Angels in Cleveland

Everything that I think about angels changed when I first watched Wim Wenders’ cinematic poem Wings of Desire. Angels are all around, in black and white, dressed in long coats (presumably to keep out the chill), listening, and, then, occasionally touching. Their touch is subtle, a note of grace that helps people find hope and confidence. Particularly, they watch over from the tops of civic monuments and frequent the atria of libraries – principally in Berlin but perhaps in Cleveland as well.

I see Douglas Max Utter, literally, in that same light, as he often paints in black and white or colors that could be black and white. His work and his presence in Cleveland’s art community is a note of humane grace that affects perspective and supports moral authority. His is our great heart and soul, framing the ambitions of our artists with supportive and critical discourse; painting with grand lyrical and spiritual gesture.

He understands myth and ritual, and his work makes it ever present for us in our time. I commissioned him to paint a portrait of my wife, and he presented me with a painting of Joan as Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. He portrayed onetime gallery assistant Julie Fedevich in monotype, modeled as arabesque. His paintings have engaged with erotic urgency, and have reflected contemplative religious paintings of the renaissance.

This exhibition of his work is partially an exhibition of Utter’s current concerns and partially a retrospective of his past 30 years of painting. His new paintings are reflections of his own mortality and a response to the early deaths of his father and grandfather.

This is the 10th one-person exhibition that I have presented of the work of Douglas Max Utter. Previous exhibitions were held in 1989, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2008, 2009, and 2011. The Gallery on Murray Hill Road closed with an exhibition of his work.

William Busta Gallery

2731 Prospect Avenue

Cleveland, Ohio 44115

gallery hours: Tuesday through Saturday 11 to 5:30

Douglas MaxUtter, paintings, monotypes / March 13 to April 18

Elizabeth Emery, sculpture and other works / March 13 to April 25

Stephen Yusko, sculpture / May 1 to 30

Enid Williams, paintings / May 1 to 30

Andrea Joki, paintings / May 1 to 30