THE ABSTRACTED PLANE
The paintings of Dana Oldfather and Erik Neff are abstract, but not so much that they keep you from theorizing about what might be depicted in them. In Neff's case, the shapes that result from intersecting planes look like land masses. Oldfather's pools of color, meanwhile, seem to float in a murky abyss, like an undersea world crossed here and there by strands of seaweed or mermaid's hair. What they have in common is a rich color palette and strong composition that makes them very easy on the eye. Their show opens with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, November 19, and hangs through December 31 at Bonfoey Gallery (1710 Euclid Ave.). Call 216-621-0178 or go to bonfoey.com. — Michael Gill
Akron Art Museum: Who Shot Rock & Roll: The Brooklyn Museum of Art's groundbreaking show is a dizzying tour of the images that helped shape how we hear the music. Its 174 photos capture everyone from Chuck Berry to Amy Winehouse — artists whose self-presentation is as iconic as their sound. Through January 23 at 1 South High St. in Akron. Museum admission is $7; go to akronartmuseum.org for more information.
Artists Archives of the Western Reserve: Holiday Members Show: Established Northeast Ohio artists offer their wares for the gift-giving season in the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve annual Holiday Members Show. It happens Friday, November 19, through Saturday, December 18, at the 1834 East 123rd St. Learn more by calling 216-721-9020 or go to artistsarchives.org.
ArtsCollinwood: Dan Tranberg: The prolific artist's recent abstract work in acrylic on paper seems to have taken a turn that's part origami, part M.C. Escher. Through November 19 at 15601 Waterloo Rd. Learn more at artscollinwood.org.
Asterisk Gallery: Dana Depew's long exodus from Tremont continues with a garage sale offering "tons and tons of my artwork, large-scale paintings, sculptures, found objects, assemblages, collages, etc., plus a turn-of-the-century medical examination table [complete with medical instruments], furniture, memorabilia, and other weird stuff I have collected over the years." Asterisk is at 2393 Professor Ave. Call 330-304-8528 or visit asteriskgallery.com. Tremont Art Walk hours are 6-10 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday,
or by appointment through November 30.
The Blonde: Sleight of Heart: Artist Edward Bacho explores affairs of the heart with a series of photos and mixed-media works. Through November 30 at The Blonde (6901 Rockside, Independence). Call 216-328-8780 or go to gototheblonde.com.
Brandt Gallery: Juxtaposition: Christopher Kaspar's collaboration with painter Justin Brennan. The two artists riff off each other's work, taking turns modifying photos in different ways: Through December 4 at 1028 Kenilworth Ave. Call 216-621-1610 or go to brandtgallery.org.
Cleveland Museum of Art: Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe: In the medieval era, dazzling illuminated manuscripts, paintings, sculptures, relics, and reliquaries were seen as mediators between heaven and earth. This collection of artifacts from churches and monasteries was organized in cooperation with the Walters Museum in Baltimore and the British Museum in London, Through January 17 at 11150 East Blvd. in University Circle; call 216-421-7340 or visit clevelandart.org. Museum admission is free; tickets for the special exhibit are $6 to $12, free for kids age 5 and under.
Cleveland State University Art Gallery: People's Art Show: The 19th-annual installment features some 450 pieces. Through December 9 at the CSU Art Building (2307 Chester Ave.). Call 216-687-2103 or go to csuohio.edu for more information.
Doubting Thomas Gallery: The Three Rs: Robert Ritchie Retrospective: Ritchie, aka "Dick Head," is one of Tremont's best-known characters. Look back at his work through the neighborhood's rise as an art enclave. Through December 4 by appointment at 856 Jefferson Ave. Call 216-673-7094.
Legation: A Gallery: From There to Here: Scott Goss captures the city's distinctive streetscapes with all their grit in photographic images made of acrylic and copper laminated with glass. Open by appointment through November 19 at 1300 West 78th St. Call 216-334-7080 or go to legationagallery.com.
Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory: Abecedaria Project: "Abecedaria" is a fancy word for ABC book. The group Art Books Cleveland takes the ancient form back to school — old school — with this annual members show, in which artists submit completely handmade ABC books. Through November 26 at the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory (1754 East 47th St.). Call 216-361-9255 or go to morganconservatory.org for more information.
Museum of Contemporary Art: An Invitation to Lubber-Land: Duke Riley brings his interest in people living in the margins of society to Cleveland's famed "Torso Murders." This installation incorporates video, mosaic, drawing, found objects, and sculpture to reenvision Elliot Ness' historic purge of the so-called hobo jungle. Through January 9 at 8501 Carnegie Ave. Call 216-421-8671 or visit mocacleveland.org.
Proximity Gallery: Material Studies: Nine artists began with nothing but fiber to make the fabric, sculpted toys, and other items here. Opens with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, November 19, and continues by appointment through December 10 at 1667 East 40th St., Unit A. Call 440-796-8945 or go to proximitycleveland.com.
River Gallery: Three artists working in three different media have one thing in common: layering that gives the surfaces depth and complexity. The show opens with a reception from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday. Through November 20 at 19046 Old Detroit Rd. in Rocky River. Call 440-331-8406 or go to rivergalleryarts.com.
SPACES: Chris Kulcsar, the lead singer for This Moment in Black History, invites visitors into a collaborative soundscape for his SPACELab project. Stepping off from his own inclinations toward processed, layered sounds, he invites the public to add their own sound play to a continuously running cassette loop. Opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, November 19, and continues through January 21 at SPACES Gallery (2220 Superior Viaduct). Call 216-621-2314 or visit spacesgallery.org to learn more.
William Busta Gallery: Sculptor Paul O'Keeffe makes large colorful pieces using steel, cast plaster, and other materials in DayGlo colors and enigmatic forms that defy your attempts to figure out what it is. On view Friday, November 19, through December 31 at William Busta Gallery (2731 Prospect Ave.) Call 216-298-9071 or visit williambustagallery.com.
Zygote Press: In-Turn: Group show of work by eight interns from multiple galleries, curated by Gabe Kusner. They work by day at the Progressive Insurance Art Collection, SPACES Gallery, the Morgan Conservatory, and Zygote Press have filled the Zygote walls with art ranging from realistic oil portraiture to abstract prints.Through November 27 at 1430 East 30th St. Call 216-621-2900 or go to zygotepress.com.