The director of HEDGE Gallerydiscusses “Cultural Mysticism,” a solo show featuring new work from Brian Mouhlas. The exhibition opens with a receptionfrom 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 20 at HEDGE Gallery — during 78th Street Studios’ monthly Third Friday event— and remains on view through Nov. 2.

What can visitors look forward to at “Brian Mouhlas: Cultural Mysticism”? 

Visitors can look forward to seeing a very diverse exhibit, featuring four fairly recent Cleveland Institute of Art graduates with examples of their new bodies of work, including painting, sculpture and textile. 

Brian’s new work includes many large-scale oil paintings that address contemporary culture in our media-based world. His narrative work is imposing and sometimes dark, detailed with rich subject matter and color palettes. Mouhlas’ featured piece, titled “Institutional,” deals with sociological issues of control and manipulation; a must-see painting by this skilled young artist.

“These Memories Lose Their Meaning” by Brian Mouhlas (2018). Acrylic and oil on canvas; 42 x 76 inches. Courtesy of HEDGE Gallery.

Mouhlas’ work has been on view at HEDGE Gallery in the past as part of group shows. What led to this, his first solo show?

Brian has been working on his narrative style of painting, but also experimenting with abstraction. He has created a significant body of work, and it was time for a solo exhibition.

How has Mouhlas’ work evolved in recent years?

Mouhlas has been experimenting with abstraction and electric-florescent pigments, as well as different styles of painting narratives. 

“Seance” by Brian Mouhlas (2019). Acrylic and oil on canvas; 48 x 51 inches. Courtesy of HEDGE Gallery.

Other artists will be involved in this show. Who are they, and how does their art work with Mouhlas’ art?

HEDGE Gallery Represented Artists have the opportunity to “co-curate,” in a sense, other artists who inspire their work or who have motivated them along the way into their exhibitions.

Brian Mouhlas is the first of our artists who has chosen to include three other artists’ work alongside his own during his solo exhibit. 

Artists Suzanne Head, Thomas Kassai and Kim Menapace’s recent work is featured in this show, creating dynamic dialogues with Brian’s color palette, narratives and figurative paintings.

These three artists graduated with Mouhlas from the Cleveland Institute of Art.

What programming do you have planned surrounding “Cultural Mysticism”? 

The Gallery will host an artist talk, date to be announced, as well as a closing reception on Friday, Oct.18.

The exhibit is on view until Saturday, Nov. 2. HEDGE Gallery’s hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as evenings and weekends by appointment. 


Lead image: “Institutional” by Brian Mouhlas (2019). Acrylic, oil and mixed media on canvas; 55 x 75 inches. Courtesy of HEDGE Gallery.