWA executive director | CEO. “The solo museum exhibition culminates the residency program and showcases Chris’ inspired work from his time abroad.”

“For me, this early career time feels like a tremendous responsibility. I have a strong sense of direction and focus in my studio practice, but much to learn and a great deal of work ahead to build connections to the public and communities of artistic discourse,” said Maddox. “Being in Luxembourg reminded me how different life is in societies with a different kind of history. I couldn’t see cobblestones without thinking, “Wow, those are nine hundred years old!” I found myself thinking in terms of longer stretches of time and not so much about the day-to-day news cycle. This unusual experience of time triggered the work I did.”

Maddox received his M.A. (2015) and M.F.A. (2016) from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His first solo exhibition was at Terra Obscura in Madison. Since that time, he has shown his work in several solo and group exhibitions, and his work has been acquired by museums and private collectors in the United States, Italy, and Japan. Maddox currently focuses on book art projects and installation work. His art books are represented by Vamp & Tramp artist book dealers, the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, and Printed Matter in Chelsea, New York City. Nonparallel, a hard bound book printed on vintage typing paper, was selected for the 2018 Wisconsin Artists Biennial held at the Museum of Wisconsin Art.

Image credit: Chris Maddox, Red, Acrylic, enamel, tape, and collage on paper, 2018

CHRIS MADDOX: ATLAS CHRONOS On View: January 12–March 10, 2019 Museum of Wisconsin Art | State Gallery Free with membership or $15 (includes complimentary membership for one full year)

WINTER EXHIBITIONS OPENING PARTY Saturday, January 19 | 2:00–5:00 Celebrate the opening of Charles Munch: Between the Lines and Chris Maddox: Atlas Chronos. Meet the artists and enjoy art making, live music, light bites, and a cash bar. Free with membership or $15 (includes complimentary membership for one full year)

GALLERY TALK AND TOUR Tuesday, February 26 | 10:30–11:30 Go on a tour of the Chris Maddox: Atlas Chronos exhibition led by Curator Graeme Reid.
Free with membership or $15 (includes complimentary membership for one full year)

EXHIBITION SUPPORT Support for 2019 exhibitions is generously provided by James and Karen Hyde, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Pick Heaters, Inc., and the Wisconsin Arts Board.

MEDIA CONTACT Jessica Wildes, 262-247-2266, [email protected]

ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF WISCONSIN ART Everyone’s a member at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA). The concept is rather simple: welcome everyone to the museum as a member not just a visitor. It’s a model that defies the idea that museums are exclusive or elitist. Instead, admission fees are actually low cost memberships that allow unlimited access to the museum for a full year. This philosophy encourages frequent participation in 18 rotating exhibitions and 175+ free-for-member programs that take place throughout each year. The result is a welcoming and engaged community—a community where everyone is a member.
MOWA explores the art and culture of Wisconsin. Founded in 1961, the museum’s permanent collection consists of over 5,000 works of contemporary and historic art by more than 350 Wisconsin artists. The 32,000-square-foot wedge-shaped structure opened in 2013, and houses five permanent collection galleries and four temporary exhibition spaces as well as classrooms, visible art storage, a shop, and a large atrium for public events.
The museum overlooks the Milwaukee River and is situated along the Eisenbahn State Trail. In 2018, the surrounding four-acre green spaces transformed into spectacularly landscaped gardens. The MOWA Gardens feature 800 quaking aspen trees, 1,200 hydrangeas, a tree-lined field for activities and festivals, several outdoor sculptures, and night-lit interconnected walkways perfect for wayfinding or meandering to nearby shops and restaurants. It’s a must-see destination in the heart of downtown West Bend.

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