At the Cleveland Artists Foundation:
A Body of Work
Twentieth-century humanists made a great noise over their rediscovery of the body; but from looking at the works of Cleveland painter Shirley Aley Campbell, you'd never know it had gone missing. The Cleveland Artists Foundation is showcasing a retrospective of her work entitled The Way of All Flesh. At every stage in her career, Campbell has brought forth recognizable personalities through the stark rendering of often-stout bodies in every stage of dress — from frills to frankly sexual nudity. But heftiness is never a joke; the shifting and posturing of bulk conveys momentary emotion and abiding personality. All Campbell's subjects keep their dignity (except when she takes it from them). Most of the artist's work is in oil, but the pieces vary widely, even when keeping to her familiar themes. Some are more traditional, insofar as boundaries between light and objects are strict. Others have a palette of ruddy flesh tones and black. Both bring to mind Tamara de Lempicka's canvases, so dominated by luxurious figures that the world that holds them is an afterthought: They are literally larger than life. More recent minimalist works present only glimpses of limbs or digits in a few choice lines, and can be mistaken for abstraction if carelessly observed. That is something we should not do. An opening reception is set for September 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit continues through October 29 inside the Beck Center, 17801 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood. For more information, call 216-227-9507 or go to clevelandartists.org. — Joseph Clark
1point618 Gallery: An Odd Itinerary of Scenes. The unabashedly surrealist painter Joe Stavec immerses us in landscapes of the unconscious, where physics, logic, and expectations become punch lines. Through September 25 at 6421 Detroit Avenue. Call 216-281-1618 or go to 1point618gallery.com.
Akron Art Museum: Kaleidoscope Quilts. Fiber artist Paula Nadelstern's quilts capture the symmetry, luminosity, and intricacy of kaleidoscopes, and inspire makers of these instruments in return. Through Oct. 2. Also: The Vogel Collection: 50 Works for Ohio. Featuring works by 26 artists, the paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures in this exhibition are part of a far-sighted private collection amassed over a 40-year period. Through October 16 at 1 South High St.; call 330-376-9185 or go to akronartmuseum.org.
Arts Collinwood: Sommer Sequence. Cleveland artist Mark Keffer produces a series of abstract acrylic and latex paintings inspired by pioneering Cleveland modernist William Sommer. Though Keffer's works bear little overt resemblance to Sommer's, they strive to capture the fragmented and open-ended nature of consciousness and create a hopeful optimism. Through September 3 at 15605 Waterloo Rd. Call 216-692-9500 or go to artscollinwood.org.
Brandt Gallery: Brandt 21. To celebrate its 21st anniversary, Brandt Gallery hosts an exhibition showcasing the 50-plus artists who have decorated its walls since its founding, including Matt Keffer, Jerry Mann, Anastasia Pantsios, and Kathy Smith. The show overflows into two buildings: the Brandt Gallery proper at 1028 Kenilworth, and Mastroianni Arts at 2688 West 14th. An opening reception will take place September 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. Call 216-621-1610 or go to brandtgallery.org.
Cleveland Museum of Art: Copia: Retail, Thrift, and Dark Stores, 2001-11. Photographer Brian Ulrich hauntingly explores the psyche of the American consumer in a three-part exhibition that attempts to diagnose our national malaise. Through January 16. Also: Indian Kalighat Paintings. Highly stylized and brightly colored, these works were originally created as souvenirs for 19th-century tourists. Today, they are highly regarded as marking the beginning of modernism in Indian art. Through September 18 at 11150 East Blvd. in University Circle; call 216-421-7350 or visit clevelandart.org.
Cleveland Institute of Art: Annual Faculty Show. The instructors at Northeast Ohio's foremost institution of higher artistic learning exhibit their personal works in every medium in the Reinberger Gallery. With an opening reception from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, September 1, the exhibit runs through October 8 at 11141 East Blvd., University Circle. Call 216-421-7000 or go to cia.edu/facultyshow.
Cleveland State University Art Gallery: Meili's Acquisitions. Drawn from a large private collection, this exhibition of 20th-century Chinese prints documents the experiences of an American exchange student in China. September 2 through 17. Also: Material and Metaphor. This exhibition showcases contemporary, often experimental sculpture from nationally and internationally acclaimed artists such as Joseph Leroux, Kyoung Ae Cho, and Allison Lacher. September 2 to October 15. A gallery talk is set for September 9 at 4 p.m., followed by a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The gallery is at 2307 Chester Ave. Call 216-687-2103 or go to csuohio.edu/artgallery.
