Tuesday May 3, 2011
Tags for: Engaging Focus Exhibitions Highlight Recent Acquisitions
  • Press Release

Engaging Focus Exhibitions Highlight Recent Acquisitions

exterior of the CMA building

First opportunity to view exceptional artwork

CLEVELAND (May 3, 2011) – Three focus exhibitions which recently opened to the viewing public, emphasize notable acquisitions made recently by the museum. Contemporary Landscape Photography investigates the way artists have approached photographing landscapes over the last 50 years. These stimulating visions are represented in the exhibition by 43 images drawn from the permanent collection, with many new to the museum, and highlight the complexities in understanding contemporary landscape. CLE OP: Cleveland Op Art Pioneers features Edwin Mieczkowski's Blue Bloc from 1967, a landmark painting in the exhibition and recently acquired by the museum. It is considered to be one of Mieczkowski's most intricate and outright lively "optical art" creations. Blue Bloc is exhibited next to seven other eye-popping examples which showcase works by key figures from Op Art's formative decade of the 1960s. The Art of Daily Life: Portable Objects from Southeast Africa includes a group of objects recently acquired by the museum, many of which have never been shown or published before. These objects are portable in nature, generally small in size and were typically only seen in the privacy of one's home. The Art of Daily Life is accompanied by a catalogue.

All three focus exhibitions are free. To complement the exhibitions, the organizing curators will give a free talk to visitors. Call 48 hours prior to reserve your spot -- 216-707-2656.

  • Wednesday, June 29, 6:30 p.m. Tom Hinson will speak about Contemporary Landscape Photography in the Photography Galleries, East Wing.
  • Friday, August 5, 6:30 p.m. Mark Cole will give a talk in the Cleveland Gallery, East Wing on CLE OP.
  • Friday, August 19, 6:30 p.m. Constantine Petridis will speak about The Art of Daily Life in the Design Gallery, East Wing.

Contemporary Landscape Photography
Through August 14, 2011, Photography Galleries, East Wing

Since the 1960s, contemporary photographers pursuing the landscape as subject matter have predominantly used two conceptual approaches. One is epitomized by the iconic landscapes of Ansel Adams, who sought out pristine views of the natural landscape—rivers, mountains, valleys, orchards, deserts and the sea in the western United States—all presented with clarity and enriched by his poetic vision and commitment to environmental conservation. The other style sought to balance the depiction of formal beauty with the desire to document humanity's presence and intervention in the landscape. The pioneering photography of Robert Adams is a leading, articulate expression of that approach. This survey show featuring these two methods of recording the natural landscape is drawn from the Cleveland Museum of Art's permanent collection, and contains some 40 images—many of them new to the collection.

CLE OP: Cleveland Op Art Pioneers
Through February 26, 2012, Cleveland Gallery, East Wing

An abbreviation for "Optical Art," Op Art is an appropriately eye-popping style whose goals are to stimulate and, at times, confound vision. Op artists test the boundaries of visual perception, often by creating abstract compositions with bold colors that seem to vibrate and dynamic patterns that appear to pulsate. During Op's heyday in the 1960s, several artists who studied and worked in Cleveland became internationally known for their vital contributions to the movement. In addition, Cleveland was home to the only artist collaborative in the United States devoted to Op. Drawn primarily from the CMA's permanent holdings and supplemented with loans from private collections, CLE OP: Cleveland Op Art Pioneers is a small focus exhibition showcasing work by key figures in the local Op Art scene during its formative years.

The Art of Daily Life: Portable Objects from Southeast Africa
Through February 26, 2012, Design Gallery, East Wing

Through some 70 works from American private collections and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art, The Art of Daily Life celebrates the stunning formal diversity and deep cultural meanings of Southern Africa's artistic heritage.

Despite some growing interest and appreciation over the past three decades, the art of traditional Southern African societies have long been neglected. The aesthetic merits of works stemming from this part of the African continent are still largely underrated within the field of African art and often described as "craft" rather than "art."

The works on view were created by peoples such as the Zulu, Nguni, Tsonga, Ndebele, Basotho and Swazi in the 19th and 20th centuries. Exhibition visitors will view snuff containers, pipes, headrests, staffs, sticks, beer vessels, beadwork and the various other works that were primarily intended for daily use. The Art of Daily Life is the very first loan exhibition dedicated to the arts of Southern Africa to be organized by and on view at a major art museum in the United States. Many of the presented works have never been exhibited or published before.


About the Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes more than 40,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. Currently undergoing an ambitious, multi-phase renovation and expansion project across its campus, the museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, performing arts and art education. One of the top five comprehensive art museums in the nation, and the only one that is free of charge to all, the Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the dynamic University Circle neighborhood.

The Cleveland Museum of Art has a membership of more than 21,500 households and is supported by a broad range of individuals, foundations and businesses in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. The museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Additional support comes from the Ohio Arts Council, which helps fund the museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. For more information about the museum, its holdings, programs and events, call 888-CMA-0033 or visit www.ClevelandArt.org.

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