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American Real Exhibition
Monica Cook, Ryder Ripps, and Chris Verene

April 01
May 08 2016

Where Cleveland Institute of Art, Reinberger Gallery

American Real Exhibition
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Join us for Reinberger Gallery's Spring Exhibition American Real, featuring the work of artists Monica Cook, Ryder Ripps and Chris Verene. The exhibition opens on Friday, April 1, with an opening reception from 6:30 to 9pm, and runs through May 8.

Offering a complete and intricately realized cosmology of sacrifice and reciprocity embodied by a parade of delicate, soulful animals and their jerry-built chariots, Monica Cook creates a world as a tribute to the wounded, newborn and dying, the scarred and disfigured. Cook, a sculptor with a "rococo streak" according to The New Yorker, produces darkly humorous tableaux vivants of death and ritual, so wonderfully headlong in mood, that we’re hardly aware of the tender unconditional love so intricately woven together in a one-of-a-kind form of hyperrealism and fiction.

Ryder Ripps crosses over “new media, the art world, the fashion world, and the music world,” according to the Italian fashion label Diesel, by exploiting social media long before Richard Prince’s quagmire with Instagram. Ripps has turned the fashion model Adrianne Ho into a literal object in a series of large-scale paintings of manipulated photos of the model that were appropriated from her Instagram feed. From this unique controversial perspective of manipulating social media for personal cultural gain, there’s no mistaking the complaints that it levels against contemporary society; the conceptual dexterity of the paintings is matched only by the subjugated homage to the Internet.

Photographer and filmmaker Chris Verene produces “an uncommonly sensitive and affecting form of Social Realism” according to The New York Times, “that doesn’t come off as voyeuristic, sensational or preachy.” His documentary project Home Movies depicts his family and other families in the small city of Galesburg, Illinois, whose lives were drastically altered in the 2008 economic downturn. His blend of realism and empathy for his subjects pays respect to American lives, earnest and troubled, where everyone knows everyone, in lucid photographs filled with humanity, love, pride, and hope.

Above Image: Ryder Ripps, Heater, oil on canvas, 2014. Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery, New York.


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Cleveland Institute of Art
Reinberger Gallery
11610 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106

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