On September 20, 1992, Green Bay Packers quarterback Don Majkowski was tackled to the ground and suffered a strained ligament in his ankle. Louisiana-born Brett Favre took over as quarterback. Initially, Favre’s novice colors showed through his green and yellow Packer uniform as he fumbled the ball and threw interceptions, but he soon took control. The Packers won the game, and Favre has started every game since.
As a player and as a personality, Favre is a legend to Packer and football fans. Tim Laun: Sunday, September 20th, 1992 explores the longevity of Favre’s career with the Packers as well as the complicated emotional attachment of his fans.
The centerpiece of the exhibition, Don Majkowski: Sunday, September 20th, 1992, is a 36-foot-long work showing the injured Majkowski on the field on that fateful Sunday afternoon. The lone, injured figure on the lush green field signals the end of one era and the beginning of another.
Laun explores the complexity and length of Favre’s career with Model for Cyclorama, which consists of 257 plaster television sets. Each set symbolizes a game Favre has played in the NFL, and sets will be added as Favre’s 16th season progresses. The idea of the cyclorama plays on Laun’s Wisconsin roots, harking back to the panorama tradition of the state’s German immigrants, but it also highlights the spectacle nature of football, where one team playing against another is an apt metaphor for war and battle.
The exhibition also includes five lithographs showing individual players from a December 2000 game between the Packers and the Tampa Bay Bucaneers. The Favre lithograph combines two views of the athlete in action, one taken by the artist himself from the stands, and another extracted from what viewers at home might have seen on television.
Laun says his role in creating Tim Laun: September 20th, 1992 was akin to a curator’s, honing and packaging Favre’s career for the thinking fan. Using scale and seriality, Laun asks the viewer to consider new questions about how we experience, perceive, and adore sports—to be at once believers and critics.
Generous funding for Tim Laun: Sunday, September 20th, 1992 has been provided by J.H. Findorff & Son; Hausmann-Johnson Insurance, Inc.; Associated Bank; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C.; H&M Distributing/Miller Brewing Company; the Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club; the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation and the Overture Foundation; a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin; and the Art League of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Artworks in the exhibition are not sponsored by or affiliated in any way with the National Football League or the Green Bay Packers.
Monday, October 15 • 6:30 pm
New Perspectives on the Wisconsin Gridiron
Join MMoCA for a unique event exploring football from an arts perspective. Richard Corley, artistic director for the Madison Repertory Theatre, will moderate a panel of writers and curators associated with MMoCA’s exhibition Tim Laun: Sunday September 20th, 1992 and the Madison Repertory Theatrer’s upcoming production Lombardi/The Only Thing. Participants include:
David Maraniss Mr. Maraniss is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The Washington Post and author of several non-fiction books including When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi.
Eric Simonson The Madison Repertory Theatre commissioned Mr. Simonson to writeLombardi/The Only Thing, a play about the legendary coach inspired by When Pride Still Mattered. He is an Academy Award winner and an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
Jane Simon Ms. Simon is the curator of exhibitions at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. She worked with artist Tim Laun to organize the exhibition Sunday September 20th, 1992.
A post-talk reception will be held in the museum’s lobby. The event is free; please RSVP to 608.257.0158 to reserve a seat. Forward Progress is generously sponsored by Associated Bank.
Art Talk with Tim Laun • Thursday, September 20, 6:30 pm
Coinciding with the anniversary of Favre’s first game as a Green Bay Packer, Tim Laun joins MMoCA curatorial staff in a conversation about the genesis and multi-faceted dimensions of Tim Laun: Sunday, September 20th, 1992. Free for MMoCA members | $5 for the general public. Lecture Hall.
Express It! Workshop • Friday, October 5, 6–8 pm
The Superbowl is a pinnacle of achievement for a football player such as Brett Favre. Players from the winning team receive a special ring to commemorate their triumph. Adults and kids ages 8 and up are invited to stop by the museum’s classroom to make a “championship ring” to celebrate their accomplishments at home, work, school, or on the playground. Children must be accompanied by an adult; younger siblings are welcome. Materials provided.
Gallery Talk with Dr. Carla Corroto • Friday, November 2, 6:30 pm
In conjunction with Tim Laun: Sunday, September 20th, 1992, Dr. Carla Corroto will discuss sports as a social phenomenon. Her focus will include what it means to be a fan of professional football; how football affirms or challenges dominant values, attitudes, and beliefs; and the role athletic heroes play in contemporary U.S. society. State Street Gallery.
Kids’ Art Adventures • Sunday, November 11, 1–2:30 pm
Artist Tim Laun is a big fan of Green Bay Packers quarter back Brett Favre and has made an entire exhibition celebrating Favre’s football career. Participants in this Kids’ Art Adventure will make a work of art about the special qualities of their own personal hero—whether a family member, friend, sport player, teacher, or character from their imagination. Activities are planned for 6 to 10 year olds, but younger siblings are also welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet promptly at 1 pm in MMoCA’s main lobby. Free