Arts » Visual Art

On View

Capsule reviews of current area art exhibitions.

Luc Delahayes portrait of a dead Taliban is on view at - the art museum through February 23.
  • Luc Delahayes portrait of a dead Taliban is on view at the art museum through February 23.

Drawn to Nature -- Christopher Pekoc is known for his photography, but his works incorporate a variety of media, here including shellac and gold leaf, giving them the appearance of richly hued patchwork quilts. Jagged sewing-machine stitches outline images of birds and flowers collaged over a glowing amber polyester film that's lined with a grid pattern. "I Heard the Noise of Wings" shows two hummingbirds flitting above the silhouette of a hand, its fingers crossed. Round orbs float in the empty space beyond, while stitches connected to dots crisscross the hand's palm. The work gives the impression of being fraught with mystical symbols. On view through December 31 at Bonfoey Gallery, 1710 Euclid Ave., 216-621-0178, -- Tami Miller

The History of Another: Projections in Rome -- Installation artist and photographer Shimon Attie presents an intriguing series of photo collages. Attie's process consists of projecting black-and-white historical images of immigrant Jewish workers onto contemporary locations near where they would have lived and worked, then photographing the result. Heavy wooden doorways and cobbled alleyways become host to the ghostly figures. "On Via Della Tribuna di Campitelli" shows two girls leaning against a building, gossiping. One looks coyly over her shoulder at the viewer. Her pale form contrasts eerily with the heavily saturated colors of the rest of the image, an element consistent throughout the artworks. Attie's juxtaposition of past and present questions the place of immigrant workers in history, asking viewers to consider their relationships with the countries they inhabited. On view through December 23 at the CIA's Reinberger Gallery, 11141 East Blvd., 216-421-7407 -- Miller

Luc Delahaye Photographs: History -- French photographer Luc Delahaye's 4-foot-by-8-foot images are narratives -- sometimes direct, sometimes subtle -- of world events. "Taliban," from 2001, shows the corpse of a man crumpled on a dusty road. His clothing blends with the rocks and fallen leaves around him; the only contrast of colors within the image is the brilliant red slash across his neck. "The Milosevic Trial," from 2002, is deceptively plain. Without the title, the image might be mistaken for any ordinary government conference room. Delahaye's compositions are often beautiful, even when the subject matter is disturbing. Their large size and wide views make them particularly effective. On view through February 23 at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7340, -- Miller

Streetscapes -- Looking at life from behind her steering wheel, gallery owner and frequent driver Lissa Bockrath found inspiration in the passing city street scenes. Bockrath's oil paintings on top of photographs present a unique melding of media. Thick brushstrokes blur the surface, making details of street signs and fire hydrants barely visible. Many of the pieces reflect rainy Cleveland weather, awash in luminescent tones of gray. The sensation of seeing the world through the water-smeared glass of a windshield is palpable. The images are softly soothing, as if seen from the vantage point of a meditative passenger. Unfortunately, this exhibition marks the last for the gallery, which closes its doors at the end of December. On view through December 20 at Bockrath Gallery, 2026 Murray Hill Rd., 216-721-5990, -- Miller


Dukes and Angels -- This exhibition transports modern viewers to the court of Burgundy in the 14th and 15th centuries. Included are luxury objects belonging to the first Valois dukes of Burgundy, Philip the Bold and John the Fearless: portraits of the dukes, illuminated manuscripts (such as Aristotle's Ethics), crowns, stone sculptures, and devotional images. Though requiring a lot of reading and concentration, this exhibition inspires a sense of awe at the power and wealth the dukes wielded. Through January 9 at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, -- Miller

Inanimate: Observations, Lectures, and Labor -- Each of the dozen objects in this heavily conceptual solo show points clearly to Cincinnati-based sculptor Paul Kochanowski's reverence for work. It's not so much the pieces themselves that are on display as it is the painstaking effort behind them. A broken milk crate only looks like plastic -- in fact, it was carefully forged out of bronze. Kochanowski accomplishes equally magical tricks with bronze boxes that resemble soggy cardboard, an aluminum egg carton you'd swear is pink Styrofoam, and a drawing that looks like a fairly cheap print. Were these things what they appear to be, they'd be garbage. Yet Kochanowski can rightly put them on pedestals in a gallery, because he's spent so much time on them, carefully endowing each with realistic imperfections. A metallic grid structure sprayed with 80 applications of paint makes the sad observation that too often we cover what is messy and individual with a blandly consistent surface. Through December 3 at the Sculpture Center, 1834 E. 123rd St., 216-229-6527, -- Zachary Lewis

Memory -- Featuring New York-based artists Judy Pfaff and Valerie Hammond, Memory is about nature and life. Pfaff juxtaposes images of nature and architecture, using the combined print techniques of photogravure, etching, and lithography. Her images read like a filmstrip within their frame, moving from the macro to the micro. Panoramic views of an Asian garden and its shrines are lined up with an image of a fern, followed by a scientific diagram of the same plant, creating a sense of continuum in life. Hammond collages plants and flowers within outlined shapes of friends' hands; her flowers and ferns create henna-like designs within their palms, fingers, and forearms. Hammond then dips the paper in a soft ivory wax; the built-up effect, with its soft colors and glowing layers, is ethereal and lovely. Through November 28 at M% Gallery, 12812 Larchmere Blvd., 216-990-3349, -- Miller

MOCA in the Making -- Graduate students in the architecture and environmental design programs at Kent State University were asked to design a dream building for the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland as the cultural hub of University Circle. A jury selected the four strongest proposals, and their computed-generated images and models are now on view in MOCA's sky lounge. The ideas are exciting, but the exhibition does not provide enough explanation of the students' decisions. There is also a disconnect between the 2-D designs and 3-D models, due to poor layout. Through February 20 at MOCA Cleveland, 8501 Carnegie Ave., 216-421-8671, -- Miller

On the Wall. Off the Wall. In the Garden. -- Frank Brozman's latest steel sculptures, installed inside and outside Tremont's Atmosphere gallery, range in style from literal representations to abstract forms. Inside, pieces mounted on hammered copper sheets include a stainless-steel cityscape and an intimated window frame ("Window to the Soul") with metaphorical implications. The large outdoor works, a refreshing switch from typical gallery displays, include natural motifs such as overlapping collages of leaves and a strutting bird. Brozman's most stylistically consistent and aesthetically pleasing sculptures are the mounted swirls of tapered steel; their movement lends a complementary gracefulness to the simple forms. Through November 24 at Atmosphere, 2335 W 11th St., 216-685-9527. -- Miller

Parallel Lives -- The 13th Annual Women's Invitational features Gloria Plevin and Bonnie Dolin. Plevin's works -- in acrylic, pastels, and etchings -- are comforting. From a young girl reading to a dog on a porch at dusk to a family walking in the winter, Plevin's awkward, flat figures provide a sense of truthfulness to what might otherwise be overly idealized subjects. In contrast, Dolin's oil paintings are striking for their vibrant palette and sense of depth. Using a camera and computer to prepare her work, she paints tight flower arrangements with highly saturated color on contrasting white tabletops. Through November 21 at the Wasmer Gallery at Ursuline College, 2550 Lander Rd., 440-646-8371. -- Miller

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