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Day Drawing/Day Dreaming

Opening reception: Friday, Nov. 15, 6 to 8 pm. 

Exhibition runs through January 18, 2020. 

Portrait Society Gallery is excited to present four artists who each make daily drawings as part of their on-going art practice. "Day Drawing/Day Dreaming" looks at bodies of work that are intimately woven into the temporal condition of life: embedded in the calendar, aligned with the seasons, adhered to the passing of days. This work flows, grows and multiplies, representing in physical form the weight of a year. 


Carri Skoczek, Christopher T. Wood, Tracy Cirves and Emily Rudolph each manipulate seriality differently. They all use social media platforms such as Instagram to post their generative projects. 


Carri Skoczek, originally from Milwaukee, moved to New York City 20 years ago. Her art practice includes painting, drawing, beaded portraits, and small sculptural assemblages. Tending to focus on women as subjects, Skoczek looks to history or illustrious topics such as female saints, criminals or bull fighters. For the past year, she has been doing a daily oil pastel drawing of someone who crosses her visual or mental path. The drawings take a standardized format of 12 x 9 inches on black sketchbook paper. Gestural, radiant, and intensely present, the drawings possess a painterly immediacy that holds the subjects in the momentary dynamics of their being. Subjects range from recently deceased musicians or artists, to historic figures that Skoczek has long admired. Together they form a panoply of uniquely singular individuals. Skoczek posts each daily drawing on Instagram. 


Skoczek studied at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the Rocky Mountain School of Arts. She has also worked in theatre, creating props and costumes, and curated an annual show in conjunction with the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. She has shown her work at Figureworks, sideshow gallery, Holland Tunnel Gallery and Causey Contemporary, New York. 


Tracy Cirves is also interested in women and self-portraits that suggest the contemporary ideals often put forth on Instagram or social networks. Images that stage healthy living practices, exercise, green smoothies, or trips to the beach, present a continuous rain of visual dogma via the internet. Cirves tries on these roles. While showing a sincere desire to achieve these lifestyle benchmarks she also reveals the fraught ideals. Currently driving to several different Wisconsin cities as an adjunct teacher, Cirves makes her drawings on the road and posts them to Instagram. Her drawings often become preparatory sketches for larger oil paintings. A small group of new paintings are also included in the show. 


Tracy Cirves completed her undergraduate art degree at UW-Madison and her MFA at Yale. 


Christopher T. Wood is new to the Midwest, having relocated to Milwaukee this year from Pennsylvania. Since January 1, 2016, Wood has made a daily 9 x 12 inch powdered graphite drawing. Under the title “Daydrawing,” Wood considers both the distribution of the drawings and their accumulation as one entity that, “stretches through time, space, and beyond our capacity to observe.” He refers to these more than 1400 drawings as a “hyperobject,” something that emerges in pieces that hold some essence of every day and yet build into a multi-faceted entity that exists in different places and times, morphing into new configurations with each presentation. 


Wood’s drawings are extraordinarily delicate abstractions that may suggest natural forms or landscapes. Occasionally, they veer toward representation and may pick up fragments of contemporary news or events. The immense range of expression that he achieves from the elemental materials of white paper and carbon documents a chronology of invention and mood. 


Christopher Wood earned his BFA in Visual Communication Design at the University of Dayton, Ohio in 2001 and his MFA in painting at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL in 2005. Recent exhibitions include Invisible Landscapes at NoBo Artspace, Philadelphia; Daydrawing at Gallery 543, The Navy Yard, Philadelphia; Legions at James Oliver Gallery, Philadelphia. He is currently an Associate Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts.


Emily Rudolph considers the act of making art parallel to exercise. She says, “I think of making art as a set of muscles that needs to be worked out and stretched everyday in order to grow stronger and more flexible. If not, my skills, just like muscles will become weaker or even depleted.” She therefore makes a drawing everyday to maintain her practice, flesh out ideas and experiment. A previous show at Portrait Society featured floor to ceiling pen drawings by Rudolph (Drawn Out, 2017).


Heavily patterned and detailed, Rudolph finds subjects in the immediacy of her work and home environments. She earned her MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2019. 

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