New Initiative Also Brings Exhibitions to Locations Throughout Northeast Ohio
Exhibition Dates: Friday, June 20, 2014 – Saturday, August 23, 2014
78th Street Studios
1300 West 78th Street
Cleveland, OH 44102
Opening Reception: Friday, June 20 5:00 – 9:00 pm
ARTneo's first exhibition of its 30th anniversary year opens June 20th with Phyllis Sloane's Pop portraits produced during the 1960s and 1970s. Phyllis Sloane, a 1982 Cleveland Arts Prize for Visual Arts recipient, experimented with many techniques of painting and printmaking. Sloane's portraiture and figurative compositions during these decades show the influence of her background in commercial art and explore the Pop Art sensibilities of flat comic book styling and the role of identity associated with the sitter. The colors are bold and the compositions crisp and reductive, often leaving negative space or pattern to define the figures. Sloane's subjects were often family and friends, many of whom obtained celebrity status in the Cleveland fine art scene at the time.
A majority of her work focuses on women, bringing a subtle examination of the rise of feminism. Portraits of strong women in leading roles illustrate the changing times. Her female nudes often exhibit a whimsy and playfulness through line and color, which rejects the Pop tendency for sexual objectification. Sloane, at times, appears to distance herself from her subjects creating a sense that the figures are in themselves an object in a still life composition. The figures become fully integrated into areas of flat pattern or they become locked between the interchangeable use of positive and negative space. Staff curator Christopher Richards says, “Through all of this, Sloane herself struggled with her role as a woman in society and in her own family as a wife and mother, while still maintaining the work ethic to be a successful fine artist.”
Addressing issues of personal and public identity, feminism, and the figure as a still life object, Sloane created a body of work that embraces Pop Art's examination of the social issues of mass culture with her own twist. Claiming that by the 1960s the avant-garde had become academic and not fearing the term decorative being used as a negative description, Sloane embraced experimentation. This attitude freed her to explore the figure in nontraditional ways by flattening her figures and selecting the most characteristic aspects of their physical appearance to convey the sitters.
As part of a new initiative to build a wider audience for the art and architecture of Northeast Ohio, ARTneo will be exhibiting in a wide variety of new locations throughout Cleveland. Bold and Brilliant: Phyllis Sloane's Pop Portraits is the first exhibition in this effort and will be located on the second floor of 78th Street Studios, at 1300 West 78th St, Cleveland, OH 44102. The exhibit will run from Friday, June 20, 2014 through Saturday, August 23, 2014 with an opening reception on June 20 from 5pm to 9pm. The exhibit is free and open to the public and can be viewed during the Third Friday events.