Milwaukee Nights and Decoys

Broadway Gallery NYC

June 9 — July 16, 2022

Like many of us over the past few years, John Riepenhoff curtailed his wanderings to spend more nights standing still. This was an especially peculiar condition for an artist whose practice is rooted in complex social networks and in creating opportunities for disparate communities to overlap. Broadly, his work has been committed to the collaborative. Through the production, preparation and consumption of food and beer, hand-built ovens and outdoor grills sited for community use, as well as organizing of contemporary art exhibitions, screenings and performances in his Green Gallery spaces, Riepenhoff is a multi-directional conduit for his beloved hometown of Milwaukee continuously importing and exporting cultural production of his own and by others.

As an ongoing component of this production, the artist has simultaneously maintained a more conventional studio practice focused on painting and ceramic sculpture. The Skies paintings originate in an ongoing series of plein air works initially conceived as direct, earnest impressions of the night sky. Made outdoors under impairment of the dark, cold and often awkward conditions on a rooftop, a beach or a frozen field, the paintings have evolved into a more durational, meditative investigation of place and the act of painting. Earlier works in this series were made swiftly in a single midnight frenzy, as a record of a peripatetic existence and befitting the artist’s hunger for the unknown. They were painted in far-flung locales from Scotland to Japan to remote areas of Northern Wisconsin. The new paintings, by contrast, are notably more fastidiously worked and reflect a newfound stasis. They are intensified by the hybrid impressions of multiple nights outside in Milwaukee’s light-filled urban density. The result is a group of complexly layered compositions of limited palette and expansive imagination. Dense clusters of repeated marks—dots, orbs, staccato stripes—occupy the center of the works and fan out to the perimeter of the linen like haloed frames or a screenspace that demarcates the eye’s limitation in apprehending a vast and variable emptiness.

Fittingly, the two sculptures, hand-built from coil-constructed ceramic and splashed with glaze, depict owls. Called Decoys, these silent unseen denizens of the night sky watch over the exhibition mirroring the artist and viewer’s gaze conjuring the inky conditions of the work’s creation. As a perceptual device, the Decoys emphatically remind us that the paintings are something more complicated than pure abstraction and invite us to transcend our familiar vantage.

BROADWAY / 373 Broadway New York, NY 10013 / / Tuesday-Saturday 11-6pm

Gallery Artbeat, Tbilisi Georgia Oct 2021

John Riepenhoff and Mamuka Japharidze - Kera

When chance finds you at an unknown crossroad you begin to hesitate. You do not know which direction to go. In such moment if you have adequate faculty of intuition and observation, cues from the environment can guide you to the right decision and lead to safety.

The condition of our contemporary world somehow seems to stand at this crossroad of being disoriented- as if you understand that it’s impossible to bring back life’s old familiarity nor can you clearly envision a stable future.

In search of alternative choices probably many ideas are elaborated in force majeure by mankind’s overheated mind, but as always cultural and artistic phenomenon comes forward in ‘avant-guard’ and tries in advance to show us ‘ephemeral’ abilities of transformation.

John Riepenhoff is an artist from Milwaukee, who has recently returned his gaze up to the sky. For a while he had established himself as a painter of the night sky, but similar to Ivan Aivazovsky who overcame banal cliché of being a just marine painter, he began to search for artistic observatories on earth in order to better see worlds beyond the sky.

Artist Mamuka Japharidze runs a residency in Shindisi village near to Tbilisi in Georgia. He often invites artists from Georgia and abroad to have creative collaborations. It is worth considering the context of this residency because Mamuka Japharidze’s art is situated in the phenomenon of place. Local climate, landscape features, elements of traditional life or history are some examples of materials which Japharidze uses to create environmentally friendly art. These products bear artistic value as well as practical functionalities such as nurturing food and drink.

Since Riepenhoff began to work at the residency his attention was drawn to the characteristic content of little details around the place. After helping with the rigorous process of crushing Chinuri grapes brought from the historical Samachablo region, which is located over the Russian occupied boarder-line, he quietly reflected on the details of the process while he doceumented the October night sky. This same silence necessary for the fermentation of Chinuri grapes was present in his minimal state for perception and processing.

