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Friday August 29, 2014
Tags for: The Cleveland Museum of Art presents Epic Systems: Three Monumental Paintings by Jennifer Bartlett
  • Press Release

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents Epic Systems: Three Monumental Paintings by Jennifer Bartlett

exterior of the CMA building

Opening September 7, exhibition brings together Bartlett’s Rhapsody, Song and Recitative

CLEVELAND (August 29, 2014) – The Cleveland Museum of Art presents Epic Systems: Three Monumental Paintings by Jennifer Bartlett, a monographic exhibition bringing together Bartlett’s most ambitious works in an installation that spans the entirety of her significant career. Composed of three works in Bartlett’s signature style – enamel paintings made up of hundreds of steel plates – the exhibition will be housed in the museum’s Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Exhibition Gallery from September 7, 2014 to February 22, 2015.

The exhibition marks the Cleveland Museum of Art’s debut of Song (2007), a monumental abstract work generously donated to the museum in 2008 by Agnes Gund, positioning it between Bartlett’s career-defining work Rhapsody (1975-76) and the more recent Recitative (2010).

“While these three works are in direct dialogue with one another and related through their musical titles, ambitious scale and conceptual approach, this will be the first exhibition to bring them all together,” said Beau Rutland, assistant curator of Contemporary Art.

Dividing the Smith Exhibition Hall and Gallery into two unique large-scale spaces, Epic Systems will initially present Rhapsody and Recitative, allowing the viewer to engage with these two works that, while made decades apart, entertain questions of what exactly should be a painting’s subject and form. After two months, Song will be installed alongside Rhapsody, creating a second, new pairing.

“With its condensed but career-spanning juxtaposition of Bartlett’s three most monumental paintings to date, the dynamic presentation of Epic Systems will allow for a new perspective on Bartlett’s work,” added Reto Thüring, associate curator of Contemporary Art.

Over the course of her four-decade-long practice, Bartlett has significantly contributed to the history of modern painting. Amid the currents of conceptualism and process-based work dominating the art discourse from the 1970s onward, she has remained faithful to her interest in painting while pushing its boundaries through fragmentation, the modernist grid and the juxtaposition of various genres and styles.

Please note rotation schedule:
September 7–November 4, 2014: Rhapsody and Recitative, November 22, 2014–February 22, 2015: Rhapsody and Song. The special exhibition galleries will be closed for installation November 5–21.

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261
marketingandcommunications@clevelandart.org