Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: Mythologies

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: Mythologies accompanies an exhibition that engages in a pivotal discussion about Eugene Von Bruenchenhein’s extensive body of work, the people and contexts that spurred his imagination, and his creative legacy. From the 1930s until his death in 1983, Von Bruenchenhein was a prolific artist, producing paintings, sculpture, photography, drawings, and poetry in his small Milwaukee home.

Von Bruenchenhein’s first creative venture was to photograph his wife, Marie; ultimately, she was his main subject. Transforming his kitchen and living room into a studio, he processed black-and-white prints in his bathroom darkroom and experimented with double exposures and montage printing. Although little has been written about Marie, this catalogue reflects on the yearning to know more about her and the contradiction between what we know and what we see. In the 1950s, dismayed by newspaper images of the H-bomb, Von Bruenchenhein began painting surreal subjects, ranging from atomic mushroom clouds to mythical creatures and futuristic metropolises. Further evidence of his personal mythologies is found in his sculptures of architectural and organic structures. He built elaborate towers and chairs out of poultry bones, created ceramic and metal crowns for himself and Marie to wear, and constructed many “sensor pots” and vases out of ceramic leaf shapes and plant forms. In all of his creative output, he transformed the everyday materials from his humble environment into the realm of fantasy and royalty.

Von Bruenchenhein’s work remained undiscovered until shortly after his death, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center began cataloging and photographing the work soon thereafter. The Von Bruenchenhein collection holds a special legacy for the Arts Center as the first art environment to enter the collection, initiating its world-renowned collecting program. While the artist did not receive acclaim during his lifetime, his work now circulates within the more elite circles of the art world. This lavishly illustrated catalogue enlists contemporary curators to explore yet-uncovered aspects of Von Bruenchenhein’s oeuvre.

Find out more about EVB here.

245 Pages
265 Images

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: Mythologies

General Public ($65.95)
($55.00 Ticket + $10.95 Fees)
AC Subscriber Public ($49.20)
($41.25 Ticket + $7.95 Fees)

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