In addition to winemaking, themes of Japharidze’s magnetic hearths influenced Riepenhoff’s creative process as well. As a result, Riepenhoff created six metaphorical portraits of Japaridze’s in small format paintings.

Theme of the sky or in other words John’s main subject of interest was perceived exactly through such ‘details’. Thus, ‘The Skies’ over Shindisi, Tbilisi or Kutaisi clearly gained characteristic accents of Chinuri or Shavkapito grape plants.

In parallel Japharidze was making preparations as well although in a different way. He was occupied mainly by activities of autumnal works, and the process of painting was handed over to external circumstances. The large scale wall work presented in this exhibition was formerly acted as a tabletop near to the tone wood-fired oven. The surface was built up over time with lime and cyanide paints covering the canvas, on which invisible traces of nature appeared day by day. Marks made by wind, rain, and sun were scattered all over the picture plain and like the depths of the sky revealed endless layers.

At the last stage of working process of American and Georgian painters, the artworks which have been created with an interaction with the nature of the countryside, gradually and harmoniously must transit to urban space and represent themselves in a gallery.

John Riepenhoff and Mamuka Japharidze’s artistic collaboration will take place in the Gallery Artbeat located in the old town of Tbilisi and traditionally will touch on topics of place and its adoption. At this time their work will concentrate on the elegant granite-stone fire-place of this historic gallery.

‘Kera’ (hearth) is a universal place for daily activities and religious rituals across the cultural spectra. In this exhibition it represents functional space of peculiar portal, transitory or so called liminal phenomenon, where artists do not present their art works in a dominant way, but rather let the external circumstances lead, trying neatly to reveal mystical traces of nature and their creative process to viewers. As a result of random occurrences, whenever you find yourself at an unknown crossroad you begin to hesitate. You do not know which direction to go. In such moment if you have adequate faculty of intuition and observation, environment itself can guide you to the right decision and lead to a safe place.

John Michael Kohler Art Preserve
Fred Smith Lager

In 1936, retired lumberjack Fred Smith built the Rock Garden Tavern in Phillips, Wisconsin. Constructed by hand, the tavern served as a studio and stage for Smith, who would bartend and play fiddle for guests. He went on to build over 230 larger-than-life concrete sculptures in the pines around his tavern.

On the occasion of the grand opening of the Art Preserve, artist John Riepenhoff created this crisp Fred Smith Lager for the Art Preserve’s Fred Smith bar to transport visitors to the world that Smith built in the Northwoods.

Proceeds from the sale of the lager support the preservation and study of Fred Smith’s work and legacy. It is brewed by Company Brewing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for the Beer Endowment in collaboration with the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. Riepenhoff’s response also includes custom cans, coasters, glasses, and tap handle.

373 Broadway,
January 20 - February 20, 2021

Reyes | Finn
Mike Cloud and John Riepenhoff
January 10–February 22, 2020.

Handler at Project Art Beat with Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Levan Chogoshvili, Mamuka Japharidze, Tamo Jugeli, Nino Kvrivishvili, Sergei Parajanov (presented by Gamrekeli gallery, from Khatuna Melikishvili’s private collection), Ninutsa Shatberashvili, Leila Shelia and Zura Tsofurashvili (presented by Center for Contemporary Arts Georgia)

at Project Art Beat with Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Levan Chogoshvili, Mamuka Japharidze, Tamo Jugeli, Nino Kvrivishvili, Sergei Parajanov (presented by Gamrekeli gallery, from Khatuna Melikishvili’s private collection), Ninutsa Shatberashvili, Leila Shelia and Zura Tsofurashvili (presented by Center for Contemporary Arts Georgia)


Nurikabe is the name of a famous spirit of Japanese folklore who takes the form of a wall. Endless and invisible, people might encounter the Nurikabe while walking along a path and suddenly be stopped in their tracks. Nurikabe can also mean plaster wall. For this exhibition artworks which were painted, drawn, collaged, photographed, and rendered three-dimensional, will all be hung on a single wall at Tetsuo's Garage.

