Martha Wilson exhibition opens June 7 at UWM’s INOVA

An exhibition of work by Martha Wilson opens Friday, June 7, at INOVA (Institute of Visual Arts) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The opening reception from 5-8 p.m. includes a talk by the artist at 7 p.m. The exhibition continues through Aug. 11.

 Martha Wilson as Barbara Bush, 1991, still from color video.  (Images Courtesy of Independent Curators International)

INOVA is located at Kenilworth Square East, 2155 N. Prospect Ave. Hours are 12-5 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and 12-8 p.m. Thursday. Admission is free. For more information, phone 414-229-5070 or visit The website also will have updates on special programming being planned for the summer.

“Martha Wilson” is among the closing events of the Year of the Arts (YOA) at UWM, July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013. YOA celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Peck School of the Arts, its influence in the Wisconsin arts community, and the contributions that the arts, creativity and innovation have in every discipline.

“Martha Wilson” is the first exhibition INOVA Director Sara Krajewski has brought to campus. She brings a second exhibition, “Steve Rowell: Uncanny Sensing,” to INOVA June 21-Sept. 15.

Exhibition explores the role of women

Martha Wilson, I make up the image of my deformity/I make up the image of my perfection, (Detail), 1974. Two color photographs, text.

Over the span of her 40-year career, Martha Wilson has embraced humor and satire to examine the roles of women in our society. Whether she’s masquerading as a striving secretary or performing as a former First Lady, Wilson’s work explores how one’s identity is a complex negotiation between self-expression and cultural expectations.

Wilson is also an underground hero as the founder and director of Franklin Furnace, an alternative venue for performance and socially engaged art in New York City.

The exhibition will include archival materials from dozens of projects that exemplify the power of art to raise awareness and encourage action on issues that face our communities.

“Martha Wilson” is a traveling exhibition organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, and curated by Peter Dykhuis. Krajewski aims to connect the exhibition to the university community and Milwaukee through programs that generate dialogue around feminism and alternative art forms.