Sculptures: Dan McGuire, Gary John Gresl, Walkers Point Center
for the Arts
by James Auer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Inventiveness and resourcefulness characterize the found-object sculptures
of both Dan McGuire and Gary John Gresl, but there the similarity ends.
McGuire, who teaches studio art at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater,
deals astutely and satirically with personal choices and options in the
context of circus-clown imagery.
Gresl, more intuitive and reflective, stresses nostalgia and emotional
recall. Deeply enmeshed in the antiques business, he finds working material
of all sorts close at hand.
Both men produce work that rewards close scrutiny. Their show, running
through Saturday at the Walkers Point Center for the Arts, is a
diverting jumble of re-used and re-conceptualized objects.
McGuires creations are extravagant and fanciful, homages simultaneously
to Sigmund Freud and Rube Goldberg. The emphasis is on extravagant caricature
and flamboyant juxtapositions of everyday objects. His creations evoke
laughter with just a touch of poignancy.
Gresl tends to be an emotional provocateur rather than a political activist.
He seems less interested in the excesses of consumerist capitalism than
he is in the psychic vibrations that emanate from a giant bone unearthed
in Widow Fishers quarry, or his memories of the moment he first
saw a nude photograph of Marilyn Monroe in the notorious calendar.
The show is a diverting few minutes with two good-humored jacks of all
trades. The cluttered presentation is something of a drawback. But then,
clutter is what this sort of elaborately collaged and sometimes-appliquéd
work is all about.
Back to Reviews