Testuo’s Garage is neither a garage nor a gallery, it's a building that once housed a pharmacy during Japan's Showa era, located in the neighborhood of Yasukawa-cho, in Nikko city, not far from Toshogu Shrine. Exhibitions at Tetsuo's Garage are organized by Anne Eastman as part of the projects and exhibitions surrounding the Artist Residency program at Troedsson Villa in Nikko, Japan.

Nurikabe ぬりかべ August 17th (Sat) - September 8th (Sun), 2019

organized by Troedsson Villa 企画 トレッドソン別邸

Katherine Bradford キャサリン・ブラッドフォード

Marley Freeman マーリー・フリーマン

Sky Hopinka スカイ・ホプキンカ

Steve Keister スティーヴ・キースター

Irwin Kremen アーウィン・クレメン

Amy Lien & Enzo Camacho エーミー ・リャン&エンゾ ・カマッチョ

Helen Mirra ヘレン・ミラ

Daido Moriyama 森山大道

Asako Narahashi 楢橋朝子

Tomomi Nishimura西村知己

Laura Owens ローラ・オーエンズ

Steven Parrino スティーヴン・パリーノ

Paul P. ポール・ P

John Riepenhoff ジョン・リーペンホフ

Carissa Rodriguez カリッサ・ロドリゲス

Em Rooney エム・ルーニー

Tom Thayer トム・セイヤー

Amy Yao & Zimra Beiner エイミー・ヤオ&ゼィムラー・ベーナ

The John Riepenhoff Experience Presents Brookhart Jonquil
Septemer 14 - 16, 2018

518 SE 76th Ave Portland OR

Ski Club >>>>>High Desert Test Sites>>>>>>> Oct 26-28, 2018

Matt Cook (Milwaukee), Laura Davis (Chicago), Richard Galling (Milwaukee), Alex Herzog (Milwaukee), Thaddeus Kellstadt (Milwaukee), Killam (Milwaukee), Mark Klassen (Milwaukee), Chris Larson (St. Paul), Jesse McLean (Milwaukee), John Riepenhoff (Milwaukee), Edra Soto (Chicago), Oli Watt (Chicago), Allison Yasukawa (Los Angeles)



July 12 - September 30, 2018

Curry Kojiwurst


Front Experimental Kolsch

December 16, 2017 - January 28, 2018

Sara Caron, Tan Kagami, Maki Katayama, Hikari Ono, John Riepenhoff

curated by The Steak House Doskoi

Marugame, Kagawa, Japan

image courtesy of American Fantasy Classics

John Riepenhoff Links
The Suburban, Riverwest
2901 N Fratney St
Milwaukee, WI 53212

Sunday 3-5pm March 19, 2017 with Chaguin and Paul Anthony Smith

Saturday noon-3pm March 25, 2017 with Makoe and Peter Barrickman

Saturday noon-3pm April 1, 2017 with Shana McCaw and Brent Budsberg, and Grace Marie Keaton courtesy of Chamber and Amanda Ross-Ho

Saturday noon-3pm April 8, 2017 with Kirsten Schmidt and Andrew Kuo

Whitney Bienial, 2017

Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street
New York, NY 10014

March 17 - June 11, 2017

The John Riepenhoff Experience with
Nicholas Frank
Martine Syms
Anonymous from The Whitney collection
Handler with
Michelle Grabner
Saige Rowe
Peter Barrickman
Society of Independent Artists from The Whitney collection
Allen Ginsberg from The Whitney collection


Green Tea Gallery

Fukushima, Japan

January 5, 2017

State of the Art
The John Riepenhoff Experience presents @

2400 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404

February 18 - May 29, 2016

ON FIRE by Jonathan Griffin 96 Pages, 6 x 8 1/2 in., perfect-bound
ISBN 978-0-9797575-6-3
Edited and Designed by Paper Monument
Release date: 2/10/16

Artists’ studios have been burning down for centuries. In Paper Monument’s newest publication, On Fire, author Jonathan Griffin asked ten contemporary artists how they recovered after their studios went up in flames. Talking to them, he gained surprising insights into their working methods, their relationship to their chosen profession, and their reasons for making art.

