Cleveland Institute of Art explores the nature of art in four wildly different exhibitions opening in November

Four separate exhibitions running concurrently at the Cleveland Institute of Art this fall offer residents a chance to become temporary art students, sampling the breadth of contemporary art.


The four shows – which run November 8 through December 14 – span the art spectrum, from Op Art paintings, to narrative-rich political illustrations, to densely textured quasi-narrative watercolors, to dream-like experimental video. All four collections appeared in New York galleries in the last year.


Playhouse Square brings Broadway productions to Cleveland; we’re bringing in Chelsea gallery shows,” said the director of CIA’s Reinberger Galleries, Bruce Checefsky. “There’s a tremendous appetite for artistic diversity in Cleveland, so I’m confident these shows will be well received.”


Mardi Gras, by Richard Anuszkiewicz

Richard Anuszkiewicz – Recent Work

A 1953 CIA graduate, the painter Richard Anuszkiewicz vaulted to international prominence early in his career with the rise of the Op Art movement. Along with 1954 CIA graduate Julian Stanczak, Anuszkiewicz was included in The Responsive Eye, the landmark 1965 exhibition of perceptual abstraction at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


In his elaborate early paintings, Anuszkiewicz explored the optical wizardry that occurs when high-intensity, complementary colors are applied to the same geometric configurations. New York Times art critic Holland Cotter wrote of Anuszkiewicz’s paintings in 2000, “The drama – and that feels like the right word – is in the subtle chemistry of complementary colors, which makes the geometry glow as if light were leaking out from behind it.”


Anuszkiewicz has work in the collections of more than 75 museums, from Akron to Yale, and in countless private collections. The sampling of work in this fall’s CIA show – which appeared this past spring in Loretta Howard Gallery in New York – was painted in the last decade or so and reflects the painter’s evolution toward more subtle explorations of color and form.


Tarot Card: Ken Kesey, by Suzanne Treister

Suzanne Treister – Hexen 2.0

While the medium – and the optical experience – may be the message in Anuszkiewicz paintings, British-born artist Suzanne Treister makes her political messages explicit in the form of thought-provoking conspiracy theories elaborately illustrated on giant tarot cards.


Hexen 2.0, which was exhibited in the P.P.O.W. Gallery in New York last winter, features major figures and movements of the post-World War II era, ranging from the (other) CIA’s covert shenanigans, to LSD pioneer Timothy Leary, to “Unabomer” Theodore Kaczynski. Ken Johnson wrote for the New York Times, “The connections drawn within and among the cards are so mind-boggling to contemplate that it seems entirely appropriate to comprehend them within a magical system like the tarot.”


James Nares – Street

British-born artist James Nares spent one week in September 2011 filming 16 hours of footage from a moving car traveling the streets of Manhattan. He used the kind of high-definition camera usually reserved for capturing speeding bullets ripping through apples, then edited the footage down to one hour of super-slow-motion street activity put to music. The result is a trippy, dreamlike experience that played at The Metropolitan Museum of Art this past spring and will air on a loop in CIA’s Black Box Projection Room.


Street (still) by James Nares

Arpita Singh – Arpita Singh

Born in West Bengal and living in New Delhi, Arpita Singh creates richly textured figurative paintings that reference traditional forms of Indian art but seem to comment on domestic violence and sectarian strife. This collection of her work drew critical acclaim when it was on exhibit at the DC Moore Gallery in New York last winter.


Richard Anuszkiewicz – Recent Work

Suzanne Treister – Hexen 2.0

James Nares – Street

November 8 – December 14

Reinberger Galleries of CIA’s Gund Building

11141 East Boulevard

10 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday

10 am to 9 pm Friday

10 am to 5 pm Saturday

Closed Sunday


Arpita Singh–Arpita Sing

November 8 – December 14

In the Project Site in CIA’s Joseph McCullough Center for the Visual Arts,

11610 Euclid Avenue

10 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday



Cleveland Institute of Art

11141 East Boulevard

Cleveland, Ohio 44106