Inside/Outside: Shana McCaw + Brent Budsberg
Photos: Troy Freund Photography
Opening reception: Saturday, February 26, 4:30–6:30 pm (after the Winter Carnival)
Closing event: Wednesday, June 29, 6:30-9:00 pm
6:30 pm: Join the artists for a picnic (bring your own picnic)
7:30 pm: Book release, video screening, and lighting of their outdoor sculpture.
Shana McCaw and Brent Budsberg continue to explore scale, illusion, and the dialogue between interior and exterior space in an exhibition that focuses on combustion. The miniature 19th century wooden farmhouse that has been a recurring character in their narrative will make a ghostly, stripped-down appearance on the grounds of the sculpture garden—itself a farm in the 19th century. “Coal-and-ice” is an outline of a foundation dug several inches into the cold, wintry soil. During the opening, the artists will fill the trench with coals and set it alight, leaving a residue of ash in the shape of a house. This remnant will bear an uneasy resemblance to a series of burned or burning, charred and smoke-stained houses—sometimes no more than piles of rubble—captured in large-scale photographs in the gallery. The artists exploit the photographic medium to create the illusion that these are images of real houses, real remains, but subtle clues—scale conflicts, odd or impossible viewpoints, the miniature foundation outside—point to their fictional origin.
McCaw and Budsberg have collaborated for a decade on a practice that encompasses sculpture, performance and site-specific installation. Their recent work incorporates models that enable them to consider notions of scale, deception and suspension of disbelief while examining the psychology of place, ancestral memory, and the passage of time. McCaw and Budsberg are also founding members of the WhiteBoxPainters, a performance art group specializing in large-scale, temporary public projects.
McCaw currently teaches at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and Cardinal Stritch University. Budsberg is a supervisor at the Steve Lacey 3-D Lab at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. He is also a musician, and has built numerous set pieces for the theatre/film industry. The two received the Mary Nohl Fellowship for Individual Artists in the Established category in 2008.
Recent exhibitions include a solo show at the James Watrous Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin; the Nohl Fellows Exhibition at the Institute of Visual Arts (Inova) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Descendant, a solo exhibition at the Wright Museum of Art in Beloit, Wisconsin; and Current Tendencies: Ten Artists from Wisconsin at the Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee. In May 2011, McCaw and Budsberg will be in residence in Wendover, Utah with the Los Angeles-based Center for Land Use Interpretation.