NEW EXTENDED EXHIBITION DATES: July 1, 2020 – August 23, 2020

July 1, 2020 – August 23, 2020

A photograph “takes the world and makes it into something else,” says Aaron Rothman, whose interest lies in transformative rather than documentary photography. This exhibition surveys 10 years of Rothman’s studies of the landscape of the American West, a region with which he has a deep and long-standing personal relationship.

Don’t expect majestic, distant vistas of desert moonrises or sheer rock faces. Rothman instead looks up at the sky and down at scrubland, humbler rocks, and foliage. Through analog and digital photography and digital processing and printing, he transmutes these unpretentious fragments of nature into sensuous, sublimely beautiful images that hover between two- and three-dimensional space and vacillate between representation and abstraction.

Each of the 35 artworks in the exhibition began as a straightforward photograph; a few remain unaltered. Most, however, have been digitally manipulated using one of four processes. Values of light and dark are reversed in shots of the sky, rendering it darker at the horizon instead of lighter. In some landscapes, multiple views of a single scene, sometimes taken years apart, are layered to evoke a gentle dissonance of time and space. Shadowed areas in close-ups of plants and rocks are digitally replaced with lush, decorative colors. And in images of the Milky Way, Rothman generates a pointillist universe by letting sensor noise—an inescapable trait of digital cameras that photographers typically try to minimize—dominate the information being recorded, known as the signal.

Rothman’s images are not so much declarative statements as questions that investigate the relationship between the natural and the artificial. His journeys into the western landscape are explorations of digital photography’s ability to transform external reality into a subjective, imagined realm.


In accordance with safety protocols, Transformer Station is limiting the number of visitors in the museum. We are requiring visitors to register for FREE, timed “group” tickets.

Group tickets are available for admittance to the museum for two groups every thirty minutes during our visiting hours. These group tickets are for any visitor, up to a maximum of 5 visitors per group ticket. Social distancing and face masks are required while visiting the museum.

Visiting Hours:

Wednesday – Sunday:

11am – 5pm

Because of the increased demand in our neighborhood, Transformer Station now charging for parking. Parking will remain free for Transformer Station members who are visiting the museum. Just let us know that you are a member when you arrive. Join Transformer Station now!

Paying for parking by credit card is easy. Follow the instructions on the signage at the lot by phone or scanning a QR code. We look forward to increased access to convenient parking for our visitors and members.


Transformer Station cannot guarantee that any visitor will not contract COVID-19 while on Transformer Station premises. By visiting Transformer Station, all visitors voluntarily assume all risks related to COVID-19 exposure and accept and agree to abide by these guidelines and all other signage posted on Transformer Station premises. At least one visitor in the party must be over 18 years old; minors must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets can be requested for parties of no more than five (5). Transformer Station may deny any visitor entry once time slots and daily limits are reached.

Transformer Station will record visitors’ body temperature using a no-touch thermometer and deny entrance to anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Transformer Station may also ask visitors questions that address possible COVID-19 symptoms recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other national, state, and local authorities, and deny entrance to or remove any visitor or members of that visitor’s party who report having COVID-19 or who, at the Transformer Station’s sole discretion, exhibit possible COVID-19 symptoms.

Visitors two (2) years of age and older must wear a face covering, consisting of a mask or cloth secured to the face that covers the nose and mouth. Visitors are responsible for providing their own face covering or shield.

At all times, visitors must remain at least six (6) feet apart from others not in their party. Visitors must respect all posted signage and follow all Transformer Station rules and instructions. Any visitor, including members of that visitor’s party, who fails to follow Transformer Station signage, rules, and instructions, may be denied entry or be required to leave Transformer Station.

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Please call 216-938-5429 or email us at if you have questions. We welcome you back, and thank you for visiting.

This exhibition is organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is funded in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. This exhibition was supported in part by the Ohio Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Wildflowers (PVGM1), 2015. Aaron Rothman (American, b. 1974). Inkjet print; 50.8 x 63.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Rick Wester Fine Art, New York.

Installation images courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Art.