Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cinder/Susanne Slavick/ McDonough Museum

Once again, the McDonough Museum of Art, Youngstown Ohio, brings to our community another outstanding exhibition by an internationally recognized, award winning artist. Entitled "Cinder", this show of work by Susanne Slavick is contemporary, cutting edge and profound. Dealing with issues of War, History and the clashes between East and West, Slavick's work presents complex and controversial issues with a sense of beauty and poetry through the combined use of digital photography and hand painted images.  

This is a very large show, filling 2 entire floors of the museum. The sizes range from the small and intimate to the extremely large and overwhelming. The largest work (approximately 6 foot by 9 foot) is a multi-panel image depicting a life size vehicle that is blast and bullet ridden.

The curatorial staff did a fine job of presenting this show. Having worked as a museum curator, I can attest that a show of this size and scope offers many challenges, and the staff certainly rose to the occasion. Despite the sometime harsh imagery and complex messages, I was able to digest all that was being offered without feeling confused or imposed upon.

I give the McDonough Museum a tremendous amount of credit for remaining a credible and relevant voice for the Contemporary Arts in our community. It is an asset that becomes even more valuable as our city receives international recognition. I would venture to say that no other art institution in our region is willing to take the risks that the McDonough has taken to promote the Contemporary Arts!