Cleveland Museum of Art hosts six exhibitions as part of free public art program

Jul. 14, 2022

Cleveland Museum of Art hosts six exhibitions as part of free public art program

The CMA will exhibit six installations representing the work of seven contemporary artists in its galleries beginning on July 16.

By Justin McMullen

The Cleveland Museum of Art is participating in the return of a free, public, contemporary art exhibition taking place this summer and fall across 30 venues in three Northeast Ohio cities.

The CMA, beginning on July 16, will exhibit six installations representing the work of seven contemporary artists in its galleries as part of the 2022 presentation of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. FRONT International is the result of efforts by several community partners showcasing the work of over 100 regional, national and international artists working in multiple disciplines across Cleveland, Akron and Oberlin.

“The exhibition suggests ways that art-making can speak with power: showing people how to recognize and reimagine the invisible structures that govern contemporary life,” the CMA said in a press release. “The exhibition features more than 100 regional, national and international artists working across painting, drawing, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, photography, video, text, performance and other media, demonstrating how aesthetic pleasure—sharing joy through movement, music, craft and color—can bridge differences between people to bring them together.”

As part of the project, the CMA's presentations include artists' work in several mediums such as painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and live performance. Five exhibits will run from July 16 through various dates in the upcoming fall or winter, while a live performative art piece by artist Maria Hassabi will be shown on Sept. 16 and 17.

This will be the second iteration of FRONT International after the inaugural exhibition, which was produced in 2018. This year’s edition is titled “Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows” after Langston Hughes’ 1957 poem “Two Somewhat Different Epigrams.”

“A tender, brutal and provocative prayer, the poem meditates on the inseparability of joy and suffering,” the CMA said. “Expanding on Hughes’s invocation, FRONT 2022 explores how art making offers the possibility to transform and heal people—as individuals, as groups and as a society.”

Read more information on the upcoming exhibitions from the CMA below:

About the Exhibitions at the CMA

Julie Mehretu: Portals

July 16 through November 13, 2022

Julia and Larry Pollock Focus Gallery | Gallery 010

Julie Mehretu: Portals offers a fresh perspective on the Cleveland Museum of Art’s encyclopedic collection through an artist’s eyes. This exhibition, the first of its kind at the CMA, integrates paintings by Julie Mehretu with works from the museum’s permanent collection that Mehretu has selected and curated within the gallery. Spanning a range of cultures, histories and mediums, the works she has chosen reflect images and ideas that inspire her own artistic practice and process.


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Firelei Báez: the vast ocean of all possibilities (19°36'16.9"N 72°13'07.0"W, 41°30'32.3"N 81°36'41.7"W)

July 16, 2022, through January 15, 2023

Betty T. and David M. Schneider Gallery of European Sculpture | Gallery 218

Firelei Báez: the vast ocean of all possibilities is part of an ongoing series in which the artist reimagines the archaeological ruins of the Sans-Souci Palace in northern Haiti, underscoring its position as an enduring symbol of healing and resistance. The work’s painted surfaces are adorned with reproductions of traditional West African indigo printing (later used in the American South) and marine plants native to Caribbean waters. In this work, the ruins of the San-Souci Palace appear to travel through both time and place to burst through the gallery’s floor, dripping with brightly colored sea life and the pieces of modern urban waste that now carpet our ocean floors.

Commissioned by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, with support from the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation and James Cohan Gallery, New York.

Nicole Eisenman: A Decade of Printing

July 16 through December 31, 2022

James and Hanna Bartlett Prints and Drawings Gallery | 101

Nicole Eisenman: A Decade of Printing presents works made by the artist at three New York-based printshops: 10 Grand, Harlan & Weaver and Jungle Press. In close collaboration with master printers there, Eisenman has experimented with a range of printmaking techniques—including monotype, woodcut, etching and lithography—exploring the unique traits of each. Drawn from the collections of the artist and their collaborators, the works on view reveal how printmaking has emerged as a primary vehicle for Eisenman to explore foundational themes and ideas, considering and translating them inventively across media.


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Yoshitomo Nara: Recent Work

July 16 through October 2, 2022

Toby’s Gallery of Contemporary Art | Gallery 229A

Yoshitomo Nara: Recent Work highlights two essential directions within Nara’s art practice. This presentation will include a painting of a child, belonging to a series of work for which the artist is best-known, and a ceramic vessel, which represents a more recent endeavor by the artist, in which he brings together his interests in painted imagery, sculptural form, and language.

Matt Eich and Tyler Mitchell: Sunlight, Shadow, and A Rainbow

July 16 through November 6, 2022

Mark Schwartz and Bettina Katz Photography Galleries │Gallery 230

Matt Eich and Tyler Mitchell: Sunlight, Shadow, and A Rainbow uses lighting, color and point of view to transform mundane occurrences into magical moments, whether candid or posed. The works evoke sensations and emotions—the wonder of a child discovering nature or a dip into a chilly river on a hot afternoon. Eich and Mitchell set joyful scenes of relaxation, languor and personal contentment into the Southern landscape. Both artists use photography, most often associated with recording fact, to suggest the possibilities of transformation, a delight in the senses and the engaging mystery of the transitory.

Performance at the CMA

Maria Hassabi: CANCELLED

Friday and Saturday, September 16–17, 2022

Ames Family Atrium

Making its debut at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Maria Hassabi’s performative work CANCELLED considers womanhood from perspectives that cross generations. Four female performers move within a vivid soundscape. Their choreography is composed of individual solos that display poses historically associated with women based on everyday mannerisms throughout history and rooted in Hassabi’s signature style of stillness and deceleration. The use of verticality, and its resistance to gravity, is interspersed with more fluid movements that become central to the work. CANCELLED is meticulously crafted, with every action and every look subject to counts and cues.

CANCELLED was produced by the LUMA Foundation and premiered at LUMA ARLES as a result of the Artist-in-Residency Program. Co-commissioned by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, produced in partnership with VIA Art Fund.