Opening June 20th, 2009 at The Green Gallery East

If God Could Draw

Drawings by Nick Lowe and Mike Williams

The Green Gallery is pleased to present If God Could Draw, a series of new drawings by Nick Lowe of Los Angeles and Mike Williams of New York.  Lowe and Williams embody a drawing style of today. An informed understanding of art is noticeable in the undertones of their work: classic compositions; personalized pallet; subject matter that references classic architecture, painting, and printmaking as well as contemporary video games, movie plots, and cityscapes. Their new body of work maintains the vibrant mashing of fine and pop culture while adding a new layer of punniness.

In Williams’s new drawings we see brilliant colors reminiscent of
Wassily Kandinsky’s Der Blaue Reiter painting period: bright primary colors mixed in a sea of mark making with vivid imagery of floating characters. The view is obscured in a metaphysical space. These are masterfully crafted, ecstatically ugly drawings that preserve the charm of the artist’s larger works.

In Lowe’s words: “I have always really loved Mondrian and Judd, and at the same time been very envious of them.  I would look at a Judd and think, ‘oh that must be nice, just making a bunch of cubes and putting them on the ground in a ranch somewhere.’  I always thought those guys had it easy, but at the same time, made beautiful work.” For Lowe, this series of drawings is a new approach. He laid out limitations, made precise imperfect squares.

If God Could Draw investigates, in varying degrees, the spiritual and the humorous within the heavily conceptual art world.

Images of the Draw-off

Also showing in the back room:

(N)icholas (F)rank (S)elects: Drawings from the Hermetic Collection

Nicholas Frank began showing Milwaukee artists in 1992 and opened the Hermetic Gallery in March, 1994. Throughout the eight years the gallery was open, Frank collected the work of artists shown at Hermetic, largely to preserve the legacy of the gallery and to represent this particular moment in the contemporary art of the American Midwest.

“(N)icholas (F)rank (S)elects: Drawings from the Hermetic Collection” is a teaser of a show, a prelude to a future Green Gallery exhibition that will explore the Hermetic Collection in depth (tentatively scheduled for Fall 2009). Serving as a complement to the “If God Could Draw” exhibition featuring Nick Lowe and Mike Williams, “(NFS)” presents drawings by Carla Arocha, Michael Banicki, David Shrigley and Jeni Spota.

While the work by Arocha (then known as Carla Preiss), Banicki and Shrigley was collected during the run of the Hermetic, the Spota drawing represents Frank’s work with the Milwaukee International and the ongoing expansion of the Hermetic Collection to include more recent work. Frank also continues to work with contemporary artists as curator of the Institute of Visual Arts (Inova).

Frank thanks these artists for their generous spirit and goodwill, and appreciates that Green Gallery co-owner John Riepenhoff is aware of recent Milwaukee art history. “I’m not surprised by the success of these artists,” Frank said, “but I’m a bit humbled that my little art collection has actually become a kind of important document of the time, and of this early phase of these artists’ careers.”

Sat., June 20th from 4-8 p.m., and runs through July 26, 2009.


Installation View

Nick Lowe, 2009

Nick Lowe, 2009

Nick Lowe, 2009

Mike Williams, 2009

Mike Williams, 2009