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Performing Masks: Gillian Wearing at Cincinnati Art Museum

October 28th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, October 2018

Performing Masks: Gillian Wearing at Cincinnati Art Museum

Masks serve multiple metaphorical and social functions in the world. In ancient Rome, wax masks were cast directly from the faces of the dead, preserving the countenance beyond the life of the body. Ritual societies often employ masks spiritually, transforming the wearer into a being from the spirit world as part of a rite of […]

Reverent Encounters: “Re-Adorned” | Catharsis at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

October 28th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, October 2018

Reverent Encounters: "Re-Adorned" | Catharsis at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Tucked into a passageway on the second floor of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s new building, re-Adorned | Catharsis displays the lavish results of collaboration among artistic specialties and diverse media. Photographer Tina Gutierrez and clothing designer Da’Mon R. Butler (a.k.a. NOMAD3176) mix cultures and materials in ways both delicate and flamboyant, bringing her Cuban-Appalachian sensibilities […]

I’m Also Going to Breathe: Ann Segal’s “Through the Lens of Time” at Cincinnati Mini Microcinema, October 6-October 20, 2018

October 28th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, October 2018

I’m Also Going to Breathe: Ann Segal’s “Through the Lens of Time” at Cincinnati Mini Microcinema, October 6-October 20, 2018

Ann Segal hasn’t done an ad for the iPhone camera, but—if it weren’t for her decision a long time ago to walk away from the commercial side of photography—she could. For the last 10 years of a 45 year career of taking photographs, she has exclusively used her iPhone, with remarkable success. In a professional […]

Preservation Par Excellence: Union Terminal Restored For Posterity

October 28th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, October 2018

Preservation Par Excellence: Union Terminal Restored For Posterity

One of America’s most architecturally significant buildings will be reopening in November after a substantial $230 million restoration by GBBN Architects: Cincinnati’s Union Terminal.   Completed in 1933 at the height of the Great Depression, this Art Deco palatial masterpiece was dedicated to passenger railroad transportation and travel at a scale in size and exquisiteness, with […]

“Paris to New York: Photographs by Eugène Atget and Berenice Abbott,” Taft Museum of Art, through January 20, 2019

October 28th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, October 2018

“Paris to New York: Photographs by Eugène Atget and Berenice Abbott,” Taft Museum of Art, through January 20, 2019

In my mind Eugène Atget (1857-1927) and Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) are intrinsically linked, like peanut butter and jelly, or, for the grownups, gin and tonic. So I was surprised when Kevin Moore, FotoFocus artistic director and curator and curator of “Paris to New York: Photographs by Eugène Atget and Berenice Abbott” at the Taft Museum […]

From Heart to Brush

October 8th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, September 2018

From Heart to Brush

Collecting Calligraphy: Arts of the Islamic World Cincinnati Art Museum  September 7, 2018–January 27, 2019   Long before the Middle East came into the political spotlight in recent decades, the Cincinnati Art Museum has been collecting Islamic calligraphy. It has done so since the 1940s.  While Islamic calligraphy was originally developed to nourish and enlighten […]

Outside In: Chris Engman’s Prospect and Refuge at the Weston

October 8th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, September 2018

Outside In: Chris Engman’s Prospect and Refuge at the Weston

Chris Engman’s Prospect and Refuge teaches us not to trust our eyes. On display at the Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery through November 18, the exhibit unsettles our senses of depth and scale, interior and exterior, origin and reproduction. It ushers us into artificial spaces and then immerses us in the tropes […]

Artistic Detritus, the Circulation of Power, and Intervening in the Historic Record at The 8th Floor

October 8th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, September 2018

Artistic Detritus, the Circulation of Power, and Intervening in the  Historic Record at The 8th Floor

“…[power is] a multiple and mobile field of force relations where far-reaching, but never completely stable effects of domination are produced.”[1] –Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality Sedimentations: Assemblage as Social Repair is the most recent exhibition at The 8th Floor, an alternative art space affiliated with the Rubin Foundation and dedicated to expanding artistic […]

“Flyover Country” at the Xavier University Art Gallery, September 29-October 27, 2018

October 8th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, September 2018

“Flyover Country” at the Xavier University Art Gallery, September 29-October 27, 2018

There is nothing ordinary about Erika NJ Allen’s photographs of downtown Cincinnati. Taken with a pinhole camera set at an exposure of nine days, the city looks as if it has been underwater for a millennium. We are not likely to take the pictures’ minimal suggestions of color for granted. It is unsettling how they […]

