Museum of Wisconsin Art Presents Daniel Gerhartz: The Continuum of Beauty 

Featuring the Kewaskum Artist’s First Mid-career Retrospective of More Than 30 Paintings

March 15, 2018
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WEST BEND, Wis. (March 15, 2018): The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) is pleased to announce the mid-career retrospective of Kewaskum artist Daniel Gerhartz. The exhibition, Daniel Gerhartz: The Continuum of Beauty, features more than thirty paintings in the Hyde Gallery. Opening with a party on Saturday, April 14, The Continuum of Beauty presents the work of Gerhartz who embraces a form of Realism.

“I want my paintings to represent a world that people strive for, even if it doesn’t actually exist.” said Gerhartz. “I paint a world of gratitude, greater acceptance, and giving rather than discord. I hope that my paintings provide some light to contrast the darkness in people’s lives.”

“Gerhartz highlights beauty in many ways and is deliberate in creating beauty amidst a world that often seems harsh or ugly.” said Graeme Reid, MOWA director of exhibitions and collections “He is preserving a traditional nineteenth century style of painting done from life in the studio or en plein air. His talent is truly something special and recognized as such through his international gallery representation.”



Image: Daniel Gerhartz, Lalique, Oil on canvas, anonymous lender



Nestled deep in the woods near Kewaskum, in Wisconsin’s lush Kettle Moraine, sits Daniel Gerhartz’s studio. Inside, it feels as though you have stepped back in time to the grand manner painting of the Gilded Age. Canvases finished and unfinished line the walls. Paints, brushes, and a palette flank an enormous wooden easel; overstuffed chairs, props, and luxurious fabrics await the next model. Gerhartz, born in Kewaskum in 1965, practices a form of Realism that traces its origins to the great figurative and portrait painters of the late nineteenth century.

Classically trained at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Gerhartz possesses effortless technical facility for painting and a deep, abiding kinship to the traditional artists he first discovered three decades ago in the galleries of the Art Institute of Chicago: John Singer Sargent (1856–1925), JoaquÍn Sorolla (1863–1923), and Anders Zorn (1860–1920). These artists provided inspiration for Gerhartz in their understanding of the human form, use of brilliant color, vigorous brushwork, and light as both illumination and emotional element. Above all, each excelled at conveying concepts of classical female beauty.

This exhibition of more than thirty paintings is the artist’s first major retrospective; it includes many new, never before seen works. His subjects hover between traditional figurative painting and portraiture; only about five percent of his production is true commissioned portraiture. Gerhartz often depicts an interrupted moment, as if the sitter has just realized the artist’s presence. In the majority of his paintings, he relies on his wife, children, or a friendly farmer as models. These paintings are not portraits per se but rather vignettes, archetypes of maternal love, childhood simplicity, or grandfatherly affection; they often evoke an earlier and more humble way of life.

For Gerhartz, despite the currency of Conceptual or Postmodern styles, beauty is still a worthwhile aspiration. He finds inspiration and meaning in time-tested ideas about painting, simplicity, and family.


Exhibition Activities

DANIEL GERHARTZ: THE CONTINUUM OF BEAUTY
On View: April 14–July 29, 2018 
Museum of Wisconsin Art | Hyde Gallery
Free with Membership | Walk-ins Welcome

OPENING PARTY 
Saturday, April 14 | 2:00–5:00 
Meet Daniel Gerhartz and enjoy art making, live music by The Latchkeys, light bites, and a cash bar. 
Free with Membership | Walk-ins Welcome

ARTIST TALK: DANIEL GERHARTZ
Thursday, May 3 | 6:30–7:30 
Gerhartz discusses the inspiration behind his stunning paintings, and his journey working as an internationally-recognized artist living in Kewaskum. Free with Membership | Walk-ins Welcome

DANIEL GERHARTZ STUDIO TOUR
Saturday, May 19 | 10:30–12:00 
Friends of Wisconsin Art (FOWA) members are invited to visit artist Daniel Gerhartz at his studio in Kewaskum. Spend the morning in this picturesque setting surrounded by rolling hills and rural countryside where Gerhartz will discuss his creative process and the inspiration behind his work. Space is limited. | FOWA membership admits two. Learn more and make a reservation by calling 262-247-2271 or emailing lknopke@wisconsinart.org.

MEET THE ARTIST
Saturday, June 9 | 2:00–4:00 
Join Gerhartz in the gallery for casual conversations. Free with Membership | Walk-ins Welcome



EXHIBITION SUPPORT

Support for 2018 exhibitions is generously provided by James and Karen Hyde, Cynthia and Tom LaConte, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Pick Heaters, Wisconsin Arts Board, and Julie and John Dedrick.



MEDIA CONTACT
Jessica Wildes

262-247-2266
jwildes@wisconsinart.org


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ABOUT MOWA

The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) explores the art and culture of Wisconsin. Founded in 1961, MOWA is one of the top museums of regional art in the United States, with over 5,000 works of contemporary and historic art by more than 350 artists. Through rotating exhibitions and educational programs, MOWA provides an innovative forum for the culturally engaged.


In 2013, MOWA opened its new 32,000-square-foot facility in downtown West Bend. The building, the first museum commission by acclaimed architect Jim Shields of HGA Architects, is situated along the west bend of the Milwaukee River on a triangular plot of land that inspired the facility’s modern wedge shape. An expansive wall of windows follows the curve of the river bank and minimizes the boundaries between interior and exterior. The museum houses five permanent collection galleries, three temporary exhibition spaces, and two classrooms as well as visible art storage, a shop, and a large atrium for public events. 

Museum of Wisconsin Art
205 Veterans Avenue, West Bend, Wisconsin 53095
262-334-9638 | wisconsinart.org.

Jessica Wildes, Director of Communications and Marketing
jwildes@wisconsinart.org, 262.247.2266