Cleveland

“Cruciformed”

Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art

Inspired by a series of articles written by Joseph Masheck for Artforum on the high incidence of iconicity and cruciformality in abstract art of the late ’70s, this show, entitled “Cruciformed: Images of the Cross Since 1980,” followed these trends into the post-Modern ’80s. Curator David S. Rubin included numerous works that elaborate the formalist esthetic (the transcendental implications of which Masheck investigated), proving by judicious selection that even seemingly neutral or contentless crosses by contemporary artists such as Keith Milow, Jackie Winsor, and Harvey Quaytman have moral, humanitarian, and tragic implications.

The emblematic force of the cross as a symbol has opened it to extensive manipulation by recent artists whose concerns center on the intertextuality achieved through appropriation and montage. Particularly important to a significant number of the works in this

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