CLEVELAND, Ohio – A well-known Leonardo da Vinci quote has particular relevance to an impressive pair of solo exhibits on the Transformer Station on the works of Cleveland artists Jerry Birchfield and Scott Olson, organized by the Cleveland Museum of Artwork.
In his well-known “Treatise on Portray,” Leonardo urged artists to hunt inspiration in uncommon locations:
‘In case you look upon an previous wall coated with filth, or the odd look of some streaked stones, chances are you’ll uncover a number of issues like landscapes, battles, clouds, unusual attitudes, humorous faces, draperies, and so on. Out of this confused mass of objects, the thoughts might be furnished with an abundance of designs and topics completely new.”
Birchfield and Olson are abstractionists, and as such not excited about translating random stains on partitions or stones into battle scenes or material. However they’re serious about how randomness and probability can produce moments of ravishing magnificence.
By pairing their exhibits – the primary institutional exhibition both has acquired – Reto Thuring, the museum’s curator of up to date artwork, is clearly asking viewers to match their works, which have rather a lot in widespread.
Birchfield, 32, a Cleveland photographer who produced a superb collection of portraits of Cleveland artist Dan Tranberg earlier than his dying earlier this yr, makes use of inkjet print, plaster, enamel paint, graphite and unspecified instruments to supply objects that may be slices of the partitions described in Leonardo’s treatise.
He additionally makes abstractions by casting uncommon shadows on photographic paper after which solarizing the prints, exposing them to mild to reverse the unique mild-darkish relationships. The ensuing pictures evoke mysterious nocturnal landscapes that crackle with a wierd electrical energy.
Beautiful and intimate
Olson, forty one, who lives in Kent, produces beautiful, intimately scaled summary work that appear to have emerged organically on canvas or panels of wooden with out the artist’s direct intervention.
The sheer number of Olson’s experiments – his present consists of 34 work and sculptures from 2004 to 2017 – is hanging.
In a single small portray, he sketches a lattice in darkish inexperienced on a bitter yellow area that evokes a type of summary musical notation. In one other portray, luminous swaths of pale inexperienced paint glow on mysterious layers of brownish black. Yet one more consists of marks that evoke the stains left by a espresso mug or a paint can on a white floor.
The marks and gestures in these and different…