At the Cleveland Artists Foundation:
The Paradise of Zoar
The Cleveland Artists Foundation's exhibition Paradise Lost celebrates both a place and a cultural moment. The mapped location is Zoar, Ohio, now a rural outpost with a population pegged by the last census at just 200. But it was once an artful retreat beloved by the experimental landscape painters of the Cleveland School and the Kokoon Club, who in the early decades of the last century were Modernism's earliest Midwest partisans. Both the pastoral grace of Zoar — originally settled by German Separatists hoping to establish a new Utopia — and the enthusiasm of the Modernist experiment come together in the works of August F. Biehle Jr. (1885–1979). Emulating the emerging style of Art Nouveau, Biehle's landscapes use bold coloration, most notably red-tinted browns and black-streaked greens, to pop individual trees from their muted contexts and present them as striking individuals in windy, coiling poses. (That's his "Apple Tree and Fence," above.) The represented paintings are drawn from 25 years of Biehle's career — 1915 to 1940 — allowing the viewer to trace the painter's progression from early experimentation to practiced and loving familiarity with the medium and the subject. An opening reception will be held January 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free to CAF members and $5 for non-members. The exhibition runs through March 10 at 17801 Detroit Rd., Lakewood. For more information, call 216-227-9507 or go to clevelandartists.org. — Joseph Clark
Akron Art Museum: Landscapes From the Age of Impressionism. More than 50 French and American impressionists provide an overview of the style and its interpretations. Through Feb. 5 at One South High St. Call 330-376-9185 or go to akronartmusuem.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 Feb. 26 at 11150 East Blvd. in University Circle; call 216-421-7350 or visit clevelandart.org.
Double Feature Gallery: Previews of The Marilyn Project. Cleveland photographer Alena Rosa Reyes has spent countless months researching Marilyn Monroe and photographing Clevelanders dressed as the icon. Through Jan. 18 at 1392 West 65th St.; call 440-263-2254 or see the Double Feature Facebook page.
Galeria Quetzal: Land of Color: Latin American Textiles. Presented in collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Art's Textile Arts Alliance, this exhibition showcases the fiber arts of 16 countries alongside those of local artists working in the styles of Latin America. An opening reception will be held January 13 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The show runs through March 16 at 12400 Mayfield Road. Call 216-421-8223 or go to www.galeriaquetzal.com.
The Gallery at Trinity Commons: Cleveland Artists' Holiday Invitational. Trinity Cathedral hosts forty artists practicing crafts as varied as painting, sculpture, multimedia, textile, metalwork, and photography. Curator and artist Mary Urbas will host a free artists' dialogue and discussion related to the exhibit on Sunday, Jan. 15, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The exhibition continues through Jan. 29 at 2230 Euclid Ave. To learn more, call 216-771-3630 or go to trinitycleveland.org.
Gallery at the Old Stone Church: Music & Legacy: Our City, Our Music & Our History. A collection of works amassed over a period of 30 years documents the development of the black gospel music movement in Cleveland. Through Feb. 27 at 1380 Ontario St.; call 216-241-6145 or visit galleryatoldstone.com.
Harris Stanton Gallery: PhyllisSloane, A 40-year Print Retrospective. The late artist is honored with a career-spanning survey of her work. There's an opening reception Jan. 13 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Through Feb. 11 at 2301W. Market St., Akron. Call 330-867-7600 or visit their website at harrisstantongallery.com.
Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery: Atmospheric Distortions. Falling somewhere between landscape, abstraction, and classical Japanese painting, Judith Brandon's large canvases feel at once like cataclysmic events and elegant, terrible moments frozen in eternity. Through Jan. 28 at 1305 West 80th St.; call 216-631-6719 or go to kennethpaullesko.com.
MOCA: Sculpture. Nationally recognized artist Ursula von Rydingsvard exhibits monumental-scale wooden sculptures emulating organic forms. Also: 8501 to 11400 [On Moving]. MOCA concludes its final season at its current home with an exhibition of new works and interactive projects from Brandon Juhasz, Ben Kinsley, and Corrie Slawson. Through March 31 at 8501 Carnegie Ave.; call 216-421-8671 or go to mocacleveland.org.
1 point 618 Gallery: Blueprints. CSU professor Qian Li uses the texture of the palm rendered in print, photography, and materials like beeswax and soil to explore issues of identity in her native China. Through Feb. 12 at 6421 Detroit Ave. Call 216-281-1618 or go to 1point618gallery.com for more info.
Rotten Meat Gallery: Armed and Fairly Well Equipped. This exhibition features works by Cleveland-born, New York-based photograher Keith Marlowe, including rock-concert images and pictures of ruined and decrepit structures taken from his "Abandoned" series. Through Jan. 27 at 1814 East 40th St., Suite 4B. Find them on Facebook or e-mail [email protected].
Shaheen Gallery: Bill Radawec: A Retrospective. The art of Bill Radawec, visual and three-dimensional artist, is celebrated in this career-spanning show. Through Jan. 20 at 740 West Superior Ave., Suite 101; call 216-830-8888 or visit shaheengallery.com.
Spaces: Boundaries. Experimental composer Christopher Auerbach-Brown creates an installation using the gallery's windows as amplifiers and speakers. Also: Make CATopia Real. Ben Kinsley and Jessica Langley consult cats, through their owners, on the idea of utopia. And: Comfort Women Wanted. Chang Jin-Lee uses posters, photographs, and video installations to recount the horrors endured by Japanese women pressed into sex slavery during WWII. Through Jan. 20 at 2220 Superior Viaduct; call 216-621-2314 or go to spacesgallery.org.
Studio 2091: Temporary: Photography, Installation, and Design Inspired by Post Industrial America. Artists David Desimone and Ron Copeland spent four years exploring abandoned places and have the poignant images to prove it. An artists' opening reception is set for Jan. 13 from 5 to 9 p.m. The exhibition continues through Jan. 28 at 2091 Front St. in Cuyahoga Falls. Learn more at studio2091.com.
Survival Kit Gallery: Pens and Needles: Works on Paper by Carla Fontecchio, Sarah Isenhart, and Aaron Troyer. Three artists render intricately detailed floral shapes and abstract assemblages in a variety of mediums. Through Jan. 20 at 1305 West 80th St. Call 216-533-4885 or go to survivalkitgallery.com.
William Busta Gallery: Menagerie. Michael Loderstedt's sculptural installations drape minimalist retellings of 20th-century German architecture in whimsy. Through Feb. 4 at 2731 Prospect Ave.; call 216-298-9071 or visit williambustagallery.com.
William Rupnik Gallery: Let the Chips Fall. Abstract painter Bob Peck draws on his experience as a grafitti artist to infuse his works with energy, immediacy, and bold contrasts of color. An opening reception will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Jan.14. The show will run through Feb. 5 at 1117 Euclid Avenue. Call 216-533-5575 or go to wrgcleveland.com.
Willoughby Hills Community Center Art Gallery: To Abstraction. Well-known Cleveland photographer Michael F. Nekic is joined by mixed-media artist Martha L. Germano in a show that aims to shine a fresh light upon the faces of abstraction. Through Feb. 27 at 35400 Chardon Rd., Willoughby Hills; call 440-918-8730 or visit willoughbyhillsgallery.org.