For a recent show at Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York, native Clevelander T.R. Ericsson burned digital photographs into silkscreens and then printed them by placing ashtrays full of smoldering cigarettes beneath the screens, which recreated the image in a sepia nicotine stain on the paper behind it.
The process required anywhere from 15 to 600 cigarettes to make a single image. Prints for Ericsson's show that opens Saturday at Shaheen Gallery are made by filling bags, made from nylon stockings, with powdered graphite, then rubbing the graphite pillow against the image on the silkscreen to transfer the image onto the paper. This gives the appearance of a soft-focus drawing, which he modifies by erasing, brushing and vacuum cleaning. Ericsson says, "I like the sense of impermanence. There's the feeling that it's not quite attached to the paper, and not incised or pressed into the paper the way hard graphite would be. Though it's deceptively permanent and often difficult to erase, the graphite in its powdered form seems to sit on top of the paper like it could be blown off." The title of the Shaheen exhibit, Narcissus, is, he says, "less an expression of vanity and relates more to the tragic love story expressed in Ovid's Metamorphoses." The show opens with a reception from 7-9 p.m. and continues through December 20. Shaheen Gallery is at 740 West Superior Ave., Suite 101. Call 216.830.8888.
Musical notes don't cost anything, so no matter who they were writing for, composers through the centuries have been able to afford whatever beauty they could conceive. Music of the period portrayed in the Cleveland Museum of Art's glitzy blockbuster Artistic Luxury: Faberge, Tiffany, Lalique has its own lustre, though - a luxurious chromaticism with an easily accessible tonal center: extravagance, but not outrageousness. Pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi creates a soundtrack for the exhibit in Artistic Luxury: Music of Opulence and Decadence around 1900, a program in CMA's Viva! and Gala Around Town series. Pompa-Baldi's wife, pianist Emanuela Friscioni, and the Cavani Quartet join him in a program of late romantic works of France and Russia, mirroring the taste - from decadent romanticism to early modernism - that's on display in the exhibit. It's at 7:30 p.m. at Reinberger Chamber Hall at Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $34. Call 888.CMA.0033 or go to clevelandart.org.
For the past nine years, Y-Haven, the YMCA's transitional home and treatment center for homeless men, has collaborated with Cleveland Public Theater to create an original play based on the homeless men's personal experiences. This year, CPT artists and Y-Haven residents offer Mama's Boys, a play about the role mothers play in their sons' lives. As the show opens, Harvey nearly kills his friend Ray because of the disappearance of a shoebox left to Harvey by his deceased mother. As the story unfolds, everyone in the neighborhood is drawn in as Harvey spirals close to madness, and the neighborhood comes together to save not only Harvey but themselves. It's free, but a $5 donation is suggested to help support the project. Performances are at 7:30 tonight and tomorrow, and 3 p.m. Sunday at CPT's Gordon Square Theatre (6415 Detroit Ave.). There's a benefit performance at 7 p.m. Saturday that includes a buffet dinner and silent auction. Tickets: $75. Call 216.431.2018 or visit yhaven.org.
In 1887, Johannes Brahms, then 54 years old, was finished writing symphonies and had reconciliation on his mind. He'd had a falling-out with the legendary violinist Joseph Joachim and had failed to deliver a promised solo concerto for the cellist Robert Hausmann. To make amends, he wrote his Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra. The Cleveland Orchestra performs the piece this week, with concertmaster William Preucil in the violin role and Desmond Hoebig on the cello. Also on the program is Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, the Eroica. Herbert Blomstedt conducts. Performances are at 8 p.m. tonight, tomorrow and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday at Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid. Tickets: $31-$110. Call 216.231.1111 or go to clevelandorchestra.com.
A little sensitive, are we? Asterisk Gallery proprietor Dana Depew conceived a show of self-deprecating humor about Cleveland and branded it with clear parody - a riff on the white oval stickers once used to indicate where a car came from when it crossed some international border. Lately those stickers have been appropriated for every promotional cause under the sun, including the Cleveland Plus campaign, which placed the abbreviation CLE+ in the little white oval. Depew's answer was CLE-, which didn't go over well with the Greater Cleveland Partnership; it sent a cease-and-desist letter to the little Tremont gallery. As a result, Depew has issued a disclaimer, ensuring anyone who might be confused that GCP and Cleveland Plus don't have anything to do with the art show, called All Things Cleveland. Depew assembled approximately 35 artists whose work represents "the continual grief and despair we feel each and every day, the adverse effect our sports teams have on our mental state, our bleak and depressing outlook on life, etc, etc. All the good things." The show opens with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. and continues through December 6. There will be a live polka band (with members dressed as Superhost), sauerkraut and kielbasa, and lukewarm POC beer. Asterisk is at 2392 Professor Ave. in Tremont. Call 330.304.8528 or go to asteriskgallery.com.
After a century of German and Soviet occupation, nationalism was stirring in the Republic of Estonia in the '80s. One outgrowth of that was the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, founded in 1981. After events referred to as "the Singing Revolution" - named for the spontaneous, mass singing demonstrations held in the summer of 1988 - Estonia gained full independence in 1991. Located between eastern and western Europe, the region has always mixed cultural elements, and that meld has flourished since the nation's independence. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, which the rest of the world first heard in a Grammy-nominated recording of works by Estonian composer Aarvo Part, has since then been exporting that culture to the world. The choir comes to Cleveland with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and director Tonu Kaljuste for a free performance at 7:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist (1007 Superior). The program includes works by Part, TŸŸr, Vivaldi, and others. Free. Call 216.771.6666 X 5510.
Violinist Annie Fullard says the Cavani Quartet has had standing-room-only crowds for its Beethoven and Brotherhood project, a series of concerts featuring the composer's string quartets performed at libraries around the region. Taken as a whole, the quartets form a musical biography - from the composer's early years, when he was still strongly influenced by the classical style, to his later works, in which he set out on his own bold way, taking the musical world headlong into romanticism. Each concert in the series consists of one quartet, with commentary by the musicians and audience interaction. At 2 p.m. today at Twinsburg Public Library (10050 Ravenna Rd.), they'll perform String Quartet No. 15, Opus 132. It's one of six compositions known as Beethoven's "late" string quartets, among the last major works the great composer completed. Come see if you agree that they're also among the greatest music ever written. Free. Call 330.425.4268 or go to cavani.org.