On Fire is at once an oral history of the phenomenon of the studio fire—a catastrophic but potentially transformative event in the lives of a surprising number of artists—and a behind-the-scenes look at daily life in the artist’s studio. As Griffin writes in his introduction, “For each of these artists there was an instant when time spun on its axles, when they realized that the tiny refuge of safety and freedom that they had won for themselves was gone. It would take months and years, resources and resolve to claim it back. But in the process, something unexpected and valuable—career-altering, in many cases—was revealed to them about the stakes and the possible rewards of their lives as artists.”

On Fire includes writing on Matthew Chambers, Anthony Pearson, Christian Cummings, Catherine Howe, Erik Van Lieshout, JP Munro, William J. O’Brien, Kate Ruggeri, John Riepenhoff, and Brendan Fowler.

Jonathan Griffin is a writer, critic, editor and curator. Born and raised in London, he now lives in Los Angeles. He is a contributing editor for Friezemagazine, and has written for publications including Art Review, Apollo, The Art Newspaper, Art in America, and The Financial Times. He has contributed essays for monographs on artists including Michael E. Smith, Hernan Bas, Ross Chisholm, Annika Ström, and Eric Bainbridge. He is currently working on a biography of William Copley.

John Riepenhoff, Group Show

Marlborough Chelsea 545 West 25th Street

January 6 - February 6, 2016

The John Riepenhoff Experiences present: Motoyuki Daifu, Amanda Ross-Ho, and Roger White

MISAKO & ROSEN 3-21-6 1F, Minami-otsuka, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170-0005

2015.11.29 Sun - 12.26 Sat

Opening reception:SUNDAY BRUNCH 11.29 Sun 13:00 - 16:00

(Following the reception the gallery will remain open until 17:00)

Photograph by Mike Paré


Colby is Wisconsin's oldest cheese, Double Cream Colby is new. The enriched butterfat version reveals the subtleties of our cultural heritage. This rich cheese is the brainstorm of Milwaukee Art’s Board Artist of the Year and Mary Nohl Fellow John Riepenhoff and was developed by Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Bob Wills, owner of Clock Shadow Creamery. A new take on an old cheese invites others to view familiar cultures as food for conceptual exploration, rather than as inert inherited forms.

(image by Myrica von Haselberg for Edible Milwaukee)

Double Cream Colby

available at Clock Shadow Creamery

138 W Bruce St, Milwaukee, WI 53204

2015 - ongoing


Usable Space

1950 S. Hilbert St.

Milwaukee, WI

Sept 18 - Oct 16

BEER ENDOWMENT // Marlborough Chelsea at Printed Matter's NY Art Book Fair


22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City

Booth D11

Wayne Ngan / John Riepenhoff

September 9 – October 11, 2015

Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 9, 6-8pm

Nathalie Karg Gallery would like to invite you to a special exhibition project with artists Wayne Ngan and John Riepenhoff. Curated by Vancouver based Lee Plested, the exhibition sets the work of master potter Ngan amongst a new suite of Plein Air paintings by Riepenhoff which were commissioned for the exhibition and painted on Hornby Island, BC, looking at the night sky from the beach below the cliff-perched home and studio of Ngan.

Wayne Ngan has distinguished himself as one of the most virtuosic potters of our time. His recent production incorporates increasingly sculpted, fantastical forms which begin from traditional shapes only to become exaggerated into nuanced contemporary vessels. Their richly glazed bodies express his mastery of classic techniques from China, Korea and Japan infused with an expanded use of understated color. Inspired by the elements around him, Ngan’s work functions on a different time continuum: a return to an essentialist connection to material. This will be Ngan’s first exhibition in New York.

