December Issue of Aeqai Online

December 17th, 2016  |  Published in Announcements

The December issue of aeqai has just posted, and it’s a very eclectic group of columns we have for our readers this month.  I’m hoping to move aeqai into the field of cultural criticism, as well as art criticism, and we have a couple of splendid examples of that larger look at the culture this month, in a fascinating essay by Annabel Osberg in LA, who watched two old(er) hotels in Las Vegas being imploded, and shares with us her sense of the cultural relevance and meaning of these implosions within American culture and the  culture of Las Vegas itself: the writing’s spectacular and the ideas fascinate.  We also have an essay by LA critic Anise Stevens on what public arts education meant to her as a child, and what it could still mean in an evolving American culture; we’re all uncertain of the directions to which the arts are headed in a new administration in Washington: the arts were never once mentioned by either candidate during the campaign. And I’m also considering aeqai’s design critic Tim Karoleff’s long interview with young designer Colin Klimesh a form of cultural criticism; it’s a very long interview, but because of its length and the obvious friendship between these two millennials, we glean all sorts of things not only about the field of design but about other things of interest in millennial culture: the interview’s a bit like showing the rushes from a film that’s not been edited, and I made the editorial decision to leave it as it is: it will fascinate those interested in the field of design but also those looking for how design fits into the evolving culture of America, and how the two very creative millennial men talk, think, interact: some of it reminded me of Warhol’s films, frustrating at times but fascinating as well.  We hope that you enjoy it, too.

We also have splendid reviews this month, including two from Jonathan Kamholtz, one a review of the Roe Ehtridge photography show at Contemporary Arts Center, which was the central show of the 2016 FotoFocus, curated by New York Curator of FotoFocus Kevin Moore, and it really shows how Moore thinks and curates.  (This exhibition appears to have people either fascinated or bored, but Kamholtz’s ability to analyze the meanings and tropes within commercial photography are, as always, brilliant).  And Kamholtz also reviews the splendid Van Gogh painting show at Cincinnati Art Museum, which looks at the undergrowth in paintings by Van Gogh, Renoir, Millet and others painting in France during the Barbizon School and into Impressionism and beyond, and finds wonderful examples of how abstraction, one of the 20th century’s most exalted painting techniques, can be found in the undergrowth of the paintings under investigation.

Susan Byrnes returns with an excellent analysis of new sculpture by Alan Rath at Solway Gallery, and admirably connects the human and technical issues intertwined in these sculptures.  Annie Dell’Aria takes a similar analytical approach to two shows at the provocative Wave Pool Gallery, which attempt new looks at minimalism; these two reviews are exemplary models of what art criticism is and can do.  Cynthia Kukla’s analyses of two shows at The Carnegie, those by Edie Harper and Tony Dotson, are also fascinating, and Kukla connects the two shows admirably.  Chelsea Borgman’s review of a performance by El Meddeb at The Black Box at Contemporary Arts Center continues to show the increasing power of performance art, and aeqai hopes to cover as many performances at CAC as we’re able to.  Joelle Jamison covers two shows at Houston’s Longnecker Gallery; her approaches to criticism are part literary, and always manifest her underlying sense of humor (often a rare commodity in art writing).  Marlene Steele took a quick look at three shows at Manifest Gallery; she was there a couple  of days before the shows opened, but offers her usual astute analyses of the shows under review.  Aeqai fashion critic Jenny Perusek’s analysis of a young group Opening Ceremony, called Pageant of the People, is really engaging, and shows where fashion shows themselves may be headed, with more direct relevance to the general culture, so that her review is also a kind of cultural criticism.

We’ve included a small piece by late critic Fran Watson’s son, Larry Watson, which lets us know how we might be able to purchase some of Fran’s own paintings.

Laura Hobson writes a journalistic piece about the ways in which the photographs by Columbus artists Jim Friedman have been the center of all kinds of adjunct programming at Hebrew Union College’s Skirball Museum, directed by Abby Schwartz, as we think that Schwartz’s approach to maximizing use of an exhibition is exemplary. Jane Durrell reviews the new (enormous) photography book of work made by LA “bad boy” Tyler Shields, whose work is on display at Miller; the book is also available there.

Kent Krugh’s Fotofolio this month contains photographs by Craig Barber, and we offer two new poems by Maxwell Redder.  I also offer my annual “Best Fiction of the Year” list; 2016 was indeed an excellent year for new fiction, and it was a delight to write up this year’s list, which is quite an eclectic one.

We’re probably going to combine Jan/Feb., 2017, into one issue, as, based upon past years, shows stay up through mid-January before they change after the holidays, and we can give our readers a better issue by combining the two.  As always, we welcome your comments on our articles/reviews, encourage any year -end donations you’d be inclined to make (aeqai is a nonprofit): contact us at if you’re interested), and we wish you peaceful holidays and good cheer for the New Year. You can go directly to the site by clicking onto  We’ve been trying to fix the “subscribe” access to those who want to subscribe; if you get that annoying statement that  it’s unavailable, just send your email to me at and we’ll take care of it for you.

–Daniel Brown


Comments are closed.