Huma Bhabha, Valérie Blass, Sascha Braunig, Antoine Catala, Ian Cheng, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Cécile B. Evans, Andro Wekua, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Organized by Rose Bouthillier, Associate Curator

January 29, 2016May 8, 2016

"Utterly captivates ... a crowning jewel and not to be missed."
Fresh Water Cleveland (2/2/2016)

The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt sees the current national mood and fraught political landscape in MOCA's Winter/Spring season: "It's clear that at least some of the artists whose works are on view are tapping into the same feelings emerging in the presidential debates. The experience is very much in the moment..." - Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 19, 2016.

The figure is a persistent and compelling subject for artists. Representations of the body channel our desires, vulnerabilities, and anxieties—to confront the figure is also to confront one’s own sense of personhood. In this contemporary moment, when notions of individuality seem to be increasingly unsettled, the body has re-emerged as a site of urgent inquiry.

Stranger examines recent developments in figuration that speak to the continually evolving (and dissolving) notion of being. Many of the artists in the exhibition use traditional forms of painting and sculpture to create works with personality, power, and unnerving self-possession. Others employ the distancing effects of the camera to contemplate how people are projected, connected to, and consumed. Moving into the digital realm, several works on view explore online personas, disembodied being, and artificial intelligence.

Across this range of genres and forms, the artists in Stranger consider how we perceive, construct, and understand individual experience through the concepts of “body” and “presence.” They demonstrate the figure’s continued relevance, exploring it as a forceful, unsettled, and inescapable vessel for consciousness.

Stranger is sponsored by BlueBridge Networks

All 2016 Exhibitions are funded by Leadership Circle gifts from an anonymous donor, Yuval Brisker, Doreen and Dick Cahoon, Joanne Cohen and Morris Wheeler, Margaret Cohen and Kevin Rahilly, Becky Dunn, Lauren Rich Fine and Gary Giller, Harriet Goldberg, Agnes Gund, Michelle and Richard Jeschelnig, Donna and Stewart Kohl, Toby Devan Lewis, and Scott Mueller.

All MOCA Cleveland exhibitions are presented with major support from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the Cleveland Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, and the continuing support of the Museum’s Board of Directors, patrons, and members.