Tom Uttech (1942 - )

Birth date: 9/27/1942 Death date:  
Birth location: Merrill, Wisconsin Death location:  
Media: Graphic Art , Painting , Photography Web site:
Fair (file rating) - MWA artist file may include basic data, and additional newspaper articles, book references, exhibition information, and images that can be researched on site at MWA.

Biography

Tom Uttech
Born 1942 in Merrill, Wisconsin
Tom Uttech, painter, photographer and teacher was born and raised in Wisconsin’s north woods. His memories and experiences have emotionally and passionately influenced his art throughout his career.  

In 1965, Tom received his B.A. from the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee and his M.F.A in painting from the University of Cincinnati in 1976. In his early artwork Uttech felt pressured by friends and colleagues to conform to their ideals of art and was soon so disillusioned that he actually quit painting for a few years. This time was spent teaching at UW-Milwaukee as a Professor of Art and enjoying family life.  After a few years he re-established himself as an artist and developed his stylistic landscape paintings. Uttech was often inspired by Vermeer and Leonardo da Vinci as he related to their design, expression and storytelling by studying their paintings.

In the mid 1980’s, Uttech purchased a farm with a barn studio in Saukville and over the years slowly developed the surrounding fields into natural prairie. His love of nature has made him an advocate of prairie restoration and he is also an avid bird watcher.

Uttech's self-taught photography skills date to the late 1960s and peaked between 1972-1983 when he shot and developed close to 1100 rolls of black and white film. Working on photography and painting simultaneously, the latter came to dominate and formed the basis of his current success. Uttech’s subject matter is usually derived from memories and emotional experiences from his many camping trips in Wisconsin’s north woods and Quetico Provincial Park in Northwestern Ontario; designated reserve for canoeing and hiking, located between Canada and Northern Minnesota.

Uttech has been a member and past president of Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors and has exhibited his work throughout the United States. In 2002, an etching by Tom was represented in “The Wisconsin Sesquicentennial Portfolio: 150 Years, 15 Artists.”  In 2006, he received a Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by the West Bend Art Museum, Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors / Wisconsin Artists in all Media and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. He is represented by Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee and Schmidt Bingham Gallery in New York City.  Uttech's wife Mary, is a graphic designer.  He has two daughters and a son.  

As Uttech reflects on his art and the viewer’s understanding of it, he says, “I would like people to understand they’re in the presence of an attitude, or an experience, or a story of a sort that has some kind of content.  But they have to figure it out.  I give them parameters so that their thinking is focused in certain directions, but yet they have to figure it out themselves.  When you hear Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales,  you can remember a few quotes, but what’s more important is this incredible spell the story casts over you.  That’s what really counts, that spell.  Well, that’s what I would like the painting to do, too, to wrap a spell around the viewer and then, being enchanted by the spell, you go out and figure out what the heck this is all about.”

Selected One-Person Exhibitions

1977
Madison Art Center, Madison, Wisconsin
1981
Minneapolis Art Institute, Minnesota
1985  
Monique Knowlton Gallery, New York, New York
1986
Union League Club, Chicago, Illinois
1987
Struve Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
1987 Bradley Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1988 Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York, New York
1989 Bradley Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1990 Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana
1991 Struve Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
1991 Stremmel Gallery, Reno, Nevada
1991 Woltjen/Udell Gallery, Edmonton, Canada
1991 Riveredge Nature Center, Newburg, Wisconsin
1991 M. Gutierrez Fine Arts Key Biscayne, Florida
1992 Tony Folliard Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1993 Schmidt Bingham Gallery, New York, New York
1994 Edgewood Orchard Gallery, Fish Creek, Wisconsin
1994 Schaefer Gallery, St. Peter, Minnesota
1994 Artspace Sheboygan, Wisconsin
1995 Schmidt Bingham Gallery, Gallery, New York, New York
1995 Tory Folliard Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1996 Wisconsin Academy Gallery, Madison, Wisconsin
1997 Schmidt Bingham Gallery, New York, New York
1998 Tony Folliard Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1999 Leigh Yawkey Woodson, Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin
1999 Schmidt Bingham Gallery, New York, New York
2000 Tory Folliard Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2001 Schmidt Bingham Gallery, New York, New York
2002 Tory Folliard Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2004 Magnetic North, The Landscapes of Tom Uttech, Milwaukee Art Museum
2004 Alesadre Gallery, New York, New York

