Bill Radawec: A Retrospective
November 12, 2011 - January 20, 2012

Artist Biography
Bill Radawec

 

BILL RADAWEC

 

1952 - 2011

 

 

EDUCATION

 

1975   University of New Mexico

1997   BA, Baldwin-Wallace College

 

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

 

2010   We're Not in Kansas Anymore, Project Room, Lincoln, NE

2009   Slightly Altered, The Suburban @ Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL   

2007   Out of the Blue..., exit (a gallery space), Cleveland, OH

2005   (A Study), raw & co gallery, Cleveland, OH

2004   Berlitz Visual Art Gallery, New York, NY

           Sawtelle, the Sequel, Beaker Gallery, Tampa, FL

2003   In the Basement, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA

2002   SHAHEEN modern and contemporary art, Cleveland, OH

1999   SHAHEEN modern and contemporary art, Cleveland, OH

1998   Scar, Miller Fine Arts, Los Angeles, CA

1997   Retro, POST, Los Angeles, CA

1996   Four Doors, Santa Ana, CA, (with Jeanne Patterson)

          Intimate Views, Scarabb Gallery, Cleveland, OH

          Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (brochure)

          Gallery 3770, San Diego, CA (brochure)

1993   AMO Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA

1990   Millworks, Akron, OH (a collaboration with LouAnne Greenwald)

1989   Tenth Street Market, Cleveland, OH

1987   Kent State University, Kent, OH

          480 Broome Street, New York, NY

1985   Windows on White, New York, NY

1984   Abrabica, Cleveland, OH

1983   Rebenack Gallery, Akron, OH

1982   Willoughby Fine Arts Gallery, Willoughby, OH

1980   Coventry Art Gallery, Cleveland Heights, OH

1978   Kovar Art Gallery, Cuyahoga Community College, Parma, OH

 

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

 

2011   The White Show: Subtlety in the Age of Spectacle, Clarion University Art Gallery, Clarion, PA, curated by Vicky A. Clark

          (catalogue)

          Donald Judd Remix, FE Arts Gallery, Pittsburgh, curated by Vicky A. Clark

          Come Together,  Lake Erie, Lakewood, OH

2010   Act Or Observe, Project Room, Lincoln, NE

          Clear Signs,, Wall Eye Gallery, Cleveland, OH             

2009   4th of July One Week, One Week Only, Jancar Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2008   ABRACADABRA, Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Hollywood, FL

          Color Fields, Galerie Califia, Horazdovice, Czech Republic

          You Are Here, SPACE Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

          TREE SERVICE, domestic setting, Los Angeles, CA

          19, Asterisk Gallery, Cleveland, OH

2007   WOW, The Brewery Project, Los Angeles, CA

          Kiss the Sky, Summit Artspace, Akron, OH

2006   Works in Progress, The Attic, Oakland, CA

          Epicenter, Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, CA

2005   Inkjet, Artists Image Resources, Pittsburgh, PA

          INTRINSIC, B.K. Smith Gallery, Painesville, OH

          POST @ POST, 1995 TO 2005, POST, Los Angeles, CA

          Addicted to Love, Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland, OH

          Locus Project, Miami, FL

          Incognito, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA

2004   Where We Live: Outside and In, Overtones Gallery, Venice, CA, curated by Kristina Newhouse

          Site Unseen, Newsense Gallery, Lakewood, OH

          War Room, Artists Image Resources, Pittsburgh, PA

          Tiny Works, Project, Witchita, KS

          Tinseltown Two, domestic setting, Los Angeles

2003   8 - Hours of Making Art, Penelec Gallery, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA

          Preliminary Inventories, Zygote, Cleveland, OH

          Beauty Stripped Bare / LA Black + White, BGH Gallery, Santa Monica, CA curated by Joe Jarrell

