Tags for: The Persistence of Geometry
  • Special Exhibition

Constructivist Portrait (detail), 1983. Ellen Carey (American, 1952). Gelatin silver print, toned and painted; 45.7 x 51.5 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Dorothy Handelman 2003.309 © Ellen Carey

The Persistence of Geometry

Friday, June 9–Sunday, August 20, 2006

About The Exhibition

This exhibition examined how geometric structures and abstract visual vocabularies have communicated meaning throughout the visual history of humankind. In the modern era, these forms served as vehicles for revolutionary distillations of form and narrative and as the foundations for conceptual and social models of new societal values.

The exhibition included paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, ceramics, and utensils from historic and contemporary cultures, all drawn from the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art by guest curator Lowery Stokes Sims, president of the Studio Museum in Harlem.

The installation presented the objects without the usual hierarchical positioning that prejudices high art over decoration or Western over tribal or primitive, reflecting the emergence of diversity and multiculturalism as prominent theoretical modes over the last three decades. By repatterning the usual methods of organizing ideas about art, the exhibition allowed the viewer to recognize the centrality of cultures considered peripheral, and how cultures influence and transform each other.

In this collaboration between the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Sims assumed a contemporary perspective to discover atypical connections among the artworks of an encyclopedic fine arts institution and present them in the loft-like galleries of a non-collecting contemporary art museum.

This exhibition was organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art in collaboration with MOCA Cleveland and was made possible through generous grants from the Kulas Foundation and the John P. Murphy Foundation. Additional support was provided by The Contessa Gallery. The Cleveland Museum of Art and MOCA Cleveland received support from the Ohio Arts Council. Promotional support provided by 90.3 WCPN.