Realization is Better than Anticipation
Organized by Megan Lykins Reich, Director of Programs and Associate Curator, and Rose Bouthillier, Assistant Curator
ARTISTS ON VIEW:
Kevin Beasley, Jerry Birchfield, Julia Christensen, Jacob Ciocci, Lenka Clayton, Hilary Harnischfeger, Frank Hewitt, Leza McVey, Scott Olson, Michael E. Smith, Reverend Albert Wagner, and Lauren Yeager.
Realization is Better than Anticipation features work by 12 artists connected to Cleveland and the surrounding region, including Detroit, Pittsburgh, and locations throughout Ohio. The exhibition brings together emerging and established artists, some with deep histories in the region and others who have arrived from elsewhere. Across a range of media, including painting, photography, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, video, sound, and performance, the artists demonstrate a particular sensitivity to their materials and surroundings.
At its core, Realization is about making. The exhibition is focused on the act of bringing something into being; here “realization” is taken as equal parts practical (doing, constructing) and alchemical (magical, transformative). Lenka Clayton, Michael E. Smith, and Reverend Albert Wagner start with pre-existing objects that channel human presence, tending to them in ways that draw out new symbolic potential. Through highly tactile works, Kevin Beasley, Hilary Harnischfeger, and Leza McVey activate materials and emphasize their physical properties. Jerry Birchfield, Frank Hewitt, and Scott Olson take studied and intuitive approaches to their chosen mediums. Working with a sense of humor and liveliness, Julia Christensen, Jacob Ciocci, and Lauren Yeager collaborate with other people, systems, and natural forces.
All of the living artists have created new works for the exhibition, many of which are experimental and responsive to the Museum itself. Key works by artists from the past, including Hewitt, McVey, and Wagner, provide a historical framework while gaining new meaning through re-examination. Together in Realization is Better than Anticipation, the artists demonstrate a shared spirit of resourcefulness, openness, and productivity.