Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
87 North Main Street, Oberlin, OH 44074


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The Allen's collection is particularly strong in 17th century Dutch and Flemish painting, Japanese prints, early modern art, African art, and more.

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Beyond the Barricade

July 14 - December 23, 2022
In Ellen Johnson Gallery

Beyond the Barricade

July 14 - December 23, 2022
In Ellen Johnson Gallery

Protest, rebellion, war: art, in some form, is often bound up in these – even as the process of art-making is periodically transformed by revolutionary ideas and changing movements. What were once radically modern styles give way to newer ones, as artists continue to engage with the world, take inspiration from its pleasures and traumas, and confront society’s ills while observing our shared humanity.

This exhibition of works spanning 1882 to 2021 from the museum’s collection serves as a complement to Bakunin’s Barricade, with its themes of protest and revolution, and to the overall FRONT International Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, whose 2022 iteration embraces art as a mode of healing. Whether as a call to action or a balm to pain, a means of commemoration or a celebration of courage, art has agency and power. Some of the works on view here are radical in the artists’ rejection of prevailing styles, and forging of new paths. Many take up the subjects of war, displacement, civil and human rights, and mental health – several simultaneously pointing toward remembrance, repose, and resolution.

Artists represented

Robert Arneson, Chakaia Booker, David Burliuk, Annabel Daou, James Ensor, Zeng Fanzhi, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Annette Messager, Claude Monet, Elaine Reichek, Bob Thompson, Francisco Verastegui, Ernest Withers, Nahum Zenil, and others

Organized by

Andria Derstine

John G. W. Cowles Director


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