The Artists Archives of the Western Reserve and the Sculpture Center (1834 E. 123rd St.) host opening receptions for their first shows of 2015 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. this Thursday, Jan. 15. The Artists Archives of the Western Reserve presents Pearls of Cleveland, a memorial exhibition in honor of archived artist Moses Pearl. The show includes work by his artist children, Sharlene Pearl Green and Stuart Pearl. Meanwhile, The Sculpture Center (located next door to the AAWR) debuts R. Eric McMaster’s A State of Resistance and Julius Lyles’ Black Numinous Delights.
Pearls of Cleveland features Moses Pearl’s drawings, watercolors and oil paintings; as well his daughter’s drawings and his son’s photography.
The compositions of Stuart Pearl’s landscape photography show his father’s influence. Their mutual interest in form, line and color helped the son develop his own perspective as he explored his hometown.
“It wasn’t until the early 1970s that I began to seriously explore the city with my camera,” explains Stuart. “Steel mills, docks and warehouses fascinated me with their contrasting geometric shapes and patterns. My goal was to capture subjects in a way that would set my work apart from other photographers. I believe dad’s canvases subconsciously helped teach me how to look for unique compositions. I learned to see interesting shapes in the environment that others would pass. I began to explore the early morning and late afternoon light as it would spill across a city’s features. Because I had been exposed to dad’s abstract and interpretive style for years, I had come to understand a viewpoint that helped my ‘eye’ to mature in its own way. This continues today.”
Sharlene Pearl Green, a teacher and figurative painter, fondly recalls the influence of her father as she observed him working on his art.
“It is a challenge for me to verbally describe the depth of my father’s influence on me as both an artist and as a teacher,” explains Sharlene. “It is so broad-ranged. But I will always be grateful for two things that he taught me: make sure to follow your ‘inner voice,’ and continually pursue those things in life for which you are passionate. His voice still guides me today.”
R. Eric McMaster’s A State of Resistance and Julius Lyles’s Black Numinous Delights are part of the Sculpture Center’s 2015 W2S series (Window to Sculpture Emerging Artist)
R. Eric McMaster’s work has been shown throughout the U.S., Paris, Hiroshima, Japan and New Delhi. Through his focus on competitive sports, McMaster’s explores themes of order, resistance and individual versus the collective. Her currently teaches in the Art and Art History Department of the University of Texas.
“Using the structures of competitive sport, my works feature themes of obedience, vulnerability, resistance, and eventual acceptance,” says McMaster. "While all of these traits are apparent in sporting events, they can also be found in societal situations; as such my work mixes both easily read, ever-insistent sport regulations and the veiled societal interactions that manipulate our true selves. Using sports out of context allows my work to draw attention to the lack of the genuine, be it subtle or obvious.”
Julius Lyles’s Black Numinous Delights examines contemporary and historic racial issues, in terms of African American identity, equality and socio-political issues. Lyles recontextualizes provocative, inflammatory found objects with racist histories, in an effort to re-define the objects’ places in history.
“I'm not really interested in offending anyone, as opposed to bringing you on a journey and creating an experience,” explains Lyles. “Through this involvement, we can start to dissect and talk about the deeper context that's sublime or hidden within the work. I’m interested in re-contextualizing these objects in order to cast a new light on their place in American history.”
Both artists will speak about their work; Lyles in the Euclid Avenue Gallery at 6:15 p.m., followed by McMaster in the Main Gallery at 7 p.m.
The exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public. Pearls of Cleveland runs through February. The Sculpture Center’s exhibitions run through March 12.
(Artists Archives of the Western Reserve)1834 E. 123rd St., 216-721-9020, artistsarchives.org
(Sculpture Center)1834 E. 123rd St., 216-229-6527, sculpturecenter.org