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Friday, April 22, 2016

Cleveland Museum of Art Hosts Jon Pestoni's First Solo Museum Exhibition

Posted By on Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 8:50 AM

click to enlarge Replica, 2013. Jon Pestoni (American, born 1969). Oil on canvas; 182.9 x 121.9 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art.
  • Replica, 2013. Jon Pestoni (American, born 1969). Oil on canvas; 182.9 x 121.9 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art.
Last month, the Cleveland Museum of Art announced the acquisition of a painting by Los Angeles-based painter Jon Pestoni. The purchase of Pestoni’s Replica was especially noteworthy because it was the first museum acquisition for Pestoni, who has been painting in LA for the past two decades.

The CMA will showcase Pestoni’s work at Transformer Station from April 22 through July 10. Replica will be included in the exhibition, Jon Pestoni: Some Years, along with more than 30 additional works. Some Years opens with a public reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 22. Pestoni will be in the gallery for the reception. Some Years is Pestoni’s first museum solo exhibition.

“The term contemporary painting is almost an oxymoron—how can an oil painting, something with such a long history and deep traditions truly express the experience of being alive right now?” asks Beau Rutland, assistant curator of contemporary art. “Instead of employing current-day pop culture references, weighing his paintings down with historical allusions, or using technology to make his art seem ‘now,’ Pestoni spends months and months with his work, constantly questioning his work and himself. Almost as if he is reacting to the anxiety and pressure artists face today—the demands of the art market, never-ending feedback from social media—Pestoni takes his time in the studio, using his wonderful aesthetic sensitivity to rework his paintings until he’s confident that they’re ready to face the public.”

Some Years includes 32 works produced over the past five years. In addition to his signature oil paintings, the exhibition includes works on paper and a collection of watercolors being exhibited for the very first time. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, Pestoni and Rutland will discuss Pestoni’s work, as well as the current state of contemporary painting, in a free gallery talk.

Built in 1924, the building now known as Transformer Station was originally one of 16 substations built by the Cleveland Railway Company. Noted local architect John Williams oversaw the building’s renovation and expansion. A collaborative effort between the Bidwell Foundation and the Cleveland Museum of Art, its programming is shared equally by the museum and founders Fred and Laura Bidwell.

Located in Hingetown, Transformer Station serves as the museum’s first footprint on the west side. A collaborative effort between the Bidwell Foundation and the Cleveland Museum of Art, its programming is shared equally by the museum and founders Fred and Laura Bidwell.

With an emphasis on contemporary photography, Transformer Station has brought fresh national and international artists and groundbreaking work to Northeast Ohio since opening in early 2013.

(Transformer Station) 1460 W. 29th St., 216-938-5429, transformerstation.org

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