As American as Whale Oil: “Loomings” by Christopher Volpe

October 8th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, September 2018

As American as Whale Oil: “Loomings” by Christopher Volpe

In high school and college classrooms, Herman Melville’s 1851 novel “Moby-Dick, or, the Whale” is commonly used to illustrate Romantic and Naturalist themes. While it’s because of Keats that I picture Romanticism as a gasping tendon writhing under the holiness of the heart’s affections, my image of Naturalism—an ocean wave indifferently carrying us, screaming, an […]

Storytelling Pencil: “Make Way for Ducklings: The Art of Robert McCloskey,” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, July 20-September 9, 2018

August 26th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, July/August 2018

Storytelling Pencil: “Make Way for Ducklings: The Art of Robert McCloskey,” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, July 20-September 9, 2018

Any way you look at it, there was a lot going on in American culture in the 1940s and 1950s. There was a hot war and then a Cold War. American heavy industry had never been more dominant at home and abroad, and union membership was at an all-time high. Car manufacturing and ownership was […]

Last Battles: The Persistence of Vision at DAAP’s Meyers Gallery

August 26th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, July/August 2018

Last Battles: The Persistence of Vision at DAAP’s Meyers Gallery

Gallery exhibits often feature artists at a specific stage of their career, a period marked by consistent subjects or stylistic choices. Some shows take a more contrastive approach, capturing the creative process at distinct moments and inviting audiences to consider the evolution of perspective, tonality, and preferred media. Less common, however, are shows that feature […]

A Humane Touch in Product Placement

August 26th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, July/August 2018

A Humane Touch in Product Placement

Over the last year, Thunder-Sky, Inc. has been probing visual culture vis-à-vis consumers, products, and marketing, as this year’s theme has revolved around “Product Placement,” with the gallery presenting exhibitions that frame production and commerce. Certain shows over the last year at this gallery have been right on the mark regarding pop art aesthetics and […]

“Work/Surface: Matt Lynch and Curtis Goldstein” and “Winold Reiss: Studies for the Union Terminal Worker Murals,” Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery, through August 26, 2018

August 26th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, July/August 2018

“Work/Surface: Matt Lynch and Curtis Goldstein” and “Winold Reiss: Studies for the Union Terminal Worker Murals,” Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery, through August 26, 2018

Usually when the topic of manufacturing in the U.S. comes up, it is as a lament of jobs lost to automation or outsourcing. Two Ohio-based artists beg to differ. In “Work/Surface” at the Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery, Matt Lynch and Curtis Goldstein present a suite of 10 scenes of factories operating […]

The Road to Iconicity: “Ansel Adams: A Photographer’s Evolution,” at the Taft Museum of Art, June 23-September 16, 2018

August 26th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, July/August 2018

The Road to Iconicity: “Ansel Adams: A Photographer’s Evolution,” at the Taft Museum of Art, June 23-September 16, 2018

One way to see the goal of the Ansel Adams show at the Taft is that it traces the trajectory of Adams’s aesthetic and accomplishments from some of his earliest Pictorialist photos in the 1920s to a climax of sorts with his iconic “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico” (1941). As the show begins, Adams is a […]

An Otherworldly Journey Through the Museum of Jurassic Technology

July 1st, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, June 2018

An Otherworldly Journey Through the Museum of Jurassic Technology

Los Angeles is home to so many eccentric museums that the city practically has its own ever-growing genre of weird museums with sundry specialized themes ranging from ice cream to death.  Among these, one of the oldest and most intriguing is the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Everything about this institution is so otherworldly that it […]

Decay and Resilience: Andrew Borowiec, “From the Heartland,” at the Iris Book Cafe and Gallery

July 1st, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, June 2018

Decay and Resilience: Andrew Borowiec, “From the Heartland,” at the Iris Book Cafe and Gallery

It’s an ordinary day in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, about a dozen miles from Pittsburgh. Some leaves are turning yellow; there is a touch of fall in the air. The garbage has been collected and the mail has not yet been delivered (the cans are upside down along the edge of the street and the flags […]

Chris Larson’s Entropy

July 1st, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, June 2018

Chris Larson’s Entropy

Minnesota-based multi-media artist Chris Larson’s work “Function is Redundant” is displayed at Cincinnati’s Contemporary Art Center and runs until September 2, 2018. In this large display of single and multi-channel video art installations, sculptures, paintings, and intermedia, Larson’s work incorporates large-scale ethereal photography, drawings and sound to supplement his documented process of structural abrogation. As […]

