Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health to Unveil Original Artwork by James Rosenquist

Painting Commissioned by Steve Wynn and Inspired by the Center’s Mission


A gathering of donors and dignitaries will be on-hand tomorrow to see the unveiling of a dynamic painting by the great American Pop-artist James Rosenquist, commissioned by Las Vegas real estate and casino developer Steve Wynn for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

The painting is entitled “Cervello Spazio Cosmico,” which means “brain space” in Italian, and represents the similar complexities of both space and the human brain. The massive oil-on-canvas painting, which is 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide, will be displayed in the Keep Memory Alive Event Center.

“Delivering high quality healthcare requires not only skilled medical expertise, but an environment that promotes healing,” said Delos M. “Toby” Cosgrove, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at Cleveland Clinic. “We strongly believe every dimension of patient care should be addressed in order to have the greatest impact and improve outcomes.”

In Mr. Rosenquist’s signature style of large-scale paintings, “Cervello Spazio Cosmico” depicts a human skull and brain atop a bed of soft rosettes, supported by a mesh of swirling metallic shapes. A sky is dotted with bursts of light, which the artist states reflects “…the mysterious infinity of cosmic space.”

After winning a scholarship to the Art Student’s League in New York in 1955, Rosenquist established himself as a major contemporary artist. He has exhibited extensively since 1962 and has had numerous solo exhibitions and retrospectives worldwide. Rosenquist is represented in museum collections internationally including the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; the Tate Museum, London; and the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. He was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the National Council on the Arts in 1978 and was awarded the Chevalier l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France in 1992. Rosenquist lives and works in Florida.

“Mr. Rosenquist truly captured the essence of Center for Brain Health and why we all are so committed to this cause,” said Larry Ruvo, Chairman of Keep Memory Alive. “We hope to better treat and ultimately prevent cognitive disorders that devastate millions of families through exhaustive research and our distinctive approach to patient care. We hope to retain as much learning about the brain and its intricacies to uncover more answers to those questions every day.”

Rosenquist’s piece adds to the Center’s recognition in the national and international art community, and to Cleveland Clinic’s impressive art collection, which totals more than 4,000 pieces. The Center was designed by Frank Gehry, the acclaimed Los Angeles-based architect best known for designing the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

“Knowing this piece would reside in such a beautiful, cathedral-like space, I was inspired to create something that would be memorable and eye-catching for the venue, while also providing hope to patients who seek care here,” said Rosenquist.

The painting will be unveiled at an invitation-only evening event at the Center. World-renowned chef and restaurateur Joel Robuchon, together with Alex Stratta and Paul Bartolotta, will plan and prepare the meal for guests. Rosenquist will be in attendance to share insight into his work, which was made possible by a generous gift from Steve Wynn.

“We’re so proud that the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health calls Las Vegas home, and I’m thrilled to be able to support its mission with this gift,” said Steve Wynn. “I believe in the wonderful work happening there and in my dear friend Larry Ruvo’s vision for eradicating the disease that took his father, Lou.”

For more information on the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, visit Further background on the Cleveland Clinic art program is available at

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. It was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. About 2,100 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. In addition to its main campus, Cleveland Clinic operates nine community hospitals and 15 Family Health Centers in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and opening in 2012, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2009, there were more than 4.6 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 170,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 100 countries.

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