Selected Group Exhibitions

1975
Chicago and Vicinity, Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois
1975
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
1975
Wisconsin Directions, Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin
1977
Regenbogen fur ein besseren Welt, Wuttembergsher Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany
1977
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
1977
Beauty and the Beast, John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
1986
Contemporary Romantic Landscape Painting, Loch Haven Art Center, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, Florida
1987
Fifteenth ULC Art Competition and Exhibition, Union Leauge Club, Chicago, Illinois (Award)
1987
Wisconsin Triennial, Madison Art Center, Wisconsin
1987
Creatures Great and Small, Schmidt-Bingham Gallery, New York
1987
Painted Light, DW Gallery, Dallas, Texas
1988
One Hundred Years of Wisconsin Art, Milwaukee Art Museum
1988
Fay Gould Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia
1988
Tatistcheff Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1988
David Adler Cultural Center, Libertyville
1989
Landscape: A Travelogue Painted From Memory, Imagination or Reality, Ruth Siegel Gallery, New York
1989
Deep Woods: Concerning Nature in Contemporary Painting, Sculpture, and Drawing, Six Venue, National Traveling Exhibition, Maier Museum of Art, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Lynchburg, Virginia
1989
American Art Today: Contemporary Landscape, Florida International University Art Museum, Miami, Florida
1990
Love and Charity: The Tradition of Caritas In Contemporary Painting, Sherry French Gallery, New York, New York
1990
Alice Bingham Gallery, Memphis, Tennesee
1990
Stremmel Gallery, Reno, Nevada
1990
Wisconsin Triennial, Madison Art Center, Wisconsin
1990
Sherry French Gallery, New York
1990
Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York
1991 American Realism and Figurative Art, 1952-1991 (traveled in Japan) Miyagi Museum of Art, Senda; Tokushima Modern Art Museum; Sogu Museum of Modern Art, Yokohama; Museum of Modern Art Shiga; Kocku Prefectural Museum of Art
1991 Art Miami 91, Miami Beach, Florida
1991 Chicago International Art Exposition
1991 Tom Uttech and Gregory Conniff, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
1991 Natures Territories, Tory Folliard Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1991 Contemporary Midwestern Landscapes, University Club, Chicago, Illinois
1991 Watercolor Wisconsin: Celebrating 25 Years, Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Art, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1992 Altered by the Moon, Schmidt Bingham Gallery, New York, New York
1992 Mind and Beast: Contemporary Artists and the Animal Kingdom, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin
1992 Concerning the Spirit, West Bend Gallery of Fine Art (now known as the Museum of Wisconsin Art) West Bend, Wisconsin
1992 A View From the Heartleand, McLEan County Arts Center, Bloomington, Illinois
1992 Close to Nature, Neville Public Museum, Green Bay, Wisconsin
1993 The Collectors Show, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock
1993 Wisconsin Triennial, Madison Art Center, Wisconsin
1993 Heartland Landscape Painters, McLean County Arts Center, Bloomington, Illinois
1993 Recent Aquisitions and Dreams Hopes Fears: Works by Wisconsin Artists, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1994 American Realism and Figurative Painting Cline Fine Art Gallery, Sante Fe, New Mexico
1994 Dialogues: On and Off the Wall, Schmidt Bingham Gallery, New York, New York
1995 The Nature of Landscape, Gallery at Hastings-on Hudson, New York
1996 Rediscovering the Landscape of the Americas, Gerald Peters Gallery, Sante Fe, New Mexico (traveled to: Tucson Museum of Art, Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi; Western Gallery Washington University, Bellingham; Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, New York; Gibbs Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina)
1996 Wisconsin Triennial, Madison Art Center, Wisconsin
1996 All Things Great But Small, Stremmel Gallery, Reno, Nevada
1996 Landfall Press: Twenty-Five years of Printmaking Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1997 Animal Tales: Contemporary Bestiary and Animal Painting, Whitney Museum of American Art at Champion, Stamford, Connecticut
1997 Re-presenting Representation III, Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, New York
1997 Rediscovering the Landscape and Spirit: Nature's Imprint on the Soul, Sun Valley Art Center, Sun Valley, Idaho
1997 Building the Collection: A Bend the Scenes Look at the Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii
1998 The Walking Dream:Psychological Realism in Contemporary Art, Castle Gallery, college of New Rochelle, New York
1999 New Religion, Tacoma Art Museum, Washington
1999-2000 Of Darkness and Light: Recent American Landscape Painting, Art Museum of West Virginia, Roanoke
1999-2000 Animal Artifice, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York
1999-2000 Greenwoods and Crystal Waters: The American Landscape Tradition Since 1960, Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma
1999-2000 John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida
1999-2000 Davenport Museum of Art, Davenport, Iowa
2000 Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors/ Wisconsin Artists in All Media Centennial Exhibition, West Bend Art Museum, Wisconsin (now known as the Museum of Wisconsin Art)
2000 Singular Visions: Ten Wisconsin Painters at the Academy, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Art and Letters, Madison, Wisconsin
2000 New Art of the West 7, Eitejorg Museum, Indianapolis, Indianna
2001 Re-Presenting Representation, Corning Incorporated Galleries, New York, New York
2002 Life, The Other Tradition, Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, Florida
2003 Small Scale Works of Art, West Bend Art Museum (now known as the Museum of Wisconsin Art), Wisconsin
2004 Images of Time and Place, Contemporary Views of Landscape, Lehman College Art Gallery, Bronx, New York
2004 A Decade of Art from the Wisconsin Academy Gallery, James Watrous Gallery, Madison, Wisconsin

Bibliography

Andrea, Margaret. Magnetic North The Landscapes of Tom Uttech, Milwaukee Art Museum, 2004.

Arthur, John. Green Woods and Crystal Waters: The American Landscape Tradition. Tulsa: Phillbrook Museum of Art, 1999.

Spirit of Place: Contemporary Landscape Painting and the American Tradition. Boston: Bulfinch, 1989.

Driscoll, John. The Artist and The American Landscape, Northampton, Massachusetts: Chameleon Books, 1998.

Garver, Tom. Mind and Beast: Contemporary Artists and the Animal Kingdom. Wausau, Wisconsin: Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, 1992

Jerome C. Krause and Tom Uttech: Visions from the North Woods. Milwaukee: Milwaukee Art Center, 1977.

Struve, William. An American Landscape Collection: Views from the Heartland. Chicago:Zurich Kemper Investments Collection, 1997.

Tom Uttech. Chicago: Struve Gallery, 1987.

Tom Uttech: New Paintings. New York: Alexandre Gallery, 2004.

Wisconsin Directions. Milwaukee: Milwaukee Art Center, 1975.

Wisconsin Triennial. Madison Wisconsin: Madison Art Center, 1996.

Levy, Hannah Heidi. Famous Wisconsin Artists and Architects.Badger Books Inc. Oregon, Wisconsin.

Falk, Peter Hastings. Who Was Who In American Art. Sound View Press.