“Women to Watch – 2018” at the Riffe Gallery in Columbus

July 1st, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, June 2018

“Women to Watch - 2018” at the Riffe Gallery in Columbus

The Riffe Gallery’s “Women to Watch Ohio – 2018” exhibit highlights ten female Ohio artists working in metal.  The show was inspired by the selection of four Ohio artists shortlisted for the exhibition “Heavy Metal”, the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ (NMWA) Women to Watch biennial. Reto Thuring, Curator of Contemporary Art at […]

Developing More than Nostalgia: “Analog Culture” and “Survivor’s Remorse” at Harvard Art Museums

July 1st, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, June 2018

Developing More than Nostalgia: “Analog Culture” and “Survivor’s Remorse” at Harvard Art Museums

The Harvard Art Museums and curator Jennifer Quick have pulled off a minor miracle with “Analog Culture,” an understated, poetic show of heart through a lens of craftsmanship, careful discipline, and the wavering line between producer and artist. It’s rare to find a show that is at once pointedly educational, culturally searing, historically significant, and […]

Divinity Affirmations – Light, Luminescence, and Liminal Spaces with Tom Bacher

May 13th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, April/May 2018

Divinity Affirmations – Light, Luminescence, and Liminal Spaces with Tom Bacher

  Tom Bacher’s Per-40ming Trans-4-ming Phos-4-s-cent Paintings, which is showing at the Weston Art Gallery until June 10, 2018, displays a continuation of Bacher’s hyperrealist quotidian aesthetic re: luminescent paintings that find subjects in object studies, portraiture, and documentation processes. As the two-channel corridor video “Painting with Light” (2018) by YellowHaus Productions elucidates, Bacher’s exhibition […]

Ragnar Kjartansson’s “The Visitors” (2012) at Cincinnati Art Museum

May 13th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, April/May 2018

Ragnar Kjartansson’s "The Visitors" (2012) at Cincinnati Art Museum

Contemporary art has a number of interpretive frameworks, attempts to historicize the present moment that both distinguish it from what came before and draw genealogical lines from established art historical concepts. One branch of this diverse range of concepts is the return to romanticism in what some critics have referred to as New Sincerity, Post-postmodernism, […]

“Twisted/Patrick Dougherty Entwined at the Taft,” Taft Museum of Art

May 13th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, April/May 2018

“Twisted/Patrick Dougherty Entwined at the Taft,” Taft Museum of Art

Something odd happened on the front lawn of The Taft Museum of Art. The world-renowned sculptor Patrick Dougherty, with the help of 150 volunteers, twisted and turned six tons of willow-tree saplings into Far Flung,a sprawling sculpture that visitors are encouraged to touch, walk through, or even sit a spell in. In keeping with The […]

Skin Trade: “Cagnacci: Painting Beauty and Death,” Cincinnati Art Museum, March 23-July 22, 2018

May 13th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, April/May 2018

Skin Trade: “Cagnacci: Painting Beauty and Death,” Cincinnati Art Museum, March 23-July 22, 2018

  You can be forgiven if you’d never heard of Guido Cagnacci before going to see the tiny but brilliant exhibit of three of his works at the Cincinnati Art Museum. You won’t find him in your Janson, or, for that matter, in many more weighty volumes devoted to Italian painters of the 17th century. […]

Kinship Threads: Matt and Paul Coors at the Clay Street Press Gallery

May 13th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, April/May 2018

Kinship Threads: Matt and Paul Coors at the Clay Street Press Gallery

Matt and Paul Coors founded the Publico Gallery in Over-the-Rhine in 2003 and ran the operation until it closed in 2008. Ten years later, the Coors brothers are displaying their own works at the Clay Street Press Gallery, just a few steps from their former space. The show highlights the artists’ shared commitment to conceptual […]

“Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection,” Taft Museum of Art, through May 27, 2018.

March 31st, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, March 2018

“Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection,” Taft Museum of Art, through May 27, 2018.

