WOLFS Gallery in Beachwood will present an exhibition of paintings and small sculptures made by late Cleveland artist Mary Spain from May 14 to June 26.
The exhibition, named “Through Mary Spain’s Looking Glass,” will feature 20 of Spain’s pieces obtained from a private collection, as well as additional pieces spanning her career.
Spain was born in 1934 and grew up in North Carolina. She moved to Cleveland in the 1970s after living in upstate New York for years. She taught art at Chagrin Falls High School in Chagrin Falls, and her art was exhibited regularly in Cleveland, New York and Florida. She died in 1983.
Information about Spain’s life wasn’t easily available, and fans had to learn about the artist through her unique, fanciful pieces. Her work follows a realm of fantasy and absurdity, where she depicted distorted figures in a child-like fashion.
Spain’s toy-like, primitive style transports viewers to a world of surrealism. Her use of seemingly mundane detail like subjects wearing masks or hats represented Spain’s own emotions and views of the world around her.
“She somehow achieved the difficult mastery of lightheartedness,” said Michael Wolf, director of WOLFS.
Spain’s exhibition will be the first to open at WOLFS’ new, 10,000-square-foot gallery at 23645 Mercantile Road, Suite A in Beachwood.
The gallery will host an open house for the exhibition from 4 to 8 p.m. May 14 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 15.