          Pandemonium!, Cleveland Public Theater, Cleveland, OH

          Tinseltown, domestic setting, Los Angeles, CA

2002   Robert Levine, Claire McConaughy, Bill Radawec, Norjea, Akron, OH

          One, superior (an exhibition space), Cleveland, OH

          48 Hours of Making Art, B.K. Smith Gallery, Lake Erie College, Painesville, OH, (catalogue)

          Relative Objects, POST, Los Angeles, CA

2001   Asterisk, Cleveland, OH

          Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA

          Norjea, Akron, OH

          Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA

2000   For Example, Acuna Hansen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

          Elena Zass Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

          Wall Space, Miller Durazo Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

          Strange Nature, Acuna Hansen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

          Beret's Final Show, Beret International Gallery, Chicago, IL

          DRS Project Wall, Roberts and Tilton Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

          Patrons Lover's and Other Romantics, Santa Barbara, CA

          Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA

1999   Millennial Tension, POST, Los Angeles, CA

          Room Service, The Living Room, Santa Monica, CA

          Nine Lives: Painting at the End of the 20th.Century, B.K Smith Gallery, Lake Erie College, Painesville, OH

          Skin Deep, Patricia Correia Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

          Miller Durazo, Los Angeles, CA

          Fin ed Siecle, (end of the century), Terrain, San Francisco, CA

1998   Robert Miller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

          Drawing Show, Meyerson & Nowinski Art Associates, Seattle, WA

1997   Drawings, Gallery LASCA, Los Angeles, CA

          Stirred not Shaken, Refusalon, San Francisco, CA (catalogue)

          Out Auction, Santa Monica Museum, Santa Monica, CA

          118 W / 24 N, Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten, Graz, Austria

          Without You We're Nothing, Refusalon, San Francisco, CA

          POST, Los Angeles, CA

1996   Facing the Dragon, Artopia, Los Angeles, CA

          Left of Center, New Art from Los Angeles, CA

          Ten in One Gallery, Chicago, IL

          Blast Art Benefit, 8 Greene Street, New York, NY

          Green, Factory Place Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

          Radical Artifice, California Medical Arts, Los Angeles, CA

          In the Name of the Circle, Artopia, Los Angeles, CA

          June 22, Tree / House, Los Angeles, CA

          Summer Group show, Scarabb Gallery, Cleveland, OH

          They Came From Beyond, Malibu Art Ranch, Malibu, CA

          L.A.C.E. Benefit, Jan Baum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

          Superstore D Lux, Up & Co, New York, NY

          The Innocence of Ornaments, St. Marks Position, New York, NY

1995   Winter Group show, Gallery LASCA, Los Angeles, CA

          Hodgepodge Lodge, Art Store, Los Angeles, CA

          In the Pocket, Random Gallery, Los Angeles, Travels to Luckman Gallery, CalState L.A., Los Angeles, CA

          December Twentieth, Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

          Night of 1000 Drawings, Artists Space, New York, NY

          Nature Re (Contained), Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA

          AUGUST 28, Rio Hondo College, Whittier, CA

          Either / Or, flamingo EAST, New York, NY, Organized by Kenny Schacter

          A Vital Matrix, domestic setting, Los Angeles, CA Curated by Jane Hart, (catalogue)

          Human / Nature, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY

          Salon Scans Couleur: Black, White and Grey Matter, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

          A Working Title, e-space, Santa Monica, CA

1994   Film Club, Four Walls, Brooklyn, New York, NY

          Turning Silver into Gold, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH

          Sawtelle, domestic setting, Los Angeles, CA

          Slightly Connected, Cacao, Los Angeles, CA

          Object of Metaphor, Cerritos Community College, Norwalk, CA

          Toys / Art / Us, Castle Gallery, College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, New York, NY, Curated by Lori Friedman, (brochure)

          Caren Golden Fine Art, New York, NY

1993   L.A. night for Life, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

          One Nail, 1529 Wellesley, Los Angeles, CA

          Coupled, Insomnia, Los Angeles, CA, Curated by Charles LaBelle and Allen Tombello

          Summer Art Fare, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH

          Mondo Lot, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, Curated by Dianna Cohen, (catalogue)

          New Vulgarians, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH, Curated by Eric Susyne, (catalogue)