Fashion is a fickle lover, and it jilted Louis Comfort Tiffany at the end of his career in the 1930s. He had been the American exemplar of Art Nouveau, or “new art,” which emerged in Europe in the 1890s after a century of revivals. But “new” eventually grows old, and by 1910 its curvilinear and sinuous lines […]

Eastside Processional: “Not to Scale” at the Carnegie

March 31st, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, March 2018

Eastside Processional: "Not to Scale" at the Carnegie

From March 2 through April 29, 2018, the Carnegie in Covington, Kentucky is spotlighting an emphatically local meditation on matters of national concern. The museum’s Hutson Gallery features the work of Anissa R. Lewis, Mary Clare Rietz, and a host of citizen-artists from Covington’s Eastside neighborhood, all of them proclaiming the dignity of the community […]

An Interrogation of Abstract Markings: Hans Hartung’s Recent Survey at Perrotin, New York

March 31st, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, March 2018

An Interrogation of Abstract Markings:  Hans Hartung’s Recent Survey at Perrotin, New York

Perrotin’s opening exhibition in New York for 2018, Hans Hartung: A Constant Storm. Works from 1922 to 1989, featured a retrospective assessment of one of the pioneers of Lyrical Abstraction in Europe, including over 60 major works. This exhibition—which was on view from January 12 until February 18—marked the most extensive presentation of the artist’s […]

Stephen Towns Quilts at The Baltimore Museum of Ar

March 31st, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, March 2018

Stephen Towns Quilts at The Baltimore Museum of Ar

Two of the Stephen Towns’ gorgeous quilt pieces hang in an abbreviated hallway of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Rumination and Reckoning, the Baltimore artist’s debut solo museum show, is an intimate collection of his quilts from a recent, breakthrough body of fabric works, including a few new, unseen pieces. Two of these new works […]

Historical Materialism and Survey: Malcolm Cochran’s History Lessons

March 31st, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, March 2018

Historical Materialism and Survey: Malcolm Cochran’s History Lessons

The Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center features three works by American installation artist Malcolm Cochran: History Lessons (2011), Requiem (2018), and Washing Feet (1996-97).  History Lessons features a looming fixture – a colossal poplar, steel, and polished whitewash stainless steel mirror. The base of the mirrors’ bracket is reminiscent of a sleek vessel, […]

(Im)material Culture, Alienation Affect, and the Jeffrey Cortland Jones’ Curious Social Experiment

February 19th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, January/February 2018

(Im)material Culture, Alienation Affect, and the Jeffrey Cortland Jones’ Curious Social Experiment

Traversing the Art Academy of Cincinnati’s galleries via the looming, metallic stairwell, Covergys Gallery is perhaps the easiest to miss between the larger Pearlman and Childlaw Galleries. A sweeping horizontal pocket within a wall, the second floor gallery is at once invitational and necessarily participatory – it simply can not be ignored, as it effectively […]

Kit-Bashing and Assembling Political Art: Glenn Kaino: A Shout within a Storm at The Contemporary Arts Center, November 17, 2017-April 22, 2018

February 19th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, January/February 2018

Kit-Bashing and Assembling Political Art: Glenn Kaino: A Shout within a Storm at The Contemporary Arts Center, November 17, 2017-April 22, 2018

One of the least sculptural of the wondrous works at the mid-career retrospective of sculptor Glenn Kaino’s work at the Contemporary Arts Center is a two-dimensional graphic that looks like an ancient map that has been housed in an archive with a leaky roof. Shapes and outlines are beautiful but discontinuous; areas that might represent […]

Review of Jens Jensen at Cincinnati Art Galleries

February 19th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, January/February 2018

Review of Jens Jensen at Cincinnati Art Galleries

Cincinnati Art Galleries has managed to represent the estate of the late modernist painter Jens Jensen, and an exhibition of this artist’s work is currently on view at Cincinnati Art Galleries downtown.  It’s difficult to describe the delight and joy at looking at an excellent modernist in today’s highly politicized and digitalized postmodern world: Jensen’s […]

Bridging Inter-Spaces and Navigating Contemporary Feminist Art

February 19th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, January/February 2018

Bridging Inter-Spaces and Navigating Contemporary Feminist Art

  Planned prior to Trump’s presidency, the 21C Museum Hotel’s The Future is Female displays a myriad of international female artists – ranging in their modalities and sociopolitical concerns – whose works bridge third and fourth-wave feminist concerns. Built on the foreground of second-wave feminism’s civil rights advances, the third-wave occupies subjectivity and inclusive diversity, […]

Profile, Linda Schwartz

February 19th, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, January/February 2018

