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A Hard line: Geometric Abstraction from the AAWR permanent collection | November 2 – December 16, 2023

November 2, 2023 - November 16, 2023

  • Samuel Butnik Configuration Rose 49" x 68" in
    Samuel Butnik Configuration Rose 49" x 68" in

Show Dates: November 2 – December 16, 2023

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 2, 5:30 – 8:00pm

Programs:  ARTBites / Art in Context – Finding Their way: Abstract Art by Black artists

                       Jennifer Omaitz Curators Talk



David E Davis, Ruth Bercaw, Samuel Butnik, George Schroeder, Susan Schroeder, Dan Tranberg 


AAWR is pleased to present A Hard line: Geometric Abstraction from the AAWR permanent collection, a sister exhibition to Tangents: Abstract and Geometric Art in Northeast Ohio. A hard Line will be presented in the New Archives Gallery Space, which formerly housed the Sculpture Center. Curated from the AAWR permanent collection of 100 Archived Artists, by executive Director Mindy Tousley, this exhibition continues the conversation opened by Tangents and presents some older artists which give historical context to that exhibition. Northeast Ohio has a tradition of artists working within a non- representational style. Works by many of these artists works now make up a sizable portion of the AAWR collection. 

Exhibitions like Harmonic Forms on the Edge highlighted the contributions of prominent artists working in the abstract geometric style: David E. Davis, John Clague, Samuel Butnik, John Pearson, and Julian Stanczak. A Hard Line includes works by Butnik, and Davis, and bridges the dialogue with the additions of Ruth Bercaw, and new acquisitions by George Schroeder, Susan Schroeder, and Dan Tranberg. 

A case can be made for work that is of another cohesive style being made in Cleveland well after the end of the “Cleveland School” artists of the early 20th century. Elizabeth McClelland attempted to make this case in her essays that were included in the Harmonic Forms on the Edge catalog, and where she cites exhibitions like Geometric Abstraction: A Cleveland Tradition, curated by Ursula Korneitchouk in 1988, as well as earlier references to works awarded in the May shows starting in the 1960’s. According to McClelland,” Korneitchouk’s show was comprehensive, revealing the scope and variations within the related styles of the movement that had by then become a regional tradition.” Both Tangents and A Hard Line attempt to reopen this conversation and refocus attention on more contemporary artists who can be grouped stylistically and philosophically together, that worked beyond the much tauted Cleveland School.


Program information:

ARTBites / Art in Context – Finding Their way: Abstract Art by Black artists

Programming to accompany the exhibition includes a virtual discussion on Wed. November 15th. between Dr David C. Hart, associate professor of art at CIA, and Kerry Davis a respected  collector of African American art from Atlanta, Ga. Their topic of discussion will be centered around Davis’s collection which includes a large number of black artists working in abstraction. This will take place as an interactive conversation between the two men and will also include images shown by Hart referencing works from the Davis collection, followed by a Q&A period between the audience and the panelists. This will be a virtual presentation through ZOOM and registration will be required for viewers, from the AAWR website.


Jennifer Omaitz Curators Talk

On Saturday December 2, Tangents Curator jennifer Omaitz will lead a “Walk & Talk” through the Tangents exhibition, discussing the artists’ work, their practices, and her curation of the exhibition. This will take place in person in the AAWR Gallery from 1-2pm, followed by refreshments. Registration for this talk can also be found on the AAWR website.


November 2, 2023
November 16, 2023
Event Category:


Artists Archives of the Western Reserve
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Artists Archives of the Western Reserve
1834 E. 123rd St.
Cleveland, 44106-1910 United States
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