As autumn hoists its tattered flag, Cleveland galleries and arts institutions muster their best art and march bravely toward northern Ohio's half-year of winter. The following art institutions and galleries aren't by any means all that our area's increasingly diverse scene has to offer, but most have a good track record, and the majority have been the subject of commentary in Scene in the past year.Chief among upcoming don't-miss shows is at the Cleveland Museum of Art (11150 East Blvd., 216.421.7340, clemusart.com). Paul Gauguin: Paris, 1889 is an impressive scholarly exhibit tracing the development of Paul Gauguin's mature style as it jelled in the pivotal year 1889 (Oct. 4-Jan. 18, 2010).
Already in progress across the street at the Cleveland Institute of Art's Reinberger Galleries (11141 East Blvd., 216.421.7407, cia.edu) is the school's annual exhibition of work by CIA's distinguished faculty members (through Oct. 10).
Delving into the relatively recent past, the Cleveland Artists Foundation (at the Beck Center, 17801 Detroit Ave., 216.227.9507, clevelandartists.org) will show some of the best work from its permanent collection of Ohio artists (Sept. 5-Nov. 15).
For something completely different, check out SPACES Gallery's (2220 Superior Viaduct, 216.621.2314, spacesgallery.org) Plum Academy (through Oct. 23), a tongue-in-cheek series of courses based on Situationist/Dada-ish premises, designed to bring the spirit of adventure back to art practice. Among the cutting-edge activities is a two-hour car ride with artist Kristin Bly, featuring music and Bly's ongoing defense of his controversial driving techniques.
One of the most exciting and historically significant shows mounted this fall is at the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art (8501 Carnegie Ave., 216.421.8671, mocacleveland.org). A selection of seminal op artist Julian Stanczak's recent paintings, including the 50-part "Parade of Reds," makes up MOCA's 2009 Pulse exhibit (through Jan. 10, 2010), its annual show of work by an artist living in the region. Stanczak's considerable international reputation (his paintings have been collected by 60 museums worldwide) adds luster to MOCA's showcase event.
William Busta Gallery (2731 Prospect Ave., 216.298.9071, williambustagallery.com) currently has shows by two of Northern Ohio's best younger artists (through Oct. 10). Over the past few years, Kent painter/sculptor Lorri Ott has searched for beauty in unlikely places and unlikely materials. Like other recent showings, debris from a lost campaign features works made from cast resin and a selection of odds and ends (duct tape, paint rags), joining many contemporary artists in her attempt to revise and extend visual aesthetic codes. Painter Timothy Callaghan's works on paper in Busta's back-hall gallery are similarly exciting, as Callaghan explores ways to bridge the gap between paint and daily experience, proposing ratios of visual imagination, narrative and texture.
Arts Collinwood (15605 Waterloo Rd., 216.692.9500, artscollinwood.org) is showing works created over several decades by Randall Tiedman (as well as works by Scene critic Douglas Max Utter — ed.). His extraordinary, darkly detailed mindscapes have recently been reproduced in New American Painting, attracting international attention (through Oct. 3).
And there's so much more. Pentagon Gallery (3102 Mayfield, Cleveland Heights, 216.321.3362) will open a show of works by three significant area artists — Dexter Davis, Derrick Quarles and Diane Duncan (Nov. 7-Dec. 5).
Bonfoey Gallery (1710 Euclid Ave., 216.621.0178, bonfoey.com) presents a retrospective of the long-admired Cleveland painter Joseph O'Sickey (Oct. 16-Nov. 28).
Oberlin-based artist Audra Skuodas is this year's Zygote Press (1410 E. 30th St., 216.621.2900, zygotepress.com) artist in residence. She'll show a collection of delicately magical, musical prints at Zygote's gallery (Sept. 25-Oct. 25).
After the Sculpture Center's exhibit of David Davis' smaller sculptures in stone, wood, and bronze (through Oct. 24), the Center (1834 E. 123rd St., 216.229.6527, sculpturecenter.org) offers an installation of the ceramic objects of Japanese master Yasuhisa Kohyama, practioner of the ancient art of Sueki, which combines high-fire kiln techniques with particular types of clay to produce a glass-like appearance (Nov. 6-Dec. 19).
Ceramic works in a more contemporary vein by members of the Northern Ohio Clay group remain on view at Vermilion's artseen gallery (5591 Liberty Ave., Vermilion, 440.963.0611, theartseengallery.com) through Sept. 20.
And the downtown Front Room Gallery (3615 Superior Ave. #4203-A, 216.534.6059, frontroomcleveland.com) will be working with the west side Legation gallery (1300 W. 78th St., 216.334.7080, myspace.com/legation) to present Terra Non Firma, a look at the work of 15 artists (including Amy Casey, Matt Kolodjev and Mark Keffer) for whom "living on the edge" is more than just a phrase (Oct. 9-Nov. 29). What if there really is "no place like home" anywhere? Join them in a metaphorical journey through a rapidly changing, inside-out world.