Profile, Linda Schwartz

“I like artists and scientists,” Linda Schwartz told me.  We were seated at the dining table in her art-filled house, with tea and a barely touched plate of cookies, talking about her career in art. The other two occupants of the house, a pair of small but stocky, very vocal black dogs, had been shushed […]

Men Looking: “Albrecht Durer: The Age of Reformation and Renaissance” Cincinnati Art Museum, November 17-February 11, 2018

December 23rd, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, December 2017

Men Looking: “Albrecht Durer: The Age of Reformation and Renaissance” Cincinnati Art Museum, November 17-February 11, 2018

The Reformation had its 500th anniversary this year. A movement that changed the ways Europeans read, worshipped, traded, and slaughtered each other, it also had the potential to change the nature of art. In part, this is because the various Protestant churches that sought to reform the Catholic hegemony tended, among other things, to take […]

Frank Herrmann, Slayer of Dragons Solo Exhibition, “New Works”, Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts December 1, 2017 through January 28, 2018

December 23rd, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, December 2017

Frank Herrmann, Slayer of Dragons Solo Exhibition, "New Works", Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts December 1, 2017 through January 28, 2018

Painter extraordinaire Frank Herrmann means what he says. In a 2016 interview, Herrmann stated: “Never wait for the great idea or wait for the perfect moment when the work has stalled. You have to work through those moments, that may be depressing but just keep working.”1 Herrmann takes his own advice; his vivid new exhibition […]

Étranger Résident: La Collection Marin Karmitz (Resident Alien: the Marin Karmitz Collection), La maison rouge, Paris, October 15, 2017 – January 21, 2018

December 23rd, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, December 2017

Étranger Résident: La Collection Marin Karmitz (Resident Alien: the Marin Karmitz Collection), La maison rouge, Paris, October 15, 2017 - January 21, 2018

Bittersweet is a term often used to describe simultaneous positive and negative feelings. What I felt recently upon leaving the exhibition Étranger Résident: La Collection Marin Karmitz at Paris’ La mason rouge requires a stronger term, something connoting being both energized and enervated, for quite different reasons. Since it opened ten years ago La mason rouge [lower […]

“A Sense of Home: New Quilts by Heather Jones,” Taft Museum of Art, through February 18, 2018.

December 23rd, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, December 2017

“A Sense of Home: New Quilts by Heather Jones,” Taft Museum of Art, through February 18, 2018.

“A Sense of Home: New Quilts by Heather Jones” complements the Taft Museum of Art’s “Elegant Geometry: British and American Mosaic Patchwork Quilts” exhibition. (See aeqai.com, November 2017.) Jones sees modern quilting as “look(ing) at traditional quilting and then do(ing) its own thing.” 1 For this quilt maker, “its own thing” marries tradition and contemporary abstract art in quilts […]

Best Fiction of 2017

December 23rd, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, December 2017

Best Fiction of 2017

In spite of entire months going by with little fiction of note, 2017 did give serious readers some terrific fiction.  Part of the problem is that publications offering book reviews have radically different ideas about what’s worth reading.  And it’s an important time to be on the lookout for political correctness and other ideologies common […]

Framing the Air: “Cole Carothers: 40 Years & New Works” at Caza Sikes, November 3-27, 2017

November 26th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, November 2017

Framing the Air: “Cole Carothers: 40 Years & New Works” at Caza Sikes, November 3-27, 2017

As you walk into Caza Sikes in Oakley to see the ambitious mini-retrospective of Cole Carothers’s paintings, you are greeted by a large scale self-portrait called “Livestrong” (2005). In it, he is standing in what for many of his paintings is his home away from home, the corner of his studio. It is brashly hung—it […]

“Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry,” National Gallery of Art, through Jan. 21, 2018

November 26th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, November 2017

“Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry,” National Gallery of Art, through Jan. 21, 2018

I think one of the appeals of 17th-century Dutch genre painting is that the narratives they present are familiar to us.  Lutes may be in short supply today, but guitars and other stringed instruments abound. Women still fuss at their toilette.  Today we read emails on our phones, instead of having the tactile experience of holding […]

How a Czechoslovakian Artist Promoted the Modern Woman Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau, Dayton Art Institute September 16 through December 31, 2017

November 26th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, November 2017

How a Czechoslovakian Artist Promoted the Modern Woman Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau, Dayton Art Institute September 16 through December 31, 2017

