Apr 102024
 

Nalani Stolz “Bread Bodies”, bread, ceramic, muslin

Nalani Stolz, “”like floating in thick waters”, fermented membrane, stainless steel

Nalani Stolz, “a small ocean swallowed” baking soda, ceramic, cheesecloth, vinegar, pump, latex

“a small ocean swallowed”, closer

Nalani Stolz, “a wild wetland in our gut” ceramic, plum vinegar, muslin, stuffing, salt

Nalani Stolz, “a wild wetland in our gut” ceramic, plum vinegar, muslin, stuffing, salt

The Sculpture Center in Cleveland is currently showing Nalani Stolz’s Bodies Still Becoming and Zachary Smoker’s Inured.

With the sound of water dripping, the bread stretching fabric, and growth covered vessels leaking into mattresses- Stolz’s sculptures engage the viewers senses, at times viscerally.

She has also included her film Traces in the exhibition. For this work she and her mother slowly sew their hair together through a sheet of gauze.

From the gallery about the exhibition

The bodies Nalani Stolz crafts bulge, grow, and break down. Materials such as rising dough expand and constrict, cloth sculptures leak and ooze, fermented membranes and porous clay forms seep vinegar, growing warts across their surfaces. These bodily processes draw on the often-gendered experiences of how our physical forms take in and expel matter; the feelings of expansion and fullness and those of emptying out, of breaking down when weeping, menstruating, and experiencing miscarriage, abortion, and pregnancy. These moments shift our seemingly solid edges and reveal our porous boundaries; reminding us that we are dying, changing, decaying vessels, loosely contained by skin, muscle, and bone.

Zachary Smoker’s sculptures for Inured address issues related to U.S. currency, power, capitalism, and material culture. In two of the works, familiar items ask questions about purpose. The whiffle ball bat /police baton combination mixes violence and play. Shopping carts now have associations with living on the street, as well as for buying goods in a store- which one will this be used for when assembled?

Zachary Smoker, “Crony Tikes”, Plastic Whiffle ball bats, pegboard, double hooks, 2024

Zachary Smoker, “Anyone can make Art, not everyone can buy it”, Demonetized U.S. currency, BFK Rives, Elmer’s glue stick, safety wire glass, poplar, enamel paint, paint marker, 2023

Zachary Smoker, “A place for everyone, and everyone in their place”, Steel shopping cart, polyurethane wheels, enamel paint, 2024

Both of these exhibitions close on 4/13/24.

Apr 072024
 

“Moon Setting into Fog Bank over Cape Cod Bay, Morning of the Total Lunar Eclipse”, 2007, printed 2023

“1:30-4:30a.m., Moon Rising, Antelope Lake”, 2011, printed 2023

“Sun Ball, Imnamatnoon Creek, Lochsa River Valley”, 1995, printed 2023

“Fireflies”, 2005

One of the smaller prints from the “Fireflies” series

There is something so peaceful about the photographs in Barbara Bosworth: Sun Light Moon Shadow, currently on view at Cleveland Museum of Art. These beautiful moments she has captured allow the viewer to share her sense of wonder.

From the museum about the exhibition-

“My childhood home is where all my photographs come from,” says American photographer Barbara Bosworth (born 1953). Growing up in Novelty, Ohio, Bosworth adored walking with her father and looking up at the night sky, a practice that became a lifelong passion. This exhibition -timed to coincide with the total solar eclipse visible in Cleveland on April 8— features the artist’s photographs of light, from eclipses, sunrises, and sunsets to the luminescent glow of fireflies and a flashlight. Her images both explore how we endow these phenomena with personal meaning and elucidate bonds between humans and the natural world that often go unnoticed.

Photography is an art form with its roots in science, even though the two disciplines are sometimes considered opposites. The term photography was coined in 1839 by British scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel from Greek words meaning “drawing with light.” Bosworth notes that light is an essential ingredient in both astronomy and photography. The camera and telescope, used together as Bosworth has in a number of the photographs on view, each collect light.

Time is another integral component of photography: a photograph records the light that strikes a sensitized surface-such as film or, in the case of digital photography, a sensor-during a certain length of time. In making her photographs of the heavenly bodies, Bosworth says she wants “to be reminded of the mystery closer to home: the sheer strangeness that light — millions of years old, unfathomably old – can still land on my film and be seen.”

This exhibition is on view until 6/30/24.

 

Mar 282024
 

Jazzalyn Palma, “21st st”, Oil on canvas, 2023

Rachel Augustson, “Gaze”, Ink on Paper, 2023

Ashton Burton, “…”, Oil on canvas, 2023

Cleveland Institute of Art’s 78th Student Independent Exhibition is currently on view in their Reinberger Gallery. The juried show is organized by the students and includes work from all mediums.

There are so many great pieces in this show, above and below are just a few selections.

This exhibition closes 4/7/24.

James Schaffer, “Bound”, Oil on canvas, 2023

James Schaffer, “Bound”, Oil on canvas, 2023 (detail)

Gwen Putz, “Viv!”, Monoprint, 2023

Tristen Kovacs, “897”, Spray paint and acrylic on canvas, 2023

Emily Fontana, “Untitled”, Acrylic and spackle on fabric, 2024

Emily Fontana, “Untitled”, Acrylic and spackle on fabric, 2024 (detail)

Feb 282024
 

The images above are from Brianna Lynn Hernandez’s exhibition Anticipatory|Después, one of three currently on view at Spaces gallery in Cleveland. Her moving video and sculptural installations focus on themes of end-of-life-care, grief, and mourning.

