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News . Feature Stories . Two Shows This Fall Feature Three CIA Masters


June 03, 2011

Two Shows This Fall Feature Three CIA Masters

CIA's Reinberger Galleries present two fall 2011 exhibitions featuring renowned artists Robert Mangold '59, Julian Stanczak '54, and Ed Mieczkowski '57.

Two Shows This Fall Feature Three CIA Masters

ROBERT MANGOLD: Continuity and Discontinuity
Reinberger Galleries, Cleveland Institute of Art
November 4–December 17, 2011

Robert Mangold’s work unites drawing and painting in a way that hadn’t been done before the 1960s when minimalism polarized art theory from common observation. Yet Mangold remains true to form in a paradoxical way; shape is always a starting not ending point. His paint roller aesthetic is tactile and sensitive. His colors reference faded denim blue or school bus yellow. That sort of personal choice characterizes Mangold’s drawings as well. The focus of this exhibition is primarily on continuity and discontinuity, a fusing of the logical and arbitrary in four striking large-scale canvases measuring from eight to twenty feet in length, and six Column Structure drawings from 2006. The painted image feels classical, or art historical referential, but Mangold transcends the obvious; light courses through the paint like a splendid Turner watercolor.

Robert Mangold was born in North Tonawanda, NY, in 1927. He studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art from 1956–1959, before attending Yale University, School of Art and Architecture, where he completed his Bachelor (1961) and Master (1963) degrees. There he studied alongside Richard Serra, Nancy Graves, Brice Marden, and Sylvia Plimack. One of the preeminent modern American painters, his work is in the collections of Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA; Tate Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago. IL; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; Museum of Modern Art, NY; The Cleveland Museum of Art; Kuntsmuseum, Basel, Switzerland; Britain, London; and many other public collections in the United States and abroad.

Boundary Formations and the Tease of the Familiar
Reinberger Galleries, Cleveland Institute of Art
November 4–December 17, 2011

The Responsive Eye exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965 was the seminal exhibition of Optical Art and included works by Julian Stanczak and Ed Mieczkowski among a list of Who’s Who of geometric and perceptual abstraction—Josef Albers, Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Bridget Riley, and others.

Stanczak, whose work has been the subject of several recent exhibitions organized by Danese Gallery in New York, is a true colorist, and doesn’t consider himself the “Father of Op Art” as so many have pegged him. “Visual investigation through human perception” better describes his creative vocation, and what a ride it has” been. After sixty years of non-referential, abstract art, Stanczak’s work remains wonderfully mysterious even in his most recent paintings. His intricate language of music and poetry of colors exist like a metronome with a fixed aural pulse where the “boundary of formations and the tease of the familiar” define his visual quest.

When Julian’s teaching career at CIA is combined with that of his wife Barbara, a respected artist in her own right and the subject of a one-person retrospective in spring 2012, the Stanczaks have accomplished what few other married artists have—an impressive seventy-five years of teaching service to a single institution. It’s hard to beat their enthusiasm and dedication to students despite the unusually high burnout rate among artists working in academia.

Unless, of course, you include Ed Mieczkowski’s thirty-nine year teaching career at CIA; but that’s not the point. A founding member of the influential hard-edged, geometric abstraction movement Anomia in the early 1960s, along with Frank Hewitt and Ernst Benkert, Mieczkowski followed a rigorous, self-imposed program of painting exercises to explore the effects of color on visual perception that eventually led to The Responsive Eye exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. After four decades of producing paintings, drawings, and sculptures, his jewel-edged compositions, like a refreshing optical effect of perpetual motion, are dazzlingly kaleidoscopic and seductively challenging.

But there are lots of reasons to include Stanczak and Mieczkowski among the canon of 20th-century modernists, and, given the opportunity to expound on the virtues of geometric and perceptual abstraction, the current exhibition underscores the strength, coherence, and eccentricity of two artists on similar paths to make some sense of it all.

Julian Stanczak was born in Borownica, Poland, in 1928. He received his BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1954, and his MFA from Yale University, studying with Josef Albers and Conrad Marc-Relli, in 1956. His works are in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Cleveland Museum of Art; Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Los Angeles Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY: Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; and many other public collections in the United States and abroad.

Ed Mieczkowski was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1929. He received his BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1957 and his MFA from Carnegie Mellon in 1959. Museums with Mieczkowski’s work in their collections include the Cleveland Museum of Art; Tel Aviv Museum of Modern Art in Israel; Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH; the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton; in addition to museums in Poland and Denmark.

Bruce Checefsky
Director, Reinberger Galleries

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