Like Impressionism, with its wild brushstrokes and look of abandon in representing the world shocked the smug Parisian Salon art community, so too, Art Noveau originally was intended to be moderne, to usher in the new century, the twentieth century.  But now, oh those erotic cascades of hair in Alphonse Mucha’s women smoking in Job […]

Clavilux: Paintings by Cedric Michael Cox at Cincinnati Art Underground

November 26th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, November 2017

Clavilux:  Paintings by Cedric Michael Cox at Cincinnati Art Underground

In his most characteristic paintings, Cedric Cox fractures the world in order to bring it to a new whole.  The recent work of this gifted local artist is on display in a solo exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Underground through January 13, 2018.  The exhibit includes twelve large canvases and several smaller works.  Cox completed […]

“Elegant Geometry: British and American Mosaic Patchwork Quilts,” Taft Museum of Art, through January 21, 2018

November 26th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, November 2017

“Elegant Geometry: British and American Mosaic Patchwork Quilts,” Taft Museum of Art, through January 21, 2018

Girls aren’t good at math, but don’t tell that to the makers of the 19 mosaic patchwork quilts, made between 1776 and1890 in England and America, in “Elegant Geometry: British and American Mosaic Patchwork Quilts.” Mosaic patchwork, sometimes called “paper piecing,” originated in Britain at the beginning of the 18th century and was carried to America by British colonists. Its […]

Swoon, a survey, the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati September 22, 2017 through February 25, 2018

October 29th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, October 2017

Swoon, a survey, the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati September 22, 2017 through February 25, 2018

Swoon makes magic. Swoon stirs souls. The world needs more Swoon. I get cynical about politically inspired art much of the time.  Such art is often self-serving (great way for an artist to get a solo show in our hyper-correct gallery and museum environments.)  Or simply, it is handy for an artist to use the […]

Serenading the Bones: Animal Magnetism at Wave Pool Gallery

October 29th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, October 2017

Serenading the Bones: Animal Magnetism at Wave Pool Gallery

Whether appearing in pictorial narratives of the hunt or anthropomorphic representations of cultural traditions, the iconography of the nonhuman animal stalks the pathways of human epistemology. Wave Pool Gallery’s Animal Magnetism alludes powerfully to that history, not as a culminating insight but as the backdrop against which to make more subversive arguments. Those arguments posit […]

A Tale of Two Art Festivals: the Duality of ArtPrize Nine

October 29th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, October 2017

A Tale of Two Art Festivals: the Duality of ArtPrize Nine

Art fairs, biennials, and public art festivals, on the rise since the 1990s, define much of the post-1989 international art world. From Venice to New Orleans to Gwangju and everywhere in between, urban centers transform into art world Meccas and back again all over the globe, creating a map of flickering lights and a web […]

When Size Matters: “Small Paintings from the Taft Collection,” Taft Museum of Art, July 14-November 5, 2017

October 29th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, October 2017

When Size Matters: “Small Paintings from the Taft Collection,” Taft Museum of Art, July 14-November 5, 2017

  In the Music Room at the Taft, all of the paintings are grand. A few are truly monumental. In the Taft’s Sinton Room right now is an exhibition of another sort of painting, eight of them in all, the largest dimension of which is just a hair over a foot and a half tall. […]

Transformed

October 29th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, October 2017

Transformed

The title of the Cincinnati Art Museum’s new exhibition showcasing the work of Dutch fashion designer Iris Van Herpen is very aptly named Transforming Fashion.  Van Herpen’s creations have changed the face of fashion design while redefining what it means to be a fashion designer in the 21st century.  The exhibit itself has left this […]

Report from the 2017 Contemporary Art Grand Tour: Venice, Münster, Kassel

September 23rd, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, September 2017

Report from the 2017 Contemporary Art Grand Tour: Venice, Münster, Kassel

Summer 2017 may very well be one of the most important art seasons in recent memory. In the wake of political turmoil and the record sale of a Basquiat for $110.5 million at auction, the art fairs of Europe aligned to create a Grand Tour for contemporary art devotees around the world at a moment […]

Crackling Surfaces: Anthony Luensman’s “New Works”

September 23rd, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, September 2017

Crackling Surfaces: Anthony Luensman’s "New Works"

A slow-burning ambiguity inhabits the title of Anthony Luensman’s New Works, which now hang at the Clay Street Press Gallery in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine district. Most plainly, the pieces are new in the sense of making their first public appearance, of being still fresh in an era when things age at breakneck pace. The offspring of […]

