What to See at Sculpture Milwaukee This Year

This year’s collection is a mix of fan favorites with new installations.

Sculpture Milwaukee is back! Roughly a dozen new sculptures are being installed throughout the city – mostly along Wisconsin Avenue – and will remain on view at least through October. 

“We are working with these world-class artists and curators to come in and guest-curate the show,” says Brian Schupper, Sculpture Milwaukee’s executive director. “We have a wonderful collection of pieces.”

One of the new sculptures Schupper is excited for the public to see is William Hambling, an enormous, debatably phallic gourd created for this year’s show by provocative British artist Sarah Lucas – who often employs visual puns and bawdy imagery in her work. Works like this one, Schupper says, “really push the boundaries around what people think of as sculpture.” The piece is on view outside the Marcus Performing Arts Center.


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Who’s Afraid to Listen to Red, Black and Green? by Kevin Beasley is installed outside of Marquette University’s Haggerty Museum of Art. Beasley assembled a trio of acoustic mirrors, covering them with scraps of resin-coated fabric in pan-African colors. “It’s a colorful, fun, interactive piece,” Schupper says. 

Some favorites from last year remain in the lineup, like Jason Pickleman’s Hand Heart from last year’s exhibition. This stylized depiction of a hand and a heart continues its run in part because of how much the audience loved it. “In a time of anxiety,” Schupper says, “it’s really nice to see a big, colorful symbol of love and invitation. We can all use some of that.”


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s August issue.

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Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.