The Allen Partners with FRONT Triennial in Three Oberlin Venues
The theme of architecture acts as a common thread binding three Oberlin exhibitions presented by the Allen Memorial Art Museum as part of the FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art.
The museum’s Ellen Johnson Gallery, designed by Robert Venturi in the 1970s, offered a launching point for New York-based artist Barbara Bloom. Her installation responds to this complex, postmodern space with carefully placed works from the Allen’s collection, each of which depicts architecture in some form. Special display devices allow viewers to experience the works as though they were breaking away from the two-dimensional plane and into space, highlighting their architectural qualities.
Inspiration also came from a 1949 Usonian house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, owned by Oberlin College and located 1.5 miles west of the campus. For this venue, known as the Weltzheimer/Johnson House, Venezuelan-born, Lisbon-based artist Juan Araujo has created paintings that function in a symbiotic relationship with the space. Araujo, a Cleveland Foundation Creative Fusion artist-in-residence, often chooses private homes built in the mid-20th century as the subjects, engaging with modernist architecture and the way it is represented.
Architectural subjects also predominate in the paintings of Cui Jie, an emerging voice of China’s post-1980s generation, which is the first to grow up in an entirely reformist era. By layering multiple images—some realistic, some imaginary—on canvas, the artist builds up sculptural impastos that represent the transformation of China’s urban landscape through time and politics. Her works are on view at the Richard D. Baron ’64 Art Gallery, located two blocks southeast of the Allen.
FRONT INTERNATIONAL: CLEVELAND TRIENNIAL FOR CONTEMPORARY ART | JULY 14–SEPTEMBER 30
BARBARA BLOOM | ALLEN MEMORIAL ART MUSEUM, OBERLIN COLLEGE, 87 NORTH MAIN ST., OBERLIN
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday 1–5pm. This exhibition extends through December 17.
JUAN ARAUJO | WELTZHEIMER/JOHNSON HOUSE, 534 MORGAN ST., OBERLIN
Open Friday and Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday from 1–5pm.
Capacity is limited; preregistration is required for August 5 and September 12. See oberlin.edu/amam/flwright.
CUI JIE | RICHARD D. BARON ’64 ART GALLERY, OBERLIN COLLEGE, 65 EAST COLLEGE ST., OBERLIN
Open Friday and Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday 1–5pm.
Allen Memorial Art Museum
87 North Main Street
Oberlin, Ohio 44074