Wriston exhibit features Wisconsin artist

Paul Karner

The Wriston Art Center’s Hoffmaster and Kohler galleries are currently hosting the work of Wisconsin painter Jeff Lipschutz.
As a professor of painting and drawing at UW-Oshkosh, Lipschutz has lived in Wisconsin for over 15 years, though his artwork finds its roots in Lipschutz’ hometown of Eagle Mountain, Calif. This veritable ghost town and the surreal yet severe nature of its surrounding landscape have been the driving inspiration behind Lipschutz’s work.
The show, entitled “Desert,” depicts an artist’s obsession with what Lipschutz calls the “entropic and apocalyptic” qualities of this brutal corner of America.
“I think a lot of people respond to [Jeff’s] work as not being visibly attractive,” stated Lawrence art professor John Shimon, “which I think — especially in the upper Midwest — is a pretty radical way for a realistic painter depicting the landscape to work.
“People really have to spend a lot of time with his work to see that it’s not about making a beautiful object, but a beautiful place.”
The art department’s faculty members were pleased to host the work of a successful artist working in Wisconsin. “It’s nice to see a big show like this with somebody from the region who’s been at it for so long,” Shimon said. “Jeff’s had a presence in Wisconsin ever since he came here in ’89.”
Professor Rob Neilson was equally enthusiastic. “I think one of the things that Lawrence does very well is exhibit the work of local artists, showing students what it means to be an artist working in Wisconsin or the Midwest,” Neilson stated. “It helps students to determine for themselves what success can be on a local or regional level and on an international level as well.”
Also on display in the Leech Gallery at Wriston is “Women of the Augusti: Coins from the Ottila Buerger Collection of Lawrence University.” The exhibit, featuring coins depicting women of Imperial Rome, was curated by senior art history major Jennifer Nummerdor. “Women of the Augusti” also includes details from the lives of these women who managed to receive distinction in a male-dominated society.
“Women of the Augsti” and Jeff Lipschutz’s “Desert” will be on display through May 14 in the Wriston Art Center.