June 13-October 17, 2010
East Wing, Photography Galleries
In 2002 Andrew Borowiec (American, born 1956) was commissioned by the Cleveland-based George Gund Foundation to photograph Cleveland's industrial landscape for the foundation's 2002 annual report. For this new body of work, he documented the Flats, a historic area near downtown Cleveland, once the epicenter of the city's industrial might with factories and warehouses connected by a tangled armature of bridges, railroad tracks, and a twisting river surrounded by neighborhoods where the necessary labor force resided. Excited by the unique opportunity to record steel mills, warehouses, and residences before they were destroyed, he expanded his survey, continuing to photograph there in all seasons for another two years.
In his overarching desire to "make photographs about places," Borowiec is a methodical and persistent stalker-up and down streets and in and out of yards-in search of the telling image bathed in his favored bright illumination. These compelling images are a blend of documentary record and artistic expression. The viewer has the sensation of being taken on a personal tour by the photographer, carefully led through favorite alleyways, down quiet byways, and into private urban spaces. The result is a better appreciation and understanding of the places in which we live and work, and the complexity of issues-social, cultural, economic, and environmental-that they represent.
Organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art, the photographs in this exhibition were a gift of Mark Schwartz and Bettina Katz in honor of James and Hanna Bartlett. The Cleveland Museum of Art is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this exhibition with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.