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Press Release

Khari Turner Showcased in First Wisconsin Solo Exhibition

Exhibition March 21, 2022

(WEST BEND, WI – March 21, 2022) –The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) presents Mirroring Reflection, a solo exhibition of 26 paintings by Milwaukee-born artist Khari Turner. Mirroring Reflection is Turner’s first solo museum show in his home state of Wisconsin following his solo international debut at the 2022 Venice Biennale.

The exhibition is on view April 30–July 10, 2022. An opening reception with the artist will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2:00–4:00.

Turner’s paintings continue a series of works in which he paints with water from oceans, rivers, and lakes with a connection to Black history—including the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan. Turner, who recently completed his M.F.A. at Columbia University, uses the
collected water in two primary ways: as a “primer” on the substrate before adding a layer of paint or by mixing in the waters to thin out the paint. His paintings are heavily symbolic combining abstract and realistic renderings of Black figures to underscore the spiritual and physical relationship of his ancestors to water.

“MOWA is the perfect venue for Khari Turner’s first solo museum show. His work will be showcased in a gallery that overlooks the Milwaukee River,” said Director of Exhibitions Graeme Reid, “This location is highly synergistic: Turner uses water drawn from the river that flows through his hometown in several of his works. His dynamic portraits raise important questions about place and ancestry and justify his increasing national and international reputation.”

MOWA’s 2022 exhibitions are supported in part by James & Karen Hyde, Pick Heaters, and a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9:30–4:00. Admission as low as $15 provides unlimited visits for one full year.


A vital cultural center, educational institution, an expanding network of ideas, the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) collects and interprets American art through the lens of a single state. Informed by dynamic initiatives and collaborations, MOWA is an innovative forum for contemporary artists, socially relevant exhibitions, lectures by artists and industry experts, and engaging classes and activities for all ages.

MOWA has two permanent venues—the West Bend “Mothership” and MOWA | DTN in downtown Milwaukee’s Saint Kate—The Arts Hotel—as well as two partnering community organizations that create access across the state. MOWA annually welcomes 200,000 visitors, making it a cultural destination for the art and artists of our time.


Image: Khari Turner, River Steps, 2022 (detail). Acrylic, oil, ink, charcoal, African mahogany, water from: Coast of Senegal, lower Manhattan docks, Lake Michigan, Milwaukee River, Pacific Ocean. Courtesy of the artist