          Wendy Furman, LouAnne Greenwald, Jeanne Patterson, Lori Precious, Bill Radawec, Rena Small and Laura Whipple,

          domestic setting, Los Angeles, CA

1992   Boomerang, Thomas Solomon's Garage, Los Angeles, CA

          The 1.5 Show, Muranushi / Lederman in cooperation with Organization of Independent Artists

          Cruciforms , 1529 Wellesley, Los Angeles, CA

          Artgrab, Randall Scott Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

          Space, Cleveland, OH

          A Small Show, 1529 Wellesley, Los Angeles, CA

1991   Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH

          Uncensored, Millworks, Akron, OH

          C.A.G.E., Cincinnati, OH

1990   History, Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY

          William Busta Gallery, Cleveland, OH

          Equilibrium, National City Bank, Cleveland, OH

          The Vox Gallery, Akron, OH

          The People's Art Show, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH

1989   Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, LA

          A - Z, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH

          City Without Walls, Newark, NJ

          Naturally Active, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH

          AIDS Benefit, Aquilon, Cleveland, OH

          Sin, Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY

          Together, Aquilon, Cleveland, OH

          Seven Northern Ohio Artists, Willoughby School of Fine Art, Willoughby, OH

          The Vox Gallery, Akron, OH

          Visual Poetry, Center Cultural Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo

          Civic ReVision, Spaces, Cleveland, OH

          Joyce Porcelli Gallery, Cleveland, OH

          Skin Show, Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY

1987   Off the Wall, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH

          Visible Attractions, Metro Gallery, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, OH

          Home on the Range, Mentor, OH

1986   William Radawec and Scott Miller, Art Behind Bars, Cleveland, OH

1985   Material Concern, B.K. Smith Gallery, Lake Erie College, Painesville, OH

          New Figuration, Joyce Porcelli Gallery, Cleveland, OH

          10 X 10 = 100, Joyce Porcelli Gallery, Cleveland, OH

          The Vox Gallery, Akron, OH

          MASS, Travels show organized by Group Material for Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY, Arts Consortium, Cincinnati, OH, Spaces,

          Cleveland, OH, Alija, A center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY, L.A.C.E., Los Angeles, CA, University of Sydney, Sydney Payola, Mo David, New York, NY

         20 / 20, B.K. Smith Gallery, Lake Erie College, Painesville, OH

1984   Multiples, Jack Tilton Gallery and Printed Matter, New York, NY

          Fashion Moda, Space, Cleveland, OH

          Salon des Artists, Gracie Mansion Gallery, New York, NY

          Peter Fends Space, New York, NY

          C.A.G.E., Cincinnati, OH

1983   C.A.G.E. Cincinnati, OH

          A - More Store, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, NY

1982   Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara and Scripps College, Claremont, CA

1981   Philadelphia Arts Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

          Coventry Art Gallery, Cleveland Heights, OH

1979   Stifel Fine Art Gallery, Wheeling, WV

          Seventh National Exhibition of Drawing and Prints, Charlottesville VA, (catalogue)

1978   Davidson Gallery, Seattle, WA (catalogue)

          Park Gallery, Cleveland, OH (catalogue)

1976   Tusculum College, Greenville, TN, (catalogue)

1975   The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (catalogue)     

 

 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

 

Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH

Buttler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH

The Progressive Collection, Cleveland, OH

University Hospitals of Cleveland, OH

Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, OH

Monsanto Corporation, Chicago, IL

Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

Donahue and Scanion, Cleveland, OH

Edward Howard & Co., Cleveland, OH

The Capital Group, Los Angeles, CA

Fidelity Insurance, Covington, KY

 

 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

2010    Wolgamoth, L. Kent, "Art Show is Write On", Lincoln Journal Star, January, 24, p. C9

            Wolgamoth, L. Kent, "Thinking Inside the Box", Lincoln Journal Star, May, 9, p.      C8

            Clark, Vicky A, "Bill Radawec,, The Man Behind the Curtain",  www.vickyaclark.com

