Location: MOWA | DTN
located inside Saint Kate—The Arts Hotel in downtown Milwaukee
Suzanne Rose’s aesthetic is influenced by the pioneer photographers of the nineteenth century. Before highways and byways became commonplace, enterprising artists braved America’s hinterlands with wagons full of cameras, glass plates, chemicals, and provisions. Their magnificent photographs introduced Americans to the natural beauty of the country and convinced politicians that this heritage should be protected.
Whereas her predecessors captured the majesty of mountains and grand vistas, Rose photographs the gentle presence of the anthropocene in the Midwest. Blind Spot
presents the subtle violence that humans do to their environment and the quiet strength of nature. To Rose’s eye, trees suggest the human condition. Pruned to make way for telephone wires, saddled with hunting blinds, or set shoulder to shoulder with sheds, her trees exhibit the scars and imperfections associated with anthropomorphic personality. Abandoned buildings overgrown with wild vegetation demonstrate a resilient nature’s push back.
The photographs resist timestamping. The lush black-and-white images are toned with a custom gradient that Rose developed by studying vintage prints. Their rounded corners, emerald-cut rectangles, and elongated oval formats are directly derived from the 1860s. Despite the influence of yesteryear, Blind Spot
is resolutely of the present, gently nudging viewers toward a more thoughtful relationship with their environment.