Focus/Madison: Works from the Permanent Collection
August 28, 2010 to November 14, 2010

Context, setting, and place influence much of our thinking. This is especially true for artists who garner inspiration from the world around them. On view in MMoCA’s State Street Gallery,Focus/Madison: Works from the Permanent Collection examines works in the collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art that feature the city itself.

Photographs, prints, and paintings by 14 artists are included in the exhibition and demonstrate a striking range of perspectives. Photographs of political activists taken by Terry Husebye in 1971 are deliberately distorted through use of a wide-angle lens, enhancing the tension of confrontation. Twenty-six Polaroid photographs taken in the late 1970s by Gary Knowles show political demonstrations and cheerleaders, as well as important city landmarks like the Capitol building, the Red Gym, and the Wilson and Washington hotels. Demonstrating the city’s political focus during an earlier era, John Steuart Curry’s Progressive Party Rally depicts an impassioned political speech during the early twentieth century.

Artists in the exhibition also include Gibson Byrd, Dennis Church, Warrington Colescott, Gregory Conniff, Douglas Edmunds, Marshall Glasier, Allan Janus, Ellen Lanyon, Clayton Pond, Dana Van Horn, and Paul Vanderbilt.

Generous support for Focus/Madison: Works from the Permanent Collection has been provided by The Douglas Stewart Company, Inc.; Joe and Margo Melli; Jane Ann Blumenfeld; the Plantes Company, LLC.; a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Art League of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.


Saturday, September • 11-11:30 am 
Drop-In Tour
Marie Wunsch will consider Madison’s dynamic cultural history as represented in Focus/Madison: Works from the Permanent Collection

Friday, October 1 • 6:30-7 pm
Gary Knowles on His Madison Photo Series
Gary Knowles will discuss the manipulated SX-70 Polaroid photographs through which he captured quintessential aspects of Madison in the late 1970s. State Street Gallery.