Museum of Wisconsin Art Presents Chris Maddox: Atlas Chronos 

Mixed Media Artwork Inspired by 2018 Emerging Artist-in-Residence Program in Luxembourg

January 4, 2019
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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, January 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.”
Jessica Wildes, Director of Communications and Marketing
jwildes@wisconsinart.org, 262.247.2266