Kokoon Arts Gallery: 100th Anniversary Celebration. Historic treasures from the original Kokoon Arts Club keep company with contemporary works inspired by the theme of metamorphosis. Through September 10 at 1305 West 80th St. Call 216-832-8212 or go to kokoonarts.com.
Legation: Artwork From Spaces Board/Staff. This group exhibition features artwork by board members and staffers of Spaces, Cleveland's arts resource and public arts forum, as well as works drawn from board members' private collections. Among the participating artists: Dana Depew, Dott Schneider, Qian Li, Jeffery Chiplis, Hilary Aurand, and more. Through September 23 at 1300 D West 78th St. Call 216-650-4201 or visit legationagallery.com for more info.
The Pop Shop/(Art)ificial Gallery:Who the Hell Is Josh Usmani? The Pop Shop's final exhibition before converting to the Breakneck Gallery is also the first solo exhibiton for Cleveland native Josh Usmani. Using ink, colored pencil, markers, acrylics, and ball-point pens, Usmani creates psychedelic fields of repetitive, spherical patterns, into which he inserts spiritual and social commentaries. Through September 2 at 17020 Madison Ave., Lakewood. Call 216-227-8440 or visit whatisartificial.com.
O Gallery: From the Earth Up. Two Cleveland artists examine human interaction with nature. Lisa Eastman paints landscapes in vivid, glassy-smooth oils. Sculptor Hy Snell transforms bits of scrap bronze and copper into intricate vegetable shapes. Through October 9 at 2101 Richmond Rd., Beachwood. Call 330-921-1234 or see the gallery's page on Facebook.
Peninsula Art Academy: The Figure as Sculpture. This group exhibition features figural sculpture in various media. Through September 30 at 1600 West Mill St. in Peninsula. Call 330-657-2248 or visit peninsulaartacademy.com.
Proximity: So — Recent Works by Royden Watson. CIA instructor Royden Watson uses traditional, representational painting methods on unconventional plywood canvases to force the viewer to look twice at his images and hopefully reconsider the objects depicted therein. An opening reception will be held September 2 from 6 to 10 p.m. The show continues through September 23 at 1667 East 40th St. For more information, call 216-262-8903 or go to proximitycleveland.com.
River Gallery Arts: Cleveland Craft Masters. The living legends of Cleveland's artisan communities display jewelry, glasswork, ceramics, and more. Through September 10 at 19046 Old Detroit Road, Rocky River. Call 440-331-8406 or go to rivergalleryarts.com.
Shaker Historic Society: Viktor Schreckengost. The legacy of the prolific artist, industrial designer, engineer, and C.I.A. professor is honored with a sampling of his work. Craig Bara, historian and archivist for the Viktor Schreckengost Memorial Foundation, speaks September 18 at 4 p.m. Through October 2 at 16740 South Park Blvd., Shaker Heights. Call 216-921-1201 or go to shakerhistory.org.
SPACES: Portability & Network. An international array of artists exhibit works dealing with the concept of formal reduction. Also: Steve Lambert's interactive installation Capitalism Works for Me! allows visitors to vote on whether or not the titular statement applies to them. Also: Royden Watson's Usnews is a map of the United States whose colors will evolve over the course of the exhibition, representing the country's shifting racial, religious, sexual, and economic demographics. Through October 21 at 2220 Superior Viaduct. Call 216-621-2314 or go to spacesgallery.org.
Wall Eye Gallery: The Art of Artisans. A display of the fine-arts craftsmen of Cleveland includes works in glass, furniture, and practical and decorative woodwork. On display by appointment through September 4 at 5304 Detroit Ave. Call 216-640-7769 or visit walleyegallery.com to learn more.
William Rupnik Gallery: New Works. Paul Rogers exhibits paintings that combine expressionistic scenes of urban life and abstract forms that hark back to Picasso or Tanguy. Through September 8 at the Lava Lounge, 1307 Auburn Ave. For more information, call 216-533-5575 or go to artchitecturegallery.com.
Zaller Gallery: CLEVELAND: The Exhibition. Organized and presented by Ctownartparty, this exhibit focuses on all things local. Through September 16 at 16008 Waterloo Rd. For more information, call 330-671-6123.
Zygote Press: Craig Lucas: Friends Recollect. The irrepressible, frank, and driven Kent State professor and abstract painter Craig "Pirate" Lucas, who died earlier this year, is honored by students and colleagues through works displaying his prolific influence. The exhibit continues through September 1 at 1410 East 30th St.; call 216-621-2900 or go to zygotepress.com.
Solon Center for the Arts: La Bella Vita, the Beautiful Life. Painter Diane Arthurs exhibits works inspired by the Mediterranean. Through July 29 at 6315 SOM Center Rd. in Solon. Call 440-337-1400.