CLEVELAND, Ohio — Go forward, take pleasure in oneself. It’s allowed at Abattoir Gallery in Cleveland.
The gallery’s identify, which means slaughterhouse in French, is a nod to its site at a just one-time meatpacking plant in a two-place suite in the Hildebrandt Developing at 3619 Walton Avenue.
Inspite of any unpleasant associations with offal or meat hanging on hooks that could possibly be brought on by its identify and spot, Abattoir’s mission is to dish up really palatable art.
Launched in 2020 by veteran unbiased, Cleveland-primarily based curators Lisa Kurzner and Rose Burlingham, the tiny, for-profit gallery has in portion crammed a area of interest as soon as occupied by gallerist William Busta, who created it his mission to present the ideal get the job done by the finest artists in Northeast Ohio. (Busta is continue to conducting initiatives out of an workplace on Waterloo Road in Collinwood.) Abattoir’s purview, while, is nationwide in scope.
The latest exhibition, titled, “Headspace: A Painting Clearly show,’’ on watch as a result of April 15, delivers a glimpse of operates by six mid-occupation painters from Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut who are thriving mainly outside the house the New York Town art ecology.
Individuals include Eleanor Conover, an assistant professor of artwork and art heritage at Dickinson School in Carlisle, PA Georgia Elrod, who is effective in Brooklyn and in Hudson, a modest city together the Hudson River in Columbia County, NY and Fox Hysen, who life in Norfolk, Conn., and runs an artists’ collective and residency program named Greenwoods, 2058. Also in the clearly show are works by Emil Robinson, an associate professor at the College of Cincinnati Matthew Kolodziej, a professor of artwork at the University of Akron and Scott Olson, who life in Kent, OH.
What also unites all of them is that they are concentrated on building abstract or representational operates whose main intention is to provide visual satisfaction, not to critique systemic power imbalances in up to date culture.
There is surely a area for art that strives for justice and afflicts the comfy. But there ought to also be room for artwork that merely rewards consideration with contemporary investigations of magnificence, nonetheless defined.
Liberating consciousness to encounter pleasure in alone, free of any other justification, could itself be a groundbreaking act in a capitalist environment, and Abattoir’s recent demonstrate appears to be in line with that type of pondering.
The 1 feasible exception to the show’s apolitical mood could be Robinson’s 2021 portray “Arrangement with T Square,’’ which depicts a cross-like drafting software hanging on a panel draped with meticulously depicted rectangles of yellow and blue cloth that clearly deliver to intellect the Ukrainian flag no matter whether or not the artist supposed it.
So is the painting about the crucifixion of Ukraine? When asked, Kurzner said no. Undoubtedly, the painting looks to be a lot less about recent functions than Robinson’s wish to blend around-summary imagery with refined references to faith, this sort of as the imagery of the T sq.. But the Ukrainian nationwide shades are also there, and anybody is no cost to see them, irrespective of the artist’s intentions.
Robinson does surface fascinated in spiritual symbolism, as indicated by the title of his 2020 portray, “Study for Lazarus.’’ Roughly a quarter of the size of his T-sq. portray, it depicts two autumn leaves, just one major, a person smaller, pressed flat from the photo airplane in the base 50 % of the portray, with a misty landscape noticeable in the higher half. The beautiful imagery, painted in a model reminiscent of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings of autumn leaves at Lake George in the 1920s, is open up-ended sufficient to permit a variety of interpretations, together with the satisfaction of Robinson’s paint dealing with and delicate palette.
The relaxation of the painters in the clearly show are abstractionists bent on discovering and adapting traditions deeply rooted in 20th-century modernism.
Olson, for case in point, is represented by a one abstraction painted in 2023 in oil on panel that expands on early 20th-century Cubism, a movement launched by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Olson’s portray describes folded and curved planes arranged about in a grid. The perform prospects the eye on a journey across visually shallow spaces that could also be deep and distant. Painted in somber hues with luminous, jewel-toned accents, it blurs distinctions amongst landscape and still lifestyle. It’s a geometric earth that could be equally near-up and considerably away.
Although his paintings are abstract, Kolodziej also revels in the notion of exploiting tensions in between nearby and faraway spaces in his paintings. His colourful paintings distinction areas of airbrushed curlicue marks that seem distant, misty and blurred, with up-near spots of color applied with equipment that generate crisp, sharp, and dry textures that seem to sit correct up on prime of the photograph airplane. The eye toggles pleasurably back and forth amongst marks that seem to ride on major of the surface and all those that recede.
Conover’s mission is to broaden on the language of Shade Field abstraction from the late 1950s and ‘60s, a model pioneered by artists this sort of as Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis, who poured liquid paint right on their canvases. Employing canvases shaped like windsurfing sails, Conover makes regions of softly blooming shade that show up to reference rural landscapes.
Elrod’s small, exquisite abstractions hint at vignettes of the human entire body framed by shallow, stage-like areas in a visible language considerably reminiscent of early 20th-century American abstract painter Arthur Dove. Elrod’s sensibility is playful and mystical. She’s also very competent at making brush marks that neatly and wittily match the shapes of the varieties she’s describing. Curved designs are described by curved strokes, for case in point. The outcome is a sense of effectively-arranged whimsy.
Hysen’s paintings describe grids and stripes with around utilized paint, increasing on motifs explored by a wide cross-segment of artists from Jasper Johns to Sean Scully and Gerhard Richter. What distinguishes her function is a luminous perception of colour, tending toward the blue conclusion of the spectrum, leavened by tones of gray and rose. She also has a uniquely brusque way of handling paint that results in incidents on her prosperous surfaces that capture the eye.
Like so lots of other shows mounted by Abattoir above the earlier few decades, “Headspace’’ is dreamy, considerate, compelling, and enjoyment. The quality is superior, and the options are sharp and professional. In other words and phrases, it’s well worth anyone’s time to go and have a glimpse.
Notice: An before variation of this story misstated Fox Hysen’s gender.
What’s up: “Headspace — A Portray Display.’’
Location: Abattoir Gallery
In which: 3619 Walton Ave., Suite C 102, Cleveland
When: Via Saturday, April 15.
Admission: Absolutely free. Connect with 216-820-1260 or 646-229-0998, or go to abattoirgallery.com.