            Wolgamoth, L. Kent, "Art of 2010", Lincoln Journal Star, December, 26, p. C7

2008    Ozuma, Tony, "Good  Vibrations", The Prague Post, April 18 issue

            Lee, Sasha, "Review: Tree Service", beautifuldecay.com, July 28

            Bowman, Amy Joan, "Placement Test", Pittsburgh City Paper, July 30 - August    6, p. 30

            Shaw, Kurt, "SPACE exhibit shows artists' depiction of sense of  Place",  Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Thursday, July 31, TICKET

            p. 15

2007    Utter, Douglas Max, "Turning Point", Free Times, January 17 - 23, p.24

            Lewis, Zachary, "Review: Out of the Blue, Scene, January 17 - 23, p.26

            Durbin, Rodger, "Sky the Limit in Summit Artspace Show", Westside Leader, July 12 - 18, p. 22, 25

            Shinn, Dorothy, "Goodbye brings the blues", Akron Beacon Journal, July 15, p.     E5

2005   Lewis, Zachary, "Review: A Study", Scene, September 14 - 20, p. 26

         Bly Lyz, "Storytime with Uncle Bill", Free Times, September 14 - 20, p.54

         Tranberg Dan, "Hard to Escape Recurring Theme", The Plain Dealer,    December 30, p. 25

2004   Zellen, Jody, "Continuing and Recommended", ArtScene, June, p. 22

2003   McEvilley, Thomas, "Bill Radawec at Shaheen Contemporary", Art in America, February, p. 120

         Newhouse, Kristina, "Interview", zerodgreesart.com, April

         Newhouse, Kristina, "Sequel at domestic setting", artnet Magazine, April 17

         Wood, Eve, "Basement Memories", artnet magazine, May 15

         Frank, Peter, "Register Distance, Black + White / L.A., Christine Cunninghan", LA Weekly, May 16 - 22, p. 141

         Taxel, Laura Faye, "Benefit Organizers Plan a Dinner That Will Provide Many Meals", The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 3,

         Pf. 4

         Brown, Tony, "A Find Alternative", The Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 12, p. 44WE

2002   Susyne, Eric, "Asterisk Gallery", zingmagazine, Volume XVI, Winter, p. 224

         Tranberg, Dan, "A Center Launches Spring Season with Two Show", The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Friday, March 22, p. 37

         Tranberg, Dan, "A Little Space goes a Long Way to Recharge Local Art Scene", The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Friday, April 12, p. 55

         Utter, Douglas Max, "Between the Cracks", Cleveland Free Times, July 17 -   23, p. 60

         Tranberg, Dan, "Earthquake's Aftermath is 'Crack Up' Artist's Inspiration", The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Friday, July 15,

         p. 55, 56

2000   "The Crème De L.A. Crème, Art", The Los Angeles Times, August 10, p. 20

         Tumlir, Jan, "90's Art in Los Angeles", artext, November 2000 - January 2003, p. 42 - 51

1999   Tranberg, Dan, "Alive and Painting", Cleveland Free Times, September 1 - 7, p. 68

         Frank, Peter, "Art Picks pf the Week", LA Weekly, April 2 - 8, p. 152

1998   LaBelle, Charles, "LSD (Lemon Sky Discussion) with Jane Hart and Mr. X", "zingmagazine, Volume IV, Fall, p. 238 - 231

         Fredericksen, Eric, "Drawing Lessons", The Stranger, July 23, p. 25

         Hackett, Regina, "Drawing Invitational Recalls Personal Taste", Seattle Post- Intelligencer, Wednesday, July 22, p. E5

         Spaid, Sue, "L.A. Undercover", Art Papers, March - April, p. 14 - 17

         du Tan, Stephanie, "Bill Radawec's 'RETRO': An Authentically Fake Prequel to the Future Uncertainty", zingmagazine, Volume IV,

          Winter, p.     202 - 2004

1997   Munchnic, Suzanne, "Art Computer Primer, for Uninitiated", The Los Angeles Time, October 6, p. 64

         Niegelhell, Franz Von, "Alltagsmaterialiem und Neo - Sur-Realisum", Kultur, Sunday, September 14, p. 39

