Milwaukee

Jennifer Bartlett

Milwaukee Art Museum

For most of this decade Jennifer Bartlett has been creating quasi environments, elaborate installations made of large landscape-oriented paintings and freestanding sculptures strategically strewn into the viewers’ space. The pictorial and physical components of her work echo rather than collide; elements depicted on canvas—boats, small houses, fences—are transubstantiated into sculpture, setting up spatial and compositional tensions that elude easy reconciliation. This interest in what constitutes a pictorial field, and how that field can be stretched to a point of crisis or resolution has long been a concern of Bartlett’s, and this exhibition provided an overview of the ensembles documenting that inquiry over the last few years.

All four of Bartlett’s larger series (“The Creek,” 1984, “The Island,” 1984–85, “Luxembourg Garden,” 1985, and “At Sands Point,”1986–87) have as their starting

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