Tuesday September 16, 2014
Tags for: Cleveland Museum of Art features contemporary artists in two Transformer Station exhibitions
  • Press Release

Cleveland Museum of Art features contemporary artists in two Transformer Station exhibitions

exterior of the CMA building

Works by Julia Wachtel and Anicka Yi on display in landmark historical building beginning Oct. 11

CLEVELAND (September 16, 2014) – Reflecting its renewed focus on contemporary programming, the Cleveland Museum of Art will present two solo exhibitions by acclaimed contemporary artists Julia Wachtel and Anicka Yi. Julia Wachtel and Anicka Yi: Death will be on view from Oct. 11 to Jan. 17, 2015, at Transformer Station, an exhibition space in a converted railway substation in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood.

Born in 1956 in New York, Julia Wachtel lives and works in Brooklyn. Active since the early 1980s, Wachtel became known for her paintings employing cartoon characters appropriated from sources as everyday and relatable as greeting cards and magazines, deliberately commenting upon our quickly evolving visual culture. Often comprised of multiple panels, her paintings also include pop stars, figures from so-called primitive cultures, and scenes from Hollywood films.

“This exhibition will survey Julia Wachtel’s career from the 1980s until now,” said Dr. Reto Thüring, associate curator of contemporary art. “It will include early paintings that juxtapose outlandish cartoon figures and politically charged imagery to her most recent works, which continue to investigate the ever-increasing pace and complexity with which images proliferate and merge.”

A catalogue will be published by the Cleveland Museum of Art and Yale University Press in conjunction with the Wachtel exhibition. It will feature 45 color plates of her artwork from the 1980s through today, essays by curator Reto Thüring and poet and critic Quinn Latimer, as well as a conversation between Wachtel and curator Johanna Burton.

The Crane gallery at Transformer Station will be the site of the first institutional solo exhibition of Anicka Yi’s work, Death. Yi has become known for her artwork that poetically speaks to the experience of everyday life and the things that govern it—whether major corporations like Monsanto or emotions such as those tied to heartbreak. While her art often takes the form of sculpture, it hardly behaves as such, decomposing before our very eyes or wafting away in the form of a perfume. Yi’s artwork has been included in numerous group exhibitions at museums and galleries internationally since 2008. Born in South Korea in 1971, Yi lives and works in New York.

The exhibition is the culmination of a trilogy of exhibitions Yi began in 2013, beginning with Denial in Berlin and Divorce in New York, to explore, in her words, “the forensics of loss and separation.” Presenting artworks from earlier in her career as well as new pieces making their debut in Cleveland amid a unique and engaging installation design created in close collaboration with the artist, Anicka Yi: Death considers, as Beau Rutland, assistant curator of contemporary art, said, “life flashing before one’s eyes, the flurry of life before the final breath.”


About Transformer Station
Transformer Station is a project of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation that is designed to bring original contemporary arts exhibitions, events and programming from around the world to the west side of Cleveland. Bidwell Projects collection, which focuses on contemporary photography and photo-based art, and the Cleveland Museum of Art share the space and the calendar of events and exhibitions on an annual basis for six months each. Transformer Station, 1460 West 29 Street, Cleveland, OH 44113. 216-938-5429. Open: Wednesdays: 12-5:00 p.m.; Thursdays: 12- 8:00 p.m.; Fridays: 12- 5:00 p.m.; and Saturdays: 12-5:00 p.m. Free admission.


Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261