         Baker, Kenneth, "Is Small Beautiful", San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday, April 5, p, E1

         Carter, Ann. "William Radawec: Scarabb Gallery, Cleveland", zingmagazine, Volume III, Autumn/Winter, p, 217, 218

1996   Curtis, Cathy, 'Works Miss Catching the Grass Ring", The Los Angeles Time / Orange County, p. F29 R

         Hart, Jane, "Letter from L.A.", artnet magazine, June 5

         Scareborough, James, "A Gauche du centre: Nouvel at Los Angeles", Art Press, April, p. 74

         Wilk, Deborah, "Left of Center", New Art Examiner, March, p. 35 - 36

         Dunlap, Doree, "A Vision of Our Times", O.C. Weekly, March 1 - 17, p. 19

         Camper, Fred, "Seeing is Deceiving", Chicago Reader, February 9, p. 31

         Silman, Amy, "Left of Center", The Thing, February 2

         Mendenhal, Laura, "Documenta: Huntington Beach Center's Exposition of Emerging Stars", Coast, February 1, p. 28

         Curtis, Cathy, "Convergent Ideas, Culture Intersects in Huntington Beach Show,

         'Documenta", The Los Angeles Times / Orange County, January 23, p. 1

         Curtis, Cathy, "Baker's Dozen of the Best Bets Promises Diversity In Art", The Los Angles Times / Orange County, January 2,

          p. F1 - F3

         DiMichelle, David, "In an Entirely Matter, Artist / Curator in L.A.", Artweek, January, p. 26 -29

1995   O'Brien, John, "New Alternatives from L.A.", Art Papers, November / December, p. 26

         Friedman, Terri, "Veerd Science / A Vital Matrix", zingmagazine , Volume 1, Autumn

         Benish, Barbara, "Summer L.A.", "Altelier, p, 9

         Gould, Katherine, "At Home with Art", Westsider, August 2, p. 1,3

         Barton, Stephanie, "DIY / domestic setting", Fizz, #3, p. 138, 139

         Pagel, David, "Baby Bergamont Booms", Art in Auction, April, p. 46, 48, 50

         Tennesen, Michael, "Artin' Around", The Los Angeles Times Magazine, February 5, p. 11

         Munchnic, Suzanne, "Beyond the Living Room", The Los Angeles Times / Calendar, February 5, p. 51, 54

         Zimmer, William, "An Exhibition in New Rochelle Showcases Sheer Invention",  The New York Times, January 1, p. 12wc

1994   Cohen, Michael, "Alternatives Gallery Update", Flash Art, October, p. 110

         Jones, Amelia, "Taro Chiezo, Michael Cohen, LouAnne Greenwald, Charles LaBelle , Marie Lafia", Artforum, October, p.109

         Brown, Betty Ann, "Gatekeepers, Artist Seize the Means in Southern   California", Visions, Fall, p 21 - 23

         Frank, Peter, "The Art of Higher Learning", Press - Telegram, September 4, p, J6

         Jarrell, Joe, "William Radawec", Sculpture, March, p. 20

         Gleason, Mat, "Los Angeles Scene", Coagula Art Journal, Number 11, p. 2

1993   McConaughy, Claire, "Los Angeles Overview", Cover, December, p. 14

         Litt, Steven, "New Vulgarian Cast Wry Eye on Today", The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 3, p. D9

         Sparks, Amy, "Not - So - Vulgar Vulgarians", Cleveland Free Times, October          27, p.22

         Frank, Peter, "Art Picks of the Week", LA Weekly, September 17, p. 109

         Anderson, January, "Underground Art Finds Common Ground", West L.A. Record, April 7, p. 1

         DiMichelle, David, "Making Ends Meet", Artweek, January 7, p. 14

1992   Litt, Steven, "Three Exhibitions at Spaces Offer Diverse Artistry", The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 27, p. 31

