SHAHEEN Modern and Contemporary opens its Fall 2015 season with A Desert of Magnificence, an exhibit of new and recent work by Cleveland-based artist Corrie Slawson. The title for Slawson’s forthcoming exhibition at SHAHEEN is taken from a quote by 19th century art critic William Hazlitt who, critiquing England’s renowned Baroque-era palace, Fonthill Abbey, proclaimed it, “A desert of magnificence, a glittering waste of laborious idleness.” The title and quote relate to Slawson’s themes, inspired by her daily commute through Northeast Ohio’s diverse urban and suburban landscapes. These travels are dictated by her various roles as a mother and full-time artist, as well as her day job.
“My work is a constant visual consideration of places that teeter between vitality and vacancy,” explains Slawson. “From this research, using my own composited photography as a journalistic survey of properties and land, I build macro and microscopic city- and landscapes on paper in a variety of print media with handwork. I parse and present development patterns, population loss and land-use policies from the visual language already extant in my surroundings – color, architecture, reflectivity, texture and pattern. Reflective materials such as metal leaf and spray paint allow subtle transitions that mirror my original movements through spaces, as the pace of my walking past city blocks or momentary sun glare from a car window.”
A Desert of Magnificence includes mid- and large-scale work. In addition to work inspired by Cleveland, the exhibition features work inspired by recent travels to Tijuana, Mexico and Dresden, Germany.
“Most often the photos are meditations on my daily transit between work and family obligations in my city of Cleveland and its oldest inner ring suburbs,” reveals the artist. “Two recent residencies in Dresden, Germany, and Tijuana, Mexico, have allowed me to consider the historical and current complexities of these places as I have confronted the life-cycle of my own community. Because of these residencies I significantly broadened my color palette and introduced an expanded range of elements inherent to those cities.”
Slawson is Zygote Press’ Grants Director and Archivist. Slawson’s history with Zygote Press is apparent through the wide variety of processes and techniques she utilizes. She incorporates printmaking, drawing, painting, spray-painting, metal leaf and photo-based images to create dynamic, vibrant compositions that draw the viewer in.
Slawson’s work has been exhibited at venues in the US and internationally, including MOCA Cleveland, Zygote Press, SPACES Gallery, The Sculpture Center, Rooms to Let (Columbus), Parsons School of Design (New York), the Rockford Art Museum (Rockford, IL), Gallerie Module Drei & Gallerie Standenhaus (Dresden, Germany) and TJ in CHINA (Tijuana, Mexico). In 2011, she was awarded an Individual Artist grant from the Ohio Arts Council.
A Desert of Magnificence opens with a reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 26. The exhibition remains on view through Nov. 20 from 11 a.m. o 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays and by appointment.
(SHAHEEN Modern and Contemporary Art) 740 W. Superior Ave., 216-830-8888, SHAHEENgallery.com