Cleveland Dean

Opening: Friday, Mar 4, 2022 5:30 – 8 pm
Friday, Mar 4, 2022

1957 Sheridan Rd.
Highland Park, IL 60035

Is Abstract Art having a ‘moment’? The once Modernist Era or Movement may have lost its shock value of its inception, however, abstraction as a technique, style, and conceptual concept is stronger than ever. The definition includes the artist’s interpretation of what is experienced in the world, which does not necessarily represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality, using shapes, colors, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect. In Abstract Expressionism, the goal is to evoke feelings and emotions while Abstract Color Block is conceptual, causing one to think about the meaning behind the color, the brush stroke, or even the absence of anything discernable.

Today, although we are far from the shock value days of the origin of Abstract Art, we continue to ask: ‘How do artists find ways to express the deeper meaning behind their abstract work?’ The two exhibitions at TAC, Cleveland Dean’s Rapport and the concurrently running group show, Abstraction, explore the wide variety of contemporary abstract art. Inspired by our guest juror, Cleveland Dean’s approach to continue to push the boundaries in the shocking manner of the past, enables the artist to ‘extract the infinite out of the finite.’ 

Cleveland Dean, born and raised in the Chicago area, is a multi-disciplined, self-taught visual artist. Eclectic, and interested in everything from science to psychology, his often large scale work is awe inspiring.  His active mind is reflected in his abstract work that includes painting, mixed media, sculpture, and installations. Using unusual methods and techniques including a wide variety of materials like salt, wood, fire, cardboard, metal, and ‘anything he can get his hands on’,  he experiments with the materials, often literally lighting the work on fire (seen on his Instagram). His passion for philosophy, psychology and religion add to his approach which all comes together presenting the viewer with a visual experience, a connection to the work that is accessible to them on several levels, intellectually, spiritually, and/or emotionally, but always as a ‘wow’.

“I have no interest in easy, recognizable, non-challenging work. I want to challenge as well as be challenged. I need to be able to exercise my duality.” Cleveland Dean

“We are more than thrilled to have Cleveland in our gallery as our featured artist and appreciate his work as a guest juror”, adds TAC curator Caren Rudman. “His bold work in conjunction with the juried exhibition gives audiences a full experience of the beauty and power of abstract art.”

For more information follow Dean on Instagram, @clevelanddean, or keep up with the exhibit information at, or by joining their website. Members of TAC will be eligible for a small, private preview with Dean on the same night as the public artist reception event.