John Riepenhoff inhabits the role of the artist within a larger project which incorporates making, curating, event planning, and experience providing. Through his socially based work he realizes evocative art which reveals the essential humanism of contemporary art and how at the core it’s ideas relate lives lived and shared. For his Plein Air paintings he incorporates conceptual constraints, mixing his palette from the environment and experience in the day and applying it ‘straight’ on that evening in the dark, while exploring his vocabulary of extended paintings techniques to create surprisingly subtle and evocative worlds on raw canvas. Also included in this exhibition will be the ‘John Riepenhoff Experience’, a miniature gallery which will feature the work of Hornby Island artist Gordon Payne who John met during his time in the Gulf Islands.


291 Grand Street, 4th Floor

New York, NY 10002

212 563 7821,

John Riepenhoff

August 29-November 7, 2015

John Riepenhoff’s exhibition at Atlanta Contemporary consists of two parts: a collection of large-scale plein air paintings, depicting the artist’s observations of the night sky, executed at Atlanta Contemporary in summer 2015. The second half of his solo exhibition includes a series of collaborative figurative sculptures, papier-mâché legs outfitted in Riepenhoff’s pants and shoes holding large-scale paintings by artists from Milwaukee, Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta, including:

Peter Barrickman (Milwuakee), Paul Cowan (Milwaukee), Nicholas Frank (Milwuakee), Michelle Grabner (Milwaukee), Kojo Griffin (Atlanta), Elise Hanson (Milwaukee), Amy Pleasant (Birmingham), Amanda Ross-Ho (Los Angeles), Nolan Simon (Detroit), Chloe Wise (New York), Unidentified Wisconsin Folk Artist

Reviews: Artforum BurnAway ArtsAlt

Beer Endowment Launch @CO.MPANY BREWING

9pm-late July 30, 2015 ($5 to support the bands)

Peeper and Le Play's Mandatory Fantasies

Andy Positive and His Blu Riders

Stephen Strupp and the Odor

serving: Poor Farm Pilsner

Friends of Blue Dress Park Porter

The Green Gallery Pale Ale

Halsey McKay Gallery




APRIL 18 – MAY 3, 2015 | Opening reception: 6 – 8 pm, Saturday, April 18

Gallery Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 6pm and by appointment.

Shit Like Hair
September 6 – October 18, 2014

A group exhibition organized around anatomical analogies and abbreviations.

Math Bass
Michael Bauer
Sebastian Black
Gaylen Gerber
Ann Greene Kelly
Gavin Kenyon

Susan Te Kahurangi King
John Riepenhoff

Organized by Matthew Strauss


Does the Poor Farm have some connection to Hamburg?

PF- Yes. Poor Farm's city cousin, our 15 year old exhibition space in Oak Park, IL, The Suburban, was invited to particpate in a festival for "off spaces" called Subvision in a port section of Hamburg, Hafen City. It was literally on a man-made island in the middle of the Elbe River, an area experiencing dramatic new development at the time but still riddled with WWII shrapnel because the city was the Northern industrial hub in the War.

A nice coincidence: Danish artist Henrik Plenge Jakobsen exhibited with The Suburban at Subvision in Hamburg and now he is also premiering a new exhibition at Poor Farm this coming August. While in Hamburg we enjoyed a few Friesland style beers, Jeveramong them. It was that type of northern Germany pilsner that inspired Poor Farm Pils.

A clean German style Pilsner like this can be held as a modern standard in which other beers are tasted in relation to. Is there a standard like that in art spaces, both European and American?

PF - One could, if feeling boastful, suggest that The Suburban, the Poor Farm and now the Poor Farm Pils are setting the bar where it needs to be.

Where does Poor Farm get it's brats from? What about buns?

PF - We've tried a variety of brats over the years and so far the best came from Niemuth's in Waupaca. They will make them to-order for us. The buns are tricky. We get decent ones from the bakery at Pick and Save but we're still searching for the elusive perfect bratwurst bun.

