Liu Wei Devourment 2019. Aluminum plate cement wood resin gand gypsum 235x180x225cm. Installation view of Venice Biennale May You Live in Interesting Times Venice 2019. 598x497 - Liu Wei: Invisible Cities to be Presented in the United States

Liu Wei, Devourment, 2019. Aluminum plate, cement, wood, resin, gand gypsum, 235x180x225cm. Installation view of Venice Biennale, May You Live in Interesting Times, Venice, 2019. Courtesy Liu Wei Studio and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong and Seoul. Photo by Roberto Marossi.

Liu Wei’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States, Invisible Cities, takes its title from Italian writer Italo Calvino’s novella of the same name. Presented across two institutions (moCa and the Cleveland Museum of Art) and developed in direct response to both spaces’ architecture, Invisible Cities presents a constellation of works that employs abstraction and fragmentation to create new narratives.

Like Calvino’s book—an imagined set of conversations between traveler Marco Polo and the emperor of the thirteenth-century Mongol Empire, Kublai Khan—Liu’s work examines how objects can function as physical traces and intangible links between the visible and invisible. From sculptures carved out of books, a series of cut-up and repurposed household appliances (a refrigerator, a washing machine, and a waffle maker), to architectural monuments made from rawhide dog chews, Liu asks us to examine the relationship between material and power. The installation of works in Invisible Cities echoes the cities Polo describes—fantastical, beguiling places where things are never as they seem—and emphasizes that the world we live in is infinitely larger than what we can see. Liu’s work is an evocative reminder that how we perceive and negotiate our relationship to place allows us to see the conditions of its very construction.

About the exhibition

Dates: September 13, 2019 — January 5, 2020

Venue: Mueller Family Gallery, Cohen Family Gallery, and Cahoon Lounge, moCa Cleveland

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s presentation of Invisible Cities runs from October 13, 2019–February 9, 2020.

Courtesy of the artist and moCa Cleveland, for further information please visit

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