Painting is All Fun and Games, Joseph Winterhalter at DAAP’s Philip Meyers Jr. Memorial Gallery

September 23rd, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, September 2017

Painting is All Fun and Games, Joseph Winterhalter at DAAP’s Philip Meyers Jr. Memorial Gallery

  Joseph Winterhalter: Painting consists of a suite of thirteen new works by this Cincinnati artist; five paintings and eight works on paper dated 2016 and 2017. For this show, Winterhalter focuses his conceptual gaze on the life and ideas of Guy Debord and Joe Strummer, men of successive generations who were both influential political […]

The Artist as Cultural Producer, a Defense of New Media, and Re-Shaping Public Attitudes about Contemporary Art

September 23rd, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, September 2017

The Artist as Cultural Producer, a Defense of New Media, and Re-Shaping Public Attitudes about Contemporary Art

On September 12, 1940 four French boys stumbled into a complex network of caves in southwestern France. Their discovery of innumerable Paleolithic cave paintings dating to 17-15,000 BCE (Figure 1) soon led to excavations of the Lascaux cave system and in turn significantly altered scholars’ conceptions of human development.1 As evidenced by the wall paintings […]

The Pushcart of Ideas: A Conversation with Danny Brown

September 23rd, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, September 2017

The Pushcart of Ideas: A Conversation with Danny Brown

Aeqai’s Editor-in-Chief, Daniel Brown, recently received a Lifetime Achievement award from Marquis Who’s Who, which has been recognizing American accomplishments in a variety of fields since 1899. I sat down with Danny earlier this month and we talked informally about his perspective on the art world and some of the various roles he has had […]

When Landscape was Real Estate: “A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America,” Cincinnati Art Museum June 10-September 3, 2017

August 6th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, July/August 2017

When Landscape was Real Estate: “A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America,” Cincinnati Art Museum June 10-September 3, 2017

  A careful visitor to the Cincinnati Art Museum’s very substantial exhibition of paintings, sculptures, furniture, documents, implements, and advertisements of many sorts might well leave with no clearer idea about what constitutes “folk art” than when he or she came in. What, exactly, are we looking at? We’re not even sure what to call […]

“Other Wordly,” YWCA Women’s Art Gallery, through September 21, 2017

August 6th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, July/August 2017

“Other Wordly,” YWCA Women’s Art Gallery, through September 21, 2017

  Mounting the stairs at the YWCA Women’s Art Gallery to see “Other Wordly,” the word that came to mind was “charming” as I encountered the paintings of one of three artists in the exhibition: Laine Bachman. Her hyper-realistic paintings have a fairytale quality, enchanting and entrancing. In her In the Undergrowth, (2011, acrylic on canvas, 46” […]

Angela Teng’s “To Have and to Hold” at Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, BC

August 6th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, July/August 2017

Angela Teng’s "To Have and to Hold" at Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, BC

Angela Teng’s To Have and to Hold opened on the 13th of May at Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, BC, and closed on the 17th of June. Teng’s monolithic crocheted paintings are composed of literal strands of acrylic paint, effectively colliding materiality and paint in the substrate of work that historically, and in many contemporary contexts too, […]

Sleeping Clowns, Screaming Color, and Transcendent Stairwells: Ugo Rondinone at the Contemporary Arts Center

August 6th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, July/August 2017

Sleeping Clowns, Screaming Color, and Transcendent Stairwells: Ugo Rondinone at the Contemporary Arts Center

Ugo Rondinone, born and based in Switzerland, is known for sculptures and installations with alternately an absence or an overabundance of color. Referred to by the artist quite literally as “night” and “day,” one oeuvre contains mostly greys, browns, and earth tones while the other—what’s on view now at the CAC—a vibrant spectrum of bright, […]

Kingdoms and Horses: “Treasures of British Painting 1400-2000: The Berger Collection,” Taft Museum of Art June 10-October 1, 2017

August 6th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, July/August 2017

Kingdoms and Horses: “Treasures of British Painting 1400-2000: The Berger Collection,” Taft Museum of Art June 10-October 1, 2017

One doesn’t immediately think of the British for their heritage of great painting. As Britain rose as a great mercantile power starting in the 16th century, it had to import painters, typically from Northern Europe, to their isolated island. For two hundred years, those foreigners largely defined English visual accomