AAWR Presents Floating Worlds, featuring Jean Kondo Weigl; Transference & Translation, works of Baila Litton; and Flaunt, works of Arabella Proffer

Baila Litton, Rosia, mixed media on paper, 50 X 38 inches, 2001–03. Collection of the AAWR.

The Artists Archives is excited to start our summer exhibitions with the arresting paintings and mixed media works of three new Archived women Artists in our newly renovated galleries. Floating Worlds, Jean Kondo Weigl; Transference & Translation, Baila Litton; and Flaunt, Arabella Proffer will all grace our gallery walls May 16 to June 29. Each of these accomplished artists presents a unique body of strong, narrative work presented in three simultaneous solo exhibitions.

Arabella Proffer, who is now in the final stages of cancer and under hospice care, returned to painting in oils in 2024. While each artist’s work displays surrealist tendencies, Proffer’s lush, candy-colored Superfine Tableau paintings move well into the realm of Pop Surrealism. She describes this series as, “…a self-indulgent escape from my own decay, transcendental painting with a nod to Dutch Golden Age still lives…” We are excited to present this new work of Superfine Tableau’s as well as assorted works from her Biomorphic series, and Portraits both as paintings and digital NFT’s in Flaunt.

Litton and Weigl each use personal, and social commentary to take on issues of immigration, and the melding of cultural identities in their work. In Floating Worlds Weigl, who is a third-generation Japanese American, balances formal and pictorial elements in the depiction of narratives that combine memory, imagination, allegory, authenticity, and truth. “The paintings portray scenes from the floating world of the traveler—entertainer … appearing in the form of human and animal figures, characters represent immigrants and fugitives, and the contrast between civilization and the natural order.”

Each series of works shown in Transference & Translation forces us in some way to confront ourselves, as we confront the other. The worlds of immigrants, displaced people, and the “everyman” play distinct roles in Baila Litton’s series. Her work combines the elements of painting, drawing and collage into skin-like layers, bringing surface and depth into each piece. Her Stories portraits work on the premise of people making appraisals of one another, particularly those who are different from us in race, age, and gender, based only on appearance. She pulls each of the women’s experiences, history, and personality up onto the surface of their skin for us to recognize and acknowledge. Litton also uses the collage medium advantageously in the Displaced Projectseries “… to reflect the order and disorder of events that occur throughout life.” In the Everyman works, “each image is made up of numerous ethnicities, genders, and age demographics. These materials allow exploration of the multiple meanings of race and ethnicity. My goal is to symbolize the identities we all share.”

Jean Kondo Weigl, First Make a Circle, acrylic on canvas, 54 X 64 inches. Collection of the AAWR.

Beginning July 11, the Artists Archives will present another series of three exhibitions.

Solo exhibitions for Jon Barlow Hudson and John Saile will take place opposite a group show of works by Art Books Cleveland (ABC) members.

Hudson, archived in 2017, is an extraordinarily successful sculptor, who has completed over one hundred public commissions throughout the United States, and internationally. One such commission was for the World Expo 88 in Brisbane, Australia: Paradigm, a 100-foot-high sculpture which took five months to complete. The other Expo-commissioned sculpture, Morning Star, has a sister work that is part of our Case Western Reserve University campus. Each Morning Star is composed of polished stainless steel using geometry to create optical illusions, bending and refracting light to mirror the surroundings as part of the sculpture.

John Saile, Untitled, digital print on paper, 22 X 15 inches, 2023. Collection of the AAWR.

While his early works were typically made of stainless steel, brass, cast bronze, glass, water, and fiber optic light, Hudson’s study of Tai Chi later refocused his work on more natural materials like stone, which he now employs symbolically as a contrast to man-made materials. On display from the AAWR collection will be smaller works often made as maquettes for the larger works. Some photographs of commissioned pieces inspired by these smaller works will be displayed, as well as a few newer works directly from Hudson’s Yellow Springs, Ohio, studio.

John Barlow Hudson, Sublime Portal I, Italian Cervaiole marble/steel, 10 1/2 X 17 1/2 inches. Collection of the AAWR.

John Saile came to art later in life and made up for lost time by producing a staggering amount of work in fifteen years. Self-described as leaning towards abstraction, he pushes boundaries in his art by working experimentally, often combining printmaking with painting and photography. Much of his work, including some very elegant black and white iterative digital studies on view from the AAWR collection, is very sculptural, and the juxtaposition of this work with Hudson’s creates a beautiful flow between the adjacent galleries. Saile’s self-professed goal when making art is to create work that maximizes visual stimulation. Underlying themes explore his personal memories, as well as the idea of using the bits and pieces of experience that make up the human “collective memory” that we all share on some level.

Art Books Cleveland is a community of book artists and friends who live and work in Northeast Ohio. It is dedicated to exploring, encouraging, and teaching both contemporary and traditional artistic practices of handmade books. They exhibit themed and retrospective exhibitions several times per year in a variety of venues, and will be curating Book Art Uncovered, a show of members’ work for the Archives.

1834 East 123rd Street

Cleveland, Ohio 44106




Transference & Translation, Baila Litton; Flaunt, Arabella Proffer; & Floating Worlds, Jean Kondo Weigl, through June 29.

John Saile, Jon Barlow Hudson: Solo Exhibitions & Book Art Uncovered, Art Books Cleveland Members Exhibition, July 11–August 24. Opening reception 5:30-8pm Thursday, July 11

Art Bites–Art in Context Series: The Mosaic of Singapore with Irene Shaland, 1-2:30pm Saturday, June 1

Art Bites–Surrealist Game Night, 7-8:30pm Wednesday, June 12. Come and play with us!

Art Bites–Art in Context Series: The Other Side of the Spanish Avant Garde, 7-8pm Wednesday, June 26. A conversation about the art of Maruja Mallo, Angeles Santos and Remedios Varo, with Dr. Maria Alejandro Zanetta

Art Bites–Professional Practices: Popup Book History & Making with Mark Soppeland, July TBD

Art Bites–Artist Talks with John Saile & Jon Barlow Hudson, August TBD

Art Bites talks are in person at AAWR. Eventbrite registration on artistsarchives.org.

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