Kehinde Wiley in Cleveland

  Kehinde Wiley, Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps (Self-Portrait),Oil on canvas, 2005

 Artist Kehinde Wiley will speak at Cleveland Museum of Art's Gartner Auditorium, Saturday August 29th at 2:00. His beautiful work harks back to an earlier style while creating very modern portraits. Wiley's recent one man exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum was very well received by the art world and the public, alike. The Cleveland lecture is part of the Cleveland Public Library's The Lockwood Thompson Dialogues.

Kehinde Wiley Triple Portrait of Charles I, oil and enamel on canvas. Triptych, 2007, 

The Fountainheads

Ai Weiwei, Circle of Zodiac Heads

Currently on display at The Cleveland Museum of Art are Chinese artist Ai Aweiwei's bronze representations of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. They have been traveling around the world, we saw a glimpse of them in Toronto during the summer and are now installed in the interior court at CMA through January 26, 2014. They are reproductions of the fountain heads from the now destroyed Yuanming Yuan Imperial retreat which were pillaged after the palace was attacked by French and British troops in the 18th century. Ai Weiwei intention is to draw attention to the looting and repatriation of art around the world.

Dream of Flowers

Violette Heymann by Odilon Redon, 1910, The Cleveland Museum of Art

Symbolism is a genre that often is over-looked for Surrealism or Impressionism. It has roots in literature, the author Baudelaire is credited with its formation and being influenced by Poe. Many of the 19th century artists whose work is having a renaissance recently: Klimt, Moreau, Munch, to name a few, are considered to be part of the Symbolist category. Odilon Redon, is best known  for his prints and pastels, and his work is full of symbolism and he is quoted as having said he wanted to "place the visible at the service of the invisible." This is a portrait, so much more straight forward than some of his other works, but the sitter seems to be surrounded by floating flowers, who make her seem dour in comparison.

Herculaneum - The Redheaded Step Child

Pompeii A.D. 79 by Alfred Elmore, 1878, Yale Center for British Art

An exhibition entitled The Last Days of Pompeii: Decadence, Apocalypse, Resurrection opened on February 24th and runs through July 7, 2013 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The exhibition features works inspired by the loss of the cities in 79 AD and their re-discovery in the early 18th century. It includes works by a wise range of artists from Piranesi and his detailed drawings of the site, to Rothko's abstract expressionist take on the murals from the Villa of the Mysteries.

Western Art

This weekend a new art venue opens on Cleveland's near west side. The Transformer Station is a project of the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation and a collaboration with The Cleveland Museum of Art that strives to being contemporary art to Cleveland's oft neglected west side. The opening exhibition is called Bridging Cleveland Photographs by Vaughn Wascovich also, Light of Day Photographs from the Collection of Fred and Laura Bidwell.

Another View of the Jersey Shore

Jersey Shore by Mabel Hewit, c. 1935, Mary Ryan Gallery.

Mabel Hewit was from the Cleveland area and created woodblock prints in the "white-line" technique. Most of her subjects were everyday people and scenes. She enjoyed creating these prints, in part, because she felt that the brightly-colored woodblock prints were mare accessible to working people who were looking for colorful art for their homes.

Small Work on a Large Scale

Continuous Mile (Black) by Liza Lou, 2006-08, The Cleveland Museum of Art

Liza Lou is known for creating artwork out of beads and also for creating ambitious pieces. This work is a mile long length of beaded cotton rope that is then coiled around itself so that it forms a circle. It is created in a South African beading technique used by the Zulu peoples. Lou lives and works in both South Africa and Los Angeles.