Photo courtesy of Dimitre Photography
This article from today's Journal-Sentinel touched me in a very surprising way. Peter Bardy was a reclusive man who created art from found objects. "One day last June, Bardy put a gun to his head and shot himself. He was 64. There was no note.
The medical examiner's description of his modest west side Milwaukee home was telling and far from the typical.
'The residence was decorated with steel sculptures, tables and other items the deceased made out of . . . items he found at the dump,' the report read. 'Other more abstract art items, made by the deceased, were found in the basement...' "
"When Alex Barde, Peter's older brother and an artist, got to town, he wondered if someone in the art world should look at what his brother had done before everything was pulled apart and the house sold. He went to the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette, a few blocks from his childhood home on Clybourn St.
'He was very teary and emotional,' said Lynne Shumow, a curator at the museum...
Bardy's 'obsessive minimalist' style was unlike anything Shumow had seen."
"Sitting in her brother's living room, having just found her brother dead, Helen Bardy was asked by a woman from the funeral home what her brother's occupation was.
She fumbled a little, just as her brother always had.
'I started out by saying he was a sales person . . . that he painted homes,' she said.
The woman stopped her. Here's what we'll do, the woman said. We'll list him as an artist.
'It just came out, and it was so beautiful,' Helen Bardy said. 'So that's exactly what's on his death certificate: artist.' "
Some of Bardy's work is on display in 'Current Tendencies,' a survey of contemporary Wisconsin art, through June 14 at the Haggerty Museum on the Marquette University campus.