Museum of Wisconsin Art
West Bend, WI 53095
October 13, 2018 - January 13, 2019
Reception Saturday, October 13, 2018 2p-5p
Herd, a new body of thirty works by painter Craig Blietz, is part Barbizon school, part agrarian abstraction. Cows dominate the pictures and serve as a canvas within the canvas for elaborating on the abstract designs with which Mother Nature decorates cowhides. Blietz foreshortens and positions his cows according to the classical conventions of perspective, but with depth-less backgrounds of quilt-like patterns and muted agrarian iconography, space is more implied than made explicit. For the Wisconsin painter, cows are emblematic of his native Midwest and the dairy state in particular. But the individuality of the cows is not sacrificed in symbolic sublimation. Blietzâ€™s realism is ennobling and he can identify Buttercup and his other bovine muses as effortlessly as DalĂ could spot Gala.