From the gallery about the work-

Anticipatory|Después visualizes the anticipatory grief of caregiving and the process of dying through performative videos and photography. Each piece shares the physical and emotional state of the dying, the caregiver, and at times the two concurrently. Ranging from fast and aggressive dance-like movement to slow and meditative contemplation, the enacted scenes capture a range of emotions and thought processes of understanding and untangling the intertwined traumas of caregiving and acute grief.

As her mother’s caregiver in the final year of her life, Hernández translated her personal experience of grief into her studio practice in order to combat the isolation and shame many grievers face in our death-avoidant culture. Through several series including Anticipatory | Después, the works aim to normalize honest conversations of grief and act as an entry point into education on end-of-life planning. Hernandez states that while we will all eventually experience the pains of loss, preparing for the logistics of death and nurturing supportive communities for grievers can provide comfort and lessen the unnecessary stressors attached to loss.

A Botanical Conversation, Mehdi-Georges Lahlou’s exhibition, explores environmental, identity, and cultural issues using the natural world as a backdrop. The two large murals are of an enlarged palm tree cell as seen through a microscope.

The exhibition statement by curator Conor Moynihan-

The palm tree is a central component of Mehdi-Georges Lahlou’s practice, a motif he has explored to highlight themes of exoticism, migration, and cultural heritage. Recently, Mehdi- Georges Lahlou has used the palm tree to explore themes of colonization, climate change, and history. While members of the Arecaceae family- palm trees- can be found in many parts of the world, they are not found here in Ohio. Unless, of course, you go to the Cleveland Botanical Garden as Mehdi-Georges Lahlou did for his residency at Spaces.

For A Botanical Conversation, Mehdi-Georges Lahlou has created four new video works using the Cleveland Botanical Garden as the setting and backdrop. While many of the plants visible in these works come from elsewhere across the world, his collaborators Diwe Augustin-Glave, CHIMI x Nature, and Dr Lady J are based in Cleveland. In many ways, this body of work imagines the conversations that might happen if the flora in the Cleveland Botanical Garden could speak, sing, chant, and educate, and then transports this dialogue in the gallery space.

Microscopy, the mural that extends over two walls in the gallery, serves a double function. Based on the cell of a dead palm tree, it enlarges from an unusual perspective a motif central to the exhibition. And it also serves as a container and a frame for the four videos. This conversation emerges within the boundaries of the palm tree cell, transporting this exhibition into the botanical garden.

Characteristic of his practice, Mehdi-Georges Lahlou draws our attention to how plants and botanical gardens become ways to highlight histories of colonization, compulsory heterosexuality, and climate disaster all contained under canopies of glass. Yet, especially through the performances of Diwe Augustin-Glave, CHIMI x Nature, and Dr Lady J, they also celebrate new queer ecologies and configurations, melding African and African American musical traditions, queer theory and scholarship, ecological history, and environmental justice towards new ends.

A Botanical Conversation is a cacophony. It asks us to listen carefully to hear all the voices that make up this chorus.

Aaron D. Williams has created a video installation, ESCAPING AAWFUL LAND, that continues the work created for his previous Aawful Friends exhibition. This new creation addresses the issue of anxiety and the power of collaboration as a way to combat it.

From the gallery-

ESCAPING AAWFUL LAND is an immersive exhibition that builds upon the success of Aaron D. William’s previous Aawful Friends showcase at Zygote Press. This new showcase explores the creative journey between Williams and collaborating artists. By delving into anxiety through art, we seek to acknowledge its profound impact on our collective well-being. We must address anxiety as a shared concern and foster a future community that supports and uplifts one another. Through individual and collective artistic expression, we can overcome the gravity of the situation and find healing and unity. In our fast-paced society, anxiety affects people from all walks of life, taking various forms and manifesting in relentless thoughts, paralyzing fear, and an overwhelming sense of unease. Despite its grip, we encourage you to embrace your inner courage and take the leap. The installation will be held at The Vault in SPACES gallery, where you will be transported to AAWFUL LAND – a hidden realm within our city accessible only to those who know it exists. Guided by the mysterious GUARDIAN, you will journey through its enigmatic mysteries. As you step into AAWFUL LAND, you will be captivated by a mesmerizing video presentation. Witness AAWFUL AARON engaged in a gripping game against a formidable opponent, reminding us that we have the inner strength to persevere and pursue our dreams even amidst anxiety. In Aawful Land, anxiety takes on tangible forms and bursts forth in vibrant colors. CREATURE is at the heart of our narrative, an overbearing shadowy figure personifying anxiety and serving as the central antagonist. Aawful Aaron is locked in a fierce battle against CREATURE, desperately seeking escape from this hidden world. However, a subtle hint suggests that Aaron may need assistance to overcome his challenges. Within Aawful Land, a group of trapped artists may hold the key to their collective liberation. Together, they offer a glimmer of hope, representing collaboration’s power in overcoming Aawful Land’s perils. This work serves as a proof-of-concept or work-in-progress, paving the way for Aawful Friends II. In the forthcoming installation, we will feature this newfound group of artists, showcasing their collective efforts and unveiling the transformative power of collaboration. Their shared experience demonstrates that collective creativity and expression can lead to freedom and transcendence. ANXIETY IS HARD – TAKE YOUR SHOT ANYWAY.

All three of these exhibitions close 3/1/24.