Working in their unique Modernist 20th Century figural styles.
Santos Zingale and Joseph Friebert: Explored and Honored by Exhibits at the Museum of Wisconsin Art
Tavern Front, Oil by James Friebert
Zingale and Friebert were both born in 1908 and died three years apart, Santos in 1999 and Joseph in 2002. Both were part of a group of artists who remained largely unaffected by the influence of once dominant German academies, working instead in their unique Modernist 20th Century figural styles. These two longtime college teachers had some other parallels in their lives.
Besides being life long artists broadly exhibited in their lifetimes, both gentlemen also served as professors and thereby influenced generations of younger artists. Both also had a reputation for their strong and idiosyncratic personalities. They began their careers during a time of social consciousness, when the plights of the poor, refugees and the war torn were obvious and in need of recognition. Both men used their abilities to voice their concerns for the ravaged and socially malaffected.
Their figural styles were distinctly different. Zingale’s work grew in a richly colorful manner with subjects having fairly sharp and defined outlines, while Friebert’s expression was largely to work in diffuse amber, dark and moody tones with deliberately blurred edges. Both men often drew upon subjects directly from their local experience and the environment in Wisconsin, though both absorbed conditions of humankind from the broader terrain of the world.
For interested viewers one can still catch the Friebert showing at the Museum of Wisconsin Art thru July 27th in the exhibit titled “Milwaukee’s Old Master: Joseph Friebert”. The museum will also have some documentation of the Zingale show that was held earlier this year.
The Museum of Wisconsin Art is located at 300 North Sixth Avenue, West Bend, WI, with hours of Wed. thru Sat, 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM and Sunday, 1- 4:30 PM. Phone 262-334-0638 for more information.