1991   Sparks, Amy, "In the Beginning", Dialogue, January / February, p. 20

         Cullian, Helen, "Choices", The Cleveland Plain Dealer,

1990   Cullian, Helen, "Take Them at Their Word", The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 31, p, C1

         Shinn, Dorthy, "Anarchy - Art - On - The Cheep is calling Akron 'Home'", Unsetting Exhibits Neatness   

          Order", Akron Beacon Journal, December 9, p,       H1, H7

1989   Freigh, Becky, "Art in Unusual Places", The Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 17

1987   Benson, Tracy, "Making the Scene", Scene. December 6

         Sanstrong, Karen, "Fine Arts Show Demands Much of the Viewers", The News Harold, September 14

         "Seven Artists", Dialogue, September / October

         "Fine Arts Association Opens with a Reception", Free Enterprise, August 30

1986   Runyon, Pamela, "For Collectors II", Contemporary Quarterly, Winter

         Cullian, Helen, "Window Art Worth a Peek", The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 2

         Porcelli, Joyce, Speakeasy, Volume II

         The Newsletter for the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, April

         Camden, Vera, "Inspiring Collection", Dialogue

1985   Cullian. Helen, "Even Art Toys will be Toys", The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 8

         Cullian, Helen, "Spaces Imports New Work: Foot Artists", The Cleveland Plain Dealer, November

         Robinson, William, "From Province to Provincialism", Dialogue, July

         Glaiser, David, "Lakeland Exhibits Shows Case Talented Artists", The News Herald, June 7

         Cullian, Helen, "Show Features Young Artists", The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 2

         Corcoran, James "20 /20", Dialogue, May / June

         Cullian, Helen, "Art Trades Erasing Regional Labels", The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 1

         Cullian, Helen, "Critic Choice", The Cleveland Pain Dealer, April 28

1983   Shinn Dorthy, "Too Often Viewers are Left Guessing", Akron Beacon Journal

1982   Glaiser, David, "Fine Arts Feature a (Dis) Arming Exhibit", The News Herald, April 30

 

 

 


Press Releases
From Peter Frank

Everyone thinks of art as a solitary pursuit. It is a solitary activity, but whole hoards pursue it. Art people, in particular, build communities around themselves and one another, in order to facilitate not just the production of artwork, but the growth, sustenance, and stability of those who do the producing. Cranky as they are, artists are among the most social of animals. Bill Radawec was a brilliant artist, to be sure, witty, insightful and inventive; but he impressed me most as a communitarian, dedicated to the well-being of his fellow artists (and those who love 'em) and so fully identified with the "art scene" that he would sacrifice his own productivity to get his friends' - and acquaintances', and strangers', and (if he had any) enemies' - art out in the public. He clearly regarded the display and dissemination of others' art part of his own portfolio.

 

That's how I knew Bill during his years in Los Angeles, and that's how I heard from and about him during his Akron years - or Ohio years, I should call them, as his presence seemed to stretch from Toledo to Youngstown. Bill may or may not have been larger than life, but he was larger than art - because he was dedicated to helping others get theirs out as well as making his own. "Art is what makes life more interesting than art," Robert Filliou wrote, and Bill demonstrated that living art was the most interesting thing of all.

 

It takes a village to raise a child - and produce art. Bill Radawec could have run for mayor of that village. And won.

 

Peter Frank

Senior Curator at the Riverside Art Museum and art crtic for Angeleno Magazine

 

 

From Vicky Clark

Regarding Bill Radawec…
my mind goes into overdrive, a natural reaction to the almost frenetic energy Bill possessed. How in the world did he manage to cultivate such a devoted cast-ofthousands and communicate with all of them while being a prolific artist with a strong, challenging body of work? Not to mention surfing the web. And, of course, the ongoing love and inspiration with his soul mate Ibjoka. Perhaps he never slept or was bionic or had a super-powered chip for a brain…

 

Running through my mind is that tune from The Sound of Music “How do you solve a problem like Will I Am (Maria for those of you who haven’t memorized every word of the musical)?” with a nod to the supercool member of the Black Eyed Peas. How is it possible to understand the multi-faceted, fantastical creature that is Mr. Bill? I called him the man behind the curtain aka The Wizard of Oz. Well, he is the wizard, a merry
prankster, and an everyman, all at the same time.


