The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 4, 2024

Big North Coast

Big North Coast

(American, 1942-)
Overall: 101.3 x 202.7 cm (39 7/8 x 79 13/16 in.)
© Laurence Channing
Location: not on view


The subject of Big North Coast-fishermen and sunbathers clambering over the rocky breakwater at Edgewater Park-is unusual within Channing's oeuvre. The artist usually lingers over more decrepit landscapes of Cleveland-abandoned lots, grimy warehouses, battered guardrails, and shadowy highway overpasses. This work, however, celebrates the urban lakefront, describing glints of light playing across the water's surface and the warm rocks under the noonday sun. The drawing's inky blacks juxtaposed by blinding whites, with a subtle range of grays in between, recall the artist's description of Cleveland as "an essentially monochrome environment." Based on photographs taken during wanderings around Cleveland and its environs, Channing's elegant, monochromatic drawings reveal few traces of the artist's hand. His process is relatively low-tech, but laborious; Channing grinds sticks of French charcoal with a mortar and pestle and then applies the powder to a sheet with rags and piano felt attached to sticks. With simple materials, he creates indelible images of the city.
  • Cleveland Museum of Art, “Major African Sculpture, Recent Mark Tansey Painting, and Other Works of Art Enter CMA Collection,” September 16, 1997, Cleveland Museum of Art Archives.
  • Drawn, Exposed, and Impressed: Recent Works on Paper from the Cleveland Museum of Art. MOCA Cleveland, OH (January 20-May 7, 2006).
    MOCA Cleveland (1/20/2006 - 5/7/2006): "Drawn, Exposed, and Impressed: Recent Works on Paper from the Cleveland Museum of Art," no catalogue.
  • {{cite web|title=Big North Coast|url=false|author=Laurence Channing|year=1997|access-date=04 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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