A Museum of Contemporary art Cleveland exhibit showcases artists changing the image of our region through abnormal practices. Barry Goodrich
The days when the Rust Belt's factory towns were booming are long gone, but that
doesn't mean we've stopped making interesting things. The Museum of Contemporary
Art Cleveland is showcasing unusual works by artists from Ohio and beyond with its
new exhibit, Realization is Better Than Anticipation, running through Oct.
13. The group show highlights 12 artists who are pushing the boundaries of art through
unconventional methods. "It's a show about possibilities and a way to start a conversation
about contemporary practices from artists who have new ways of seeing and creating,"
says assistant curator Rose Bouthillier. "All of them start by responding to an
object or a medium through an experimental process." We talked with three artists
about the practices that inspire their nontraditional art.
SCOTT OLSON » An
abstract painting by Kent-based artist Scott Olson goes beyond being a piece to
be viewed. "My painting is more about the craft than just conveying an image," Olson
says. "I'm interested in the physicality of the pigment and how each material serves
a different purpose." He is particularly drawn to colors with organic origins, with
much of his work featuring earth tones splattered in a mirage of free-flowing shapes.
"I don't strive to be different, but a lot of painters are too controlled," he says.
"I like a lack of control."
LENKA CLAYTON » Conceptual
Pittsburgh artist Lenka Clayton is drawn to the stories behind objects she
finds at thrift shops and estate sales. "Beachcombing was a big part of my life
growing up, and I'm constantly looking for things, particularly incomplete things,"
she says. Clayton will present four found text works with animated components, including
an anonymous diary she calls Accidental Haiku, which can be heard on headphones.
She has also re-mailed 100 postcards from 1898-1996 to their original Cleveland
addresses with the ones unable to reach those destinations to be displayed at the
museum. "I'm testing to see if they function twice, to see if they reach different
KEVIN BEASLEY » Although
Kevin Beasley lives in New York City, his art remains influenced by seven years
spent in Detroit, where he studied at the College of Creative Studies and co-founded
the Cave, a collective studio and gallery. That is also where he started to work
with found and discarded objects, a practice he still does today. Beasley is exhibiting
a series of monoprints, a sculpture and a slide-specific sound piece, which will
play Sept. 7 at the Cozad-Bates house across the street from MOCA. "Most of my work
is sculptural and object-based," he says. "An experiential process makes more sense
to me, no matter what the form or media. I'm interested in the relationship between
the viewer, the work itself and the space it's in."