Hold My Beer is an exhibition of works by Nicholas Frank and John Riepenhoff. Both born and raised in Milwaukee, it’s fitting that this exhibition is centered around beer as a social catalyst, lubricant and agitator. Coinciding with Hold My Beer, Freetail will release Sala Diaz, a collaborative effort steered by Riepenhoff as part of his Beer Endowment Program, a project that connects art openings to the support structures that sustain artist-run organizations.

Riepenhoff, Freetail Brewing and Company Brewing of Milwaukee joined to brew a specific variety of experimental hops and malt that present Sala Diaz as a consumable experience. Alongside the beer release, Riepenhoff will exhibit his Handler series and the John Riepenhoff Experience housing Nicholas Frank's Minifinity (both works featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial) and a large-scale En Plein Air painting of the night sky over San Antonio, made on location at Sala Daiz.

Using commercial beer cans as a medium, Frank’s Barguments present versions of reality in conflict with each other, inspired by pre-internet bar arguments. Each quarrel is contained in “premium”-style beer cans that use the voices of diverse members of the San Antonio community to contest contentious subjects like whether the Earth is flat or round, how America was actually constituted, or how a timeworn joke became so ubiquitous.



Nicholas Frank recently relocated to San Antonio from Milwaukee after a Spring 2017 Artpace International Artist-in-Residence term. He is represented by the Green Gallery in Milwaukee and Western Exhibitions in Chicago, and has shown with Nathalie Karg and Laurel Gitlen in New York City. His work was included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial (inside the John Riepenhoff Experience), and he completed a Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Workshop with mentor Barry Schwabsky in 2016. He has done projects at the Tate Modern, Swiss Institute, Kölnischer Kunstverein and Locust Projects, and co-founded the Milwaukee International Art Fair. Frank ran the Hermetic Gallery in Milwaukee from 1993-2001, was Program Curator of INOVA from 2005-2011, helped rewrite the Fine Arts curriculum at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design where he taught from 2008-2016, and now works with Amada Miller on the new Longview Gallery in San Antonio.

John Riepenhoff was born in Milwaukee, WI. He is represented by Marlborough Contemporary in NYC and London. Riepenhoff is also a curator and co-owner of The Green Gallery, Milwaukee, collaborator at The Open, co-organizer of Milwaukee International and Dark Fairs, an inventor of artistic platforms for the expression of others. His recent exhibitions and curatorial projects have been presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Marlborough, and Swiss Institute New York, NY; Tate Modern, London; Crystal Bridges, Bentonville, AR; 356 Mission Rd, Los Angeles, CA; Poor Farm, WI; Lynden Sculpture Garden, Inova, and The Suburban, Milwaukee, WI; Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN; and Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, GA. He also continues a program of the John Riepenhoff Experience at various locations around the world, most recently at Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, and Misako and Rosen, Tokyo. He was the 2015 Milwaukee Arts Board Artist of the Year, co-chairs Friends of Blue Dress Park, founded Milwaukee's Beer Endowment for artist-run organizations, runs The Oven at The Open in Milwaukee, and sits on the board of Riverwest Radio.

Image: John Riepenhoff, Plein Air (Poor Farm), 2013, acrylic on canvas, 84 x 90 in.


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