Cleveland Museum of Art Debuts Six Exhibits for FRONT International Triennial

“These presentations reflect and amplify different aspects of FRONT."

click to enlarge Machine Learning Kiss, 2020. Nicole Eisenman (American, b. 1965). - Courtesy of the artist.
Courtesy of the artist.
Machine Learning Kiss, 2020. Nicole Eisenman (American, b. 1965).

As part of the 2022 FRONT International Triennial, the free region-wide art festival running through Oct. 2, the Cleveland Museum of Art last week debuted six new exhibitions.

"Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows," this year's FRONT theme, aims to emphasize collaborative creative processes and connect artists with local communities. In light of that, CMA has brought together programming to coincide with the event and theme.

The exhibits, Julie Mehretu: Portals; Firelei Báez: the vast ocean of all possibilities; Nicole Eisenman: A Decade of Printing; Yoshitomo Nara: Recent Work; and Matt Eich and Tyler Mitchell: Sunlight, Shadow, and A Rainbow, are now on view.

“As part of FRONT International, CMA curators Emily Liebert, Nadiah Rivera Fellah, Britany Salsbury, and Barbara Tannenbaum have organized six exhibitions throughout the museum’s galleries, said Emily Liebert, Curator of Contemporary Art. “These presentations reflect and amplify different aspects of FRONT International 2022’s primary interests and curatorial considerations.”

Julie Mehretu: Portals, which runs through November 13, 2022, is unique in that it features Mehretu’s work alongside pieces from CMA’s permanent collection. The pieces represent a variety of time periods, cultures and lineages. Originally from Egypt, Mehretu moved to Lansing, MI when she was young, Her work incorporates elements of technical drawings, including city grids and weather charts, multiple points of view and perspective ratios unfolding abstract line drawings reflecting urban landscapes and metropolitan interconnectedness.

“I am interested in the multifaceted layers of place, space, and time that impact the formation of personal and communal identity,” said Mehretu on her website.

Firelei Báez: the vast ocean of all possibilities (19°36'16.9"N 72°13'07.0"W, 41°30'32.3"N 81°36'41.7"W) is on view through December 31, 2022.

Firelei Báez is from Dajabón, on the Dominican Republic's border with Haiti. Her work has been celebrated and she has won a host of awards and accolades. She sometimes uses maps, manuals, and travelogues as background and addresses concepts in her work such as racial and class stratification and deconstructs cultural narratives in hopes to unleash from them.

Yoshitomo Nara: Recent Work is on view in Toby’s Gallery of Contemporary Art in Gallery 229A through October 2, 2022

Nara is a Japanese artist who lives and works in Nasushiobara, Tochigi Prefecture. His work was influenced by exposure to Western music on the American military radio station Far East Network in Honshu. He depicts children or child-like renderings of cartoon characters, sometimes wielding weapons. The CMA pieces include a painting of one such child and a ceramic vessel which reads simply, “We Are Outlaws” and which features a girl’s face. This is a new direction for the artist who regularly sells work for millions.

In the Mark Schwartz and Bettina Katz Photography Gallerie, Gallery 230 is a two-person photography exhibition, Matt Eich and Tyler Mitchell: Sunlight, Shadow, and A Rainbow, which will be on view through November 6, 2022.

Eich’s work captures coming-of-age children exploring the wondrous discoveries of nature. He uses light, color and point of view to evoke emotion from the viewer and to connect with the subjects and exploit these otherwise candid and private family moments.

Mitchell’s images are picturesque and at times pastoral, and arouse feelings using the landscape, composition and capturing of temperature in these luminous visions from behind the camera lens. Some of these works are reminiscent of the photographer’s time growing up in suburban Georgia. There are underlining narratives found in these quiet scenes, which make us reflect on our own childhoods and our overall connection with our friends, family and with the natural world.

From a press release: “Eich and Mitchell set joyful scenes of relaxation, languor and personal contentment into the Southern landscape. Both artists use photography, most often associated with recording fact, to suggest the possibilities of transformation, a delight in the senses and the engaging mystery of the transitory.”

Nicole Eisenman: A Decade of Printing is featured through December 31, 2022 in the James and Hanna Bartlett Prints and Drawings Gallery 101.

The French-born American artist displays works made by her at three New York-based print shops where she worked with master printers while exploring printmaking techniques such as monotype, woodcut, etching and lithography. This will be an opportunity to explore with Eisenman these varying techniques and her unique visual style and subject matter drawn from the collections of the artist and their collaborators.

Lastly will be a special performance by Maria Hassabi called CANCELLED on Friday and Saturday, September 16–17 in the Ames Family Atrium, where Hassabi will feature four female performers synching their movements within a soundscape.

“Their choreography is composed of individual solos that display poses historically associated with women based on everyday mannerisms throughout history and rooted in Hassabi’s signature style of stillness and deceleration. The use of verticality, and its resistance to gravity, is interspersed with more fluid movements,” the CMA said in a press release.

Explore FRONT's full schedule here.
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