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Arts in Milwaukee

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    This etching belongs to a series showing little people living in the trees. It is based on an old fairy tale, where a young man is climbing into a huge tree and after three days he arrives in a village. Of course he is climbing further onto the top with a castle and the unavoidable princess, but I was just fascinated by the imagination of people living in a tree. Etching allows me to become narrative, what I don't like so much when painting.

Michael Kutzer

  • Art
I am an Art Professional

artist bio

1941 born in Leipzig/Germany as son of the animal painter Heinrich Kutzer;
grown up at the Baltic Sea;
1961 Gymnasium exam (Greek, Latin), apprenticeship as art glazier;
1965 – 1967 study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart/Germany;
1967 – 1969 study at the College of Education in Ludwigsburg/Germany in
Crafts and Art Education;
1969 - 1975 working as teacher in an Elementary School, developing my own
artistic language, first exhibition in Stuttgart;
1975 received Grant of the State of Baden-Württemberg for six more
semesters in the study of Painting and Printmaking at the Academy of Fine
Arts and Art History at the University of Stuttgart;
1979 until retirement in 2004 Teacher of Art and Art History at the Jörg
Ratgeb High School, Stuttgart, at last as a Deputy Principal;
during this time many art history related trips with my students and
members of my parish as tour guide;
in the 90s evening classes in Old Hebrew and Hebraicum;
all the time developing my own art in the old techniques I have learned
by my father; since
2004 living in Wisconsin as a free artist with permanent residency; member of

artist statement

A little about me and my art

I am German and when I’m asked where from in Germany it needs a longer explanation: born in Leipzig, grown up at the Baltic Sea and then living for four decades in Stuttgart, Southern Germany. I never thought even to visit America and now I’m here and I think I found the place, which waited all my life for me. How this happened? Ask my wife…
My father was a brilliant painter. I grew up with art. The picture books of my childhood were art books. When there were shown too much nudities, my mom took them away. I suffered standing as a model for my father and was very happy when he changed to animal painting. The fragrance of turpentine and dammar varnish was always exciting for me.
But just therefore it wasn’t easy to get away from the mighty shadow of my father. I studied in Stuttgart, 800 km away from the sea which I missed heavily. I studied painting and etching at the Academy of Fine Arts, Art History at the University and Art Education at the College of Education.
While I earned my livelihood as a teacher of art – I loved this job and was very engaged with it! – I spent all my free time with developing the profile of my artwork. I loved to create my own symbolic language with crabs, dolls, ruins, graveyards, angels, old books and snail shells, which I arranged in a mixture of still life and landscape. People often misunderstood my preference for darkness as pessimistic and destructive. To me it was just romantic.
Then, in 2001, when all my life seemed to be settled until my burial, Susan came into my life like a spark into a barrel of gun powder. The explosion hurled me to Milwaukee. I fell immediately in love with the lake shore here, which reminded me so much of the Baltic Sea. When I first climbed down the cliff near Cudahy I felt immediately I had found my spot in the world. After a while I couldn’t resist anymore. I began landscaping. My colors lightened up and my friends in Germany recognized, that I must feel very free and happy. They’re right. I’ll never leave the Milwaukee area voluntarily again.
Two things became important for my art: Moving to Bay View I discovered the wild beauty of Seminary Woods, which are an endless source of inspiration. Then I found an old book about painted targets, which gave me the idea to paint my landscapes on round canvasses with a center and circles to show how endangered nature is in our surrounding. But eventually the circles got a more spiritual meaning of spheres and connection with the universe.
The circular segments give me the freedom to develop color combinations, which express a certain mood, but cannot be found if you paint directly from nature.
As targets these paintings are objects and need no frame beside the painted one.

Oops, you wanted a less personal and more sober statement? Then have a look at my website…