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Dan Tranberg: So vivid. So luminous. So fluorescent.

August 31
October 13 2017

Where Cleveland Institute of Art, Ann and Norman Roulet Student + Alumni Gallery, 1st floor
Artists Dan Tranberg

Untitled, 2017. Gouache on panel.

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This small exhibition highlights passages of Dan Tranberg's work over the past several years. A prolific artist, ever eager to experiment with different media, Dan used geometry as a kind of net he would cast out in search of new materials. Inspired by the shapes and arrangements in Danish dinnerware patterns, kilim rugs, and Quaker quilts, Dan used these structures to play with numerous materials: gouache and glitter, acrylic and Roll-A-Tex, graphite, ink, and gel pens.

In 2016 Dan wrote, "For me, the thing that seemed to ignite my imagination at an early age was abstract painting. With my work, I seek to carry forward the idea of using painting as a space in which to envision that which is not otherwise visible."

In recent years, Dan could always be seen wearing plaid flannel shirts. In the way that our clothes highlight and conceal the shape of our bodies beneath them, the unexpected patterns and surprising rhythms of Dan's abstractions are an evocation of his spirit. Giving, as he said, shape to the invisible.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine after David Bowie's death, the singer Bono said, "We had one of the first color TVs on the street, and David Bowie was the reason to have a color TV." He went on to describe Bowie as " vivid. So luminous. So fluorescent." The technicolor experience of Dan's paintings conjures lyrics from Bowie's "Let's Dance":

Let's sway
While color lights up your face
Let's sway
Sway through the crowd to an empty space

This exhibition celebrates our beloved colleague, teacher, and friend, his contributions to our community and our lives. As we continue to mourn this loss, perhaps we should put on our red shoes and dance the blues.

This exhibition is curated by Amber Kempthorn.


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Cleveland Institute of Art
Ann and Norman Roulet Student + Alumni Gallery , 1st floor
11610 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106

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Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

Cleveland Institute of Art is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.