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news release Akron Art Museum Presents New Work by Northeast Ohio Artists in Frameworks

For Release: February 27, 2018

Akron, Ohio—The paintings of three artists living and working in Northeast Ohio will be featured in a new Akron Art Museum exhibition opening on March 3, 2018. Frameworks: Paintings by Dragana Crnjak, Andrea Joki and Matthew Kolodziej presents abstract works created between 2015 and 2018. The artists utilize painting to explore the complex relationships between time, memory and place. They’re especially interested in how the influx of images and information in the digital age affect those interrelationships.

Akron Art Museum Chief Curator Ellen Rudolph said, “Visitors will experience a dynamic environment with large-scale spatially and optically complex paintings that will mingle with floor-to-ceiling compositions painted directly on the walls in response to the gallery’s architecture.”

Each artist takes a different approach to exploring the concept of time. Kolodziej, a professor of painting and drawing at the University of Akron, photographs construction and demolition sites. After assembling a photomontage from those images, a computer program translates it into a line drawing that forms the basis of his multifaceted, architectural paintings. The artist is especially interested in how the relentless volume of images that we process on a daily basis affects our way of seeing and our sense of place.

Alongside his paintings, Kolodziej will create a drawing on the wall that will envelop viewers in a contorted aerial view of one of his construction sites. Expanding viewers’ sight lines beyond the confines of his canvases, Kolodziej will project a line drawing onto the walls, manipulate it in response to the gallery architecture and trace it in paint.

Crnjak, an associate professor of painting at Youngstown State University, views paintings as an important foil against our addiction to moving images. For her paintings in Frameworks, Crnjak distorts photographic images of embroidery patterns from her native Serbia by crumpling the paper and then Xeroxing the crumpled image. She then projects the distorted images onto canvas and traces them in paint. Layering the fragmented patterns with crisp, geometric lines, Crnjak’s compositions appear to recede and advance at the same time. The artist will also create a wall-sized environment within the gallery, drawing directly on the wall with charcoal and adding to the rich texture and dimension of the entire space.

Based in Cleveland and Los Angeles, Joki creates paintings that meld sensory experiences of landscapes, people and places. Her work shifts from loose, spontaneous brushstrokes to precise, hard-edged lines, sometimes combining both in a single composition. Those co-existing impulses result in veiled prisms of splattered paint that seem to undulate and flicker. Joki travels as research for her painting, drawing on impressions of the changing landscape on cross-country road trips and hiking in the Mojave Desert. Joki seeks to discover the limits of what a painting can communicate about the world’s interconnectedness.

“Each of the artists in Frameworks seems to be mapping a combination of sensory experience, memory and data from external sources through their paintings. I was drawn to the idea that by layering geometric lines or frames within their paintings, each artist was attempting to impose some kind of structure on concepts that are amorphous and hard to pin down. At the same time, they create compositions that are constantly shifting, so the impulse to construct a framework is tempered with an embrace of the unknowable,” Rudolph said.

Accompanying Programs
The museum will host a conversation with Dragana Crnjak, Andrea Joki and Matthew Kolodziej on Thursday, April 12 at 6:30 pm. The talk is free and open to the public. Topics of conversation will include the influences and processes that shape the artists’ work, and audience participation will be invited.

Additional programs and activities, as well as details and registration information will be made available online at

Frameworks: Paintings by Dragana Crnjak, Andrea Joki and Matthew Kolodziej is organized by the Akron Art Museum with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.

For more information about Frameworks: Paintings by Dragana Crnjak, Andrea Joki and Matthew Kolodziej at the Akron Art Museum, visit Join the conversation on social media with #FrameworksArt, and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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