Kasia Kay Art Projects is pleased to present the collaborative work of Duncan R. Anderson and Daniel Bruttig in their new show, “Wisconessee.” This groundbreaking exhibition offers the combined perspective of two innovative and dynamic artists that creates an unparallel visual experience.
“Wisconessee is what happens when the tragicomic jumble of national myths, personal icons, family histories, and dislocated spirits of the artists' respective homelands are reassembled according to a new set of instructions, resulting in the kind of unlikely hybrids that could only happen here.
Daniel Bruttig, from the lakes and woods of Wisconsin, and Duncan Robert Anderson, from the mountains of East Tennessee, don't take us to Wisconessee; indeed, you really and truly can't get there from here. Wisconessee is about a place, but it doesn’t come with a map as such. Instead, it’s a work of cultural geography, a map made of portraits. This work speaks of other places by introducing us to other creatures: the wandering, the disconnected, the abandoned, the marooned in our midst.
On the one hand, Anderson and Bruttig come on in this show like a couple of carnival barkers: behold! The stranded astronaut! The grotesque frantic lady! The monstrous mechanic! The werewolf-architect of memorials! But just as many folks miss out on the complexity of the American backwoods running beneath the surface of atavistic stereotypes, to note only the pop, almost camp dimensions of the melodramas here is to miss out on an important point: these are people they know. This is the place they are from, too.
Each artist undermines his overstatements with an injection of the ordinary. Bruttig’s Wisconessee is populated by furry freaks, for sure, but they’re the freaks you’re likely to meet in the parking lot at an AC/DC concert, or stand in line with at the bank. And while, by contrast, we tend to find Anderson’s Wisconesseeans in more Romantic predicaments—last stands, pyrrhic victories, moments of truth, of superhuman longing and distress—in the midst of them, as often as not, Our Hero is liable to behave in ways as petty and profane as you or me. Epic tragedy is more likely to be met with grumbling resentment or pitiful resignation than with noble stoicism.
In the end this is street-level mythology, as grotesque and Romantic as daily life practiced by two guys who met one day on a street in Chicago. Wisconessee isn’t a foreign land after all, its legends notwithstanding. It’s not an effort to show us a way out of the city, an Otherworld played for hilarity or horror, it’s an effort to add to it, to clear a space in the grid for faces from other places, and their freakish, epic dramas of the mundane. Everybody’s got legends, and Wisconessee is one of them.”
- Douglas Reichert Powell, PhD, Columbia College Chicago
Duncan Robert Anderson (born 1969) received his BFA from East Tennessee State University. His work has been exhibited in Chicago, IL including East Tennessee Landscapes (solo exhibition) at Columbia College; Mexico City, Mexico; New York, NY; and Los Angeles, CA. Articles on Anderson have appeared in the Chicago Reader and New City Chicago.
Daniel Bruttig (born 1975, Milwaukee, WI) received a BFA from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001 and his MFA from the Department of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University in 2010. He has presented work in group and solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, and Milwaukee. Bruttig has contributed work to the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, The Hyde Park Art Center and Evanston Art Center. Collections include Moscow, New York, San Diego, Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee. In 2009 he received the Dedalus Foundation nomination. Bruttig lives and works in Chicago, IL. In 2010, Bruttig received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging MFA nomination.