Charles Burchfield: The Ohio Years, 1915–1920 explores the key role that northeast Ohio played in the art and life of American artist Charles Burchfield. The exhibition presents about 30 drawings made between 1915 and 1920, the period surrounding what Burchfield described as his “golden year.”
In 1917, he completed more paintings than ever before, using the Midwestern landscape to express universal emotions and moods. Burchfield experimented avidly with watercolor in both Salem, his hometown, and Cleveland, where he attended the Cleveland School (now Institute) of Art. Watercolor allowed the artist to explore the surrounding landscape and develop a new abstract style that defined his work, even after he left Ohio in 1921.
The exhibition features numerous drawings from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s collection—including Burchfield’s Church Bells Ringing, Rainy Winter Night (1917), a highlight of its American works on paper—accompanied by others from the Burchfield Penney Art Center and private collections.