When The Green Gallery hosted its first shows in a Riverwest apartment in spring of 2004 a pale India style ale with Kent Goldingshops and candied ginger was brewed in the kitched and offered to visitors. The exhibitions continued but the beer was quickly exhauseted. This is more of that beer, ten years later, more or less.


Summer & MMER

Michael Jon Gallery, Detroit, MI

July 27, 2014 - August 31, 2014


The Suburban, Oak Park, IL

April 6, 2014


Marlborough Broome St
331 Broome Street
New York, NY

January 5, 2014 - February 9, 2014


Marlborough New York, NY
331 Broome Street

September 8 2013
curated by Vera Neykov

Uri Aran, Cory Arcangel & Michael Frumin, Catherine Ahearn, Darren Bader, John Baldessari, Will Boone, Chris Bradley, Willem De kooning, Michelle Devereux, Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe, Samara Golden, Oto Gillen, Drew Heitzler, Martin Kippenberger, Andrew Kuo, Nate Lowman, Tony Matelli, John Riepenhoff, Reena Spaulings, Spencer Sweeney, and Mateo Tannatt



The Poor Farm

August 3 2013

Lucio Pozzi, Lars Wolter, Indie Architecture, Lise Haller Baggesen, Lorenza Sannai, John Riepenhoff, Richard Galling, Aaron Van Dyke, and Summer School 2013

Analogue Other organized by Margot Samel

Torsten Lauschmann, Charlotte Prodger, Corin Sworn, Sue Tompkins

Who Wants Flowers When You’re Dead organized by Jonathan Thomas

A.K. Burns, Abigail DeVille, D.W. Griffith accompanied by Jackie Beckey and Jonathan Kaiser, Joachim Koester, Justin Thomas Schaefer, Jonathan Bruce Williams, C. Spencer Yeh



July 21 2013

Freedman Fitzpatrick Los Angels, CA

6051 Hollywood Blvd #107

Vittorio Brodman, David Burton, Than Hussein Clark, Liz Craft, Henri Chopin, Club Paint, John Divola, Joel Holmberg, Tom Humphries, David Lieske, Nancy Lupo, Tobias Madison, Tony Matelli, Penti Monkonen, Ruairiadh O'Connell, John Riepenhoff, Amelie von Wulffen


Plein Air, Plain Air

July 14 - August 3 2013

nAbr gallery @Lynden Sculpture Garden, Milwaukee, WI

2145 W Brown Deer Rd


Plein Air Paintings

May 1 2013 at Queens Park Railway Club Glasgow, Scotland:

Queens Park Train Station

492 Victoria Road


NADA New York | info

Western Exhibitions booth (4th floor)

May 4-7, 2012

Center 548

548 West 22nd Street

between 10th and 11th Aves.

New York


March 10, 2012 8pm - midnight
Falcon Bowl
801 E Clarke St
Milwaukee, WI

MONO John Riepenhoff and Friends

February 5th, 2011
500 W Cermak Rd #727
Chicago, IL 60616

Heads on Poles

January 14, 2011 - February 19, 2011
Western Exhibitions
119 N Peoria St, Second Floor
Chicago, IL


Mary L. Nohl Fellowship Exhibition
2155 North Prospect Avenue
October 8, 2010
Conspicuous Consumption
October 22, 2010 - October 31, 2010
LVL3 project space at 222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza
Chicago, IL 60654
Suite 1573

Big Moon
nAbr gallery
1142 E. Walworth St.
3rd floor
Milwaukee, WI
September 26, 6:30-11pm, 2010

Wisconsin Triennial 2010
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
227 State Street Madison, WI 53703

Arlington Arts Center
3700 S. Four Mile Run Drive
Arlington, VA
June 18th - August 21st 2010

Vault Series: Portraits New Bedford Art Museum
608 Pleasant Street
New Bedford, MA
June 5th - September 11th 2010

Summer Studio:
SAIC Sullivan Galleries
33 S. State, 7th Floor, Chicago, IL
July 2010

Group Show (a solo show by John Riepenhoff)
Jackpot Gallery
825 E Center St.
Milwaukee, WI
opening reception June 18th 2010