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Thomas Salomon's "In Memoriam: Responses to the Unanswerable" Exhibit

November 07, 2013
Location: Wasmer Gallery

Ursuline College will present the work of Thomas Salomon in the solo show titled "In Memoriam: Responses to the Unanswerable." The show kicks off with an Opening Reception on Thursday, October 3, from 5 to 9 PM in the Florence O'Donnell Wasmer Gallery on the Ursuline College campus, 2550 Lander Road, Pepper Pike, Ohio. The Wasmer Gallery is located adjacent to the Fritzsche Building at the western edge of the campus (it is building #9 on the campus map). The front and patio entrances are wheelchair-accessible, with free parking available in the lot adjacent. The show is scheduled to run from October 3 - November 7, 2013. 

Thomas Salomon, www.thomassalomonart.com, holds a master's degree in architecture from Kent State University. His master's thesis was a model for a Holocaust memorial museum. Salomon's work is in the distinguished collections of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, St. Luke's Hospital in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, the Stouffer Corporation in Texas and the Oppenheimer Fund Inc. in New York City. He has taught at Kent State, Cuyahoga Community College (Eastern Campus), Lakeland Community College and Ursuline College. 

The exhibit features contemporary work representing an "attempt to memorialize through abstraction the cruel events of 1933-45 Holocaust in Europe" Salomon says. "The work represents the culmination of my 47-year career in art. It is…so to speak…my 'Guernica.' It involves mixed media installations from floor to ceiling as well as wall pieces on canvas, drop cloths, shrouds and paper. Utilizing language, literature, poetry, history, religion and mysticism, this work weaves its way through the period, selecting names, dates and places using a wide range of images and materials to portray a specific event.

A specific event, the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Resistance, is represented by five large works alone. The backgrounds are black papers, cloths and boards with white type in oil stick. The artistic influence is the graffiti art of Basquiat, the materials and the concepts from Rauschenberg. The emotional tone and compositional matrix are my own. Hopefully, the story line succeeds as well.

These are solemn and haunting works, minimal in color and vast in scale. They are attempts to provoke both dread and disturbance in the viewer. They are altars to the victims. The effort in effect represents a powerful evocation of one of humanity's greatest misdeeds. They are indictments against the world's perpetrators and accomplices.

"We are honored to bring Thomas Salomon's profound work to Ursuline College," says Anna Arnold, Wasmer Gallery director. "Thomas Salomon is an extraordinary artist in many ways," explains Arnold. "He has created an astounding body of work that is passionate and spontaneous and pursued a style and way of thinking about art that has to be as yet to be acknowledged in Cleveland. Art for him has been a way of life and survival. This is powerful work that needs to be experienced. I believe visitors will be astonished by the skill, ambition and diversity of the artworks in this show."

Salomon commissioned Rhonda Harrell to compose a choral hymnal based on a Negro spiritual that will be performed during the opening reception at the gallery at 7:00 PM. Mr. Saloman will give a gallery talk from 2 PM - 4 PM Saturday, October 12. The exhibition will promote symposiums, lectures and interdisciplinary scholarship through Ursuline College's Humanities Division.

The "In Memoriam: Responses to the Unanswerable" exhibition has been generously supported by the Ratner Miller Shafran Foundation and Albert Ratner.

The exhibition, free and open to the public, runs October 3 through November 7. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 12 - 5 PM; Saturday and Sunday 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM.

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