One of our favorite things is Sculpture Milwaukee, the “outdoor museum” of world-class art that has spruced up Downton Milwaukee every summer since 2017. And hey, despite the ongoing pandemic and everything else falling apart, Sculpture Milwaukee is back! And so are our completely arbitrary rankings!
Some arbitrary rules for these arbitrary rankings: Five pieces from the 2020 collection have appeared in previous years (these shouldn’t be confused with the four “Legacy Artworks” that are on permanent display.) These previous entries have been bumped down five spots from their original rankings. Why five? Don’t know! Wouldn’t it make more sense to consider them anew, taking into account how they stack up to the new new 2020 pieces? Probably! Enjoy anyway!
1. Blob Monster – 2009
517 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Oh come on, you knew this thing was gonna be number one. It’s a big, bright, bold, and completely ridiculous Scooby-Doo monster, a multicolored memorial to Pizza The Hutt, a day-glo nightmare that looks like a melted candle one minute and maybe something else the next. Or, you know, maybe a piece called Blob Monster is just supposed to look like The Blob. What preposterous piece of pop culture bubbles to mind when you look at it? Also, it’s hilarious that this is outside the Federal Courthouse. We can’t think of anything more 2020 than that. (“And the government would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!”)
7. Cleft from the series Dendrites – 2018
720 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Another returning sculpture—this one from 2019—that still rules today. Here’s our insightful blurb from last year: “Anyone catch that Twin Peaks revival from a few years ago? Remember when Cooper was in the Black Lodge and he came across, um, ‘The Evolution of the Arm’? Hell yeah. Anyway, this piece kind of reminds us of that. It’s awesome.”