Eugene Von Bruenchenhein Exhibition


poster for Eugene Von Bruenchenhein Exhibition

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When Eugene Von Bruenchenhein died in 1983, he was known as little more than an employee at the local bakery in his small suburban corner of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Only a tight coterie of family and friends were made privy to his obsessive, prolific life as an artist and writer, who labored for forty years - often into the early hours of the morning to create the treasure trove of paintings, photographs, ceramics, drawings and sculptures, as well as reams of poetry and philosophical musings, which stuffed every corner of the modest home he shared with his beloved wife, Marie. Only after his death, when a family friend brought Von Bruenchenhein sculptures to the Milwaukee Art Museum did his status as one of America’s greatest visionary artists come to light. Maccarone is proud to present “Bits from First World”, the gallery’s first exhibition of the work of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, on view from March 1 - April 12, 2014.

Von Bruenchenhein seldom strayed far from his home, which had previously belonged to his family, and an attempt to join the army during the Second World War failed due to his short stature. Thus much of his work sprang solely from his imaginative forays into the vast reaches of space and time, and his layman’s investigations into the beguiling isomorphism that binds the micro and macroscopic worlds. For this latter endeavor, Von Bruenchenhein employed both telescope and microscope, translating the alien worlds hidden from the naked eye into the bristling, kaleidoscopic paintings rendered with his fingers in such furious, concentrated intensity that a friend once described him as working “like a man possessed”. Concurrently, he spun grand cosmological speculations centered on his theory of Earth’s ancient progenitor, dubbed First World, a giant planet from which our own splintered off in a cataclysmic event not unlike the one that scientists believe formed our moon. First World teemed with exotic plant-animal hybrids and was studded with spindly, crystalline architecture both of which inevitably made their way into Von Bruenchenhein’s paintings, some of which depicted the fictional planet itself, while others addressed more terrestrial concerns.



from March 01, 2014 to April 12, 2014

Opening Reception on 2014-03-01 from 18:00 to 20:00

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