Bill and I connected on a deep level instantly—- that was Bill: intense, hysterically funny, a raconteur par excellence who always made you feel that you were the center of the universe. We lived parallel lives for years before becoming friends as our paths crossed in Los Angeles without our ever knowing it. We knew the same people. We saw the same exhibitions. We shared similar experiences of living in the miraculous
kaleidoscope of that vibrant city that could barely contain the awesome beauty of the beach and the heroic folk art of Watts Towers, the kitsch on many street corners and the treasures of MOCA, the Taper, the Museum of Jurassic Technology. (In fact, David Wilson could do a fantastic job by adding Bill Radawec to his cast of characters.) LA inspired us, inculcating an insatiable curiosity about the world.

 

Add to that shared experience a love of ideas, a Rube Goldberg/FischliWeiss wonder of how things actually worked, and those six degrees of separation, which in Bill’s case were reduced to only two or three. And don’t forget the sensibility we picked up from the sixties’ counterculture.

 

Bill could spin a tale of Sammy Davis Jr, complete with show-and-tell artifacts, connect the dots between Frank Lloyd Wright and Lincoln Logs, reduce the convoluted complexities of 9/11 to the simplicity of a white wisp in a blue sky with his contrails, generate haikus in his color chip paintings, and create miniature dioramas for the miniscule HO figures, personalizing his subject in each and every work. His interests
ranged from the quotidian to the inexplicable, with numerous stops in between. And he was on the verge of a new endeavor, the collaborative efforts with his wife. Everything was fodder for his art, his way of sharing a boy’s wonder at the world in which he lived.

 

So how can we memorialize the inimitable Mr. Bill? One of Yoshitomo Nara’s numerous characters could capture the inquisitive, mischievous little boy with an effervescent charm, insatiable wit, and overwhelming energy. Mr. Bill from SNL? Or… Did you know that you can design your very own bobble head? Yes, that’s it: a talking Mr. Bill bobble head.

 

Vicky Clark

Assistant Professor, Art History and Gallery Director at Clarion University, Pittsburgh


Articles/Reviews
Shaheen Modern and Contemporary in Cleveland honors the Bill Radawec legacy / The Plain Dealer

 

Shaheen Modern and Contemporary in Cleveland honors the Bill Radawec legacy

 

By Steve Litt

Sunday, November 20, 2011

 

 

The late Bill Radawec, a nationally admired Cleveland artist who died in July at age 59 after a yearlong battle with lymphoma, was a miniaturist who practiced a gentle art of nuance and fine distinctions.

 

A retrospective of Radawec's work, now on view at Shaheen Modern and Contemporary Art in Cleveland, is full of delectable microphenomena, which attune the eye and the mind to small visual events that might easily be overlooked.

 

A tiny, copper-painted bird lies on its side on a square piece of plywood painted to resemble a piece of turf, which is in turn mysteriously set on the floor in a corner of the gallery. Another bird, this one painted silver, sits in a small wire basket suspended from the gallery ceiling.

 

On the walls, two small video cameras whir quietly on their mounts, turning this way and that, scanning the interior for some inscrutable purpose not revealed to the visitor. Also on the walls are pastel-hued geometric paintings inspired by paint chips and images of contrails left behind by jetliners in patches of clear blue sky.

 

A collection of small, wooden boxes mounted on the walls at oddly differing levels might escape notice entirely. But if you get close and peek inside, you'll be treated to bizarre miniature tableaux, including one in which a woman strips naked at what appears to be an open-air tea party, while a construction worker stands nearby with a coil of cable in his hands and another fellow guzzles a bottle of wine.

 

The show is an eclectic mix of objects and images resembling the visual equivalents of Zen Buddhist koans, or riddles, that could produce effervescent moments of intellectual bliss if

understood properly. Taken as a whole, the show is a fitting introduction, and tribute, to an artist known for having an odd, quirky and eccentric sensibility, liberally spiced with a well-developed sense of whimsy.

 

Born in 1952 in Parma, Radawec grew up there as the son of William Radawec, a firefighter, and Irene Radawec, a homemaker. He earned a bachelor's degree at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea in 1974 and pursued a master's degree at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque in 1975 and ¤'76, but he ended his studies short of completion.

 

Radawec taught in Berea schools from 1979 to ¤'82 and then spent the following decade teaching in Cleveland public schools. It wasn't until he moved to Los Angeles in 1992, however, that he began attracting serious attention as an artist and as a promoter of works by other artists.

 

Radawec's widow, Ibojka Toth-Radawec, explains that in 1992, commercial galleries were closing in Los Angeles because of a recession. Radawec responded by inaugurating a series of exhibitions in the apartments or homes of friends, under the rubric "Domestic Setting."

 

The shows caught the attention of the noted critic and curator Peter Frank, who gave Radawec a plug in LA Weekly, which in turn helped turn the shows into something of an underground movement.

 

"He loved to promote other artists," Toth-Radawec said.

 

Radawec returned to Cleveland in 2000 to care for his aging mother after his father's death. And he continued to produce art and to participate in exhibitions that caught the eye of reviewers from Art in America and other publications.

 

The show at Shaheen, assembled and installed with the assistance of his widow and friends, is characteristically oddball, with works hung high or low on walls or stuck in corners, as if to require extra effort and to encourage the viewer to take nothing for granted.

 

The cumulative effect is that of a quiet sense of joy and delight. Radawec never swings for the fences in any individual work but seeks instead to prick the conscience and tickle the funny bone.

 

Radawec was a conceptual artist, motivated more by ideas than by a drive to fashion imposing objects. His work pulls you in close and asks you to attend to fine details, like a

comedian with a flat affect who tells short, droll stories with enigmatic punch lines.

 

At times, Radawec's work is autobiographical. One framed panel re-creates a section of plaster wall in Radawec's Los Angeles apartment, which formed a crack after the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

 

The images of jet contrails were inspired by the arcs of jetliners changing course on Sept. 11, 2001, after terrorists took control.

 

It's not strictly necessary to understand the personal meanings behind Radawec's work in order to enjoy it. It casts a spell, even if you don't know the back stories.

 

The most important personal narrative is that of the artist's romance. He met Toth-Radawec at a gallery opening in Kent in 2004, four years after he returned to Northeast Ohio from Los Angeles. They married on Sept. 16, 2010, on the intensive-care floor at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where Radawec was undergoing treatment.

 

Toth-Radawec says the ceremony was a first in the history of the unit.

 

The show at Shaheen is a first attempt to come to grips with Radawec's artistic legacy. It admits the viewer into an aesthetic world shaped by one of the gentler artists who have worked in the region in recent decades. And it shows that Radawec's unusual sensibility lives on in the body of work he left behind.

 

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Bill Radawec
Bill Radawec, 1952 - 2011



Bill Radawec
Crack-Up (office, above window), 1998
latex, enamel Navajo paint, pencil, colored pencil, correction ink on paper
17 3/4 x 19 inches


Bill Radawec
A Study, 2009
wood, latex paint, HO scale figures
3 1/2 x 7 x 4 1/4 inches

Bill Radawec
Bird, 1996
latex paint on wood, acrylic and wood
dimensions variable


Bill Radawec
Out of the Blue, the Turn Around, 2008
acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches

Bill Radawec
Tinsel Town / Gallery, 1999
latex paint on canvas
72 x 24 inches


Bill Radawec
Soul Patch, c. 1999
fake grass, acrylic on wood and colored pencil on paper mounted on wood
dimensions variable

Bill Radawec
Wired, (Another Basket Case), 1996
steel, chain, hardware, epoxy chrom and wood
dimensions variable