Corrie Slawson: A Desert of Magnificence at Shaheen

SHAHEEN is delighted to open its Fall season with an exhibition of new and recent work by Cleveland-based artist Corrie Slawson. For her first exhibition at Shaheen — which she has titled “A Desert of Magnificence” — Slawson will unveil a visually dynamic group of mid- and large-scale works on paper that incorporate her full and ever-evolving arsenal of traditional and self-devised technical processes, as well as a rich and diverse array of materials and media.



The title for Slawson’s forthcoming exhibition at Shaheen is taken from a quote by the 19th century art critic William Hazlitt who, in the course of critiquing England’s famed Baroque-era palace, Fonthill Abbey, proclaimed that it was “a desert of magnificence, a glittering waste of laborious idleness.” In addition to providing the title for the exhibition, Hazlitt’s quote also offers a thematic primer for the artist’s work. Slawson’s complex and layered compositions and the imagery that populates them derive from her everyday commuter travels through Cleveland’s urban and suburban landscape, which are largely dictated and conditioned by her various roles as a worker with a day job, mother who shuttles her son from place to place, and full-time artist. Much like Hazlitt’s assessment of Fonthill Abbey, the Cleveland that emerges from the photographs that Slawson habitually snaps throughout her daily journeys is often one of vacancy and decay…. buildings, neighborhoods and vistas once vibrant during the city’s gilded age of unchecked wealth and growth that have long since plummeted into a state of disrepair due to suburban migration and dwindling urban population.


Realized through her deft and versatile utilization of a broad range of materials and technical processes, including printmaking, drawing, painting, spray-painting, and application of metal leaf, Slawson’s photo-based images and the complexly layered compositions into which she incorporates them constitute a fantastical re-imagining of Cleveland’s once-vibrant urban expanses. Alternately dense and sparse, the macro and microscopic city landscapes that emerge both in and as her work are characterized by innovative revisions to traditional printmaking processes, intricate hand rendering, brilliant shots of spray paint, and Byzantine passages of gold leaf. At once solemn and optimistic, Slawson’s work reflects on space, remnants of the built form and the intention of the present condition. In addition to her continued visual inquiry into Cleveland’s landscape, Slawson’s exhibition will include works that mirror her movement through new spaces. Through opening up alternative visions of and paying homage to other underdog places that she has visited recently, such as Tijuana and Dresden, the artist sharpens her ability to articulate and re-imagine Cleveland’s timeline and her own daily surroundings.




740 W Superior Ave.

Cleveland, Ohio 44113




Corrie Slawson: A Desert of Magnificence: New and recent works on paper

September 26 – November 20


Exhibition hours: 11 am – 4 pm Tusday through Friday and by appointment