Installation Preview: Marlon de Azambuja and Luisa Lambri: FRONT International at the Cleveland Museum of Art

Emily Liebert, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art

During a two-week period, artist Marlon de Azambuja (Brazilian, born 1979) created Brutalismo–Cleveland on site at the Cleveland Museum of Art as part of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art.

Artist Marlon de Azambuja (b. 1979, Brazil) created Brutalismo–Cleveland on site at the Cleveland Museum of Art as part of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. Image courtesy Cleveland Museum of Art.

A new iteration of Azambuja’s ongoing series titled Brutalismo — referring to brutalism, the austere mid-century architectural style — this work is composed of materials gathered in and around Cleveland, emphasizing the sprawling city’s sometimes overlooked physical makeup. The sculptures expose and celebrate the rich legacy of brutalist architecture in Cleveland and northeast Ohio, connecting the international movement’s signature aesthetics with a more regional history through the use of locally sourced materials.

Artist Marlon de Azambuja (b. 1979, Brazil) created Brutalismo–Cleveland on site at the Cleveland Museum of Art as part of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. Image courtesy Cleveland Museum of Art.

Azambuja, who lives in Madrid, had come to visit in January in order to scout local stone yards. Having determined which ones would be most fruitful for his purposes, he spent the first week scavenging for materials when he returned. The materials were swiftly brought to the CMA, where he spent his second week building the work in the museum’s glass box gallery (gallery 218). Day by day staff and visitors had the chance to see the work grow into its arresting finished form; you can watch this too in the video below. While he worked on his installation, Azambuja was an artist-in-residence at the Madison Residencies, a FRONT initiative in the Glenville neighborhood.

Alongside Brutalismo–Cleveland in the glass box gallery is a suite of photographs by Luisa Lambri (Italian, born 1969), also on view as part of FRONT. Continuing her investigation of spaces designed by eminent male architects, Lambri depicts architectural elements of the CMA, focusing on the museum’s iconic, striped granite wing designed by Marcel Breuer in 1971. Together, the installations by Azambuja and Lambri bring the local built structures outside the museum into its galleries.


Check out additional installation images below. FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art officially opens on July 14.

Artist Marlon de Azambuja (b. 1979, Brazil) created Brutalismo–Cleveland on site at the Cleveland Museum of Art as part of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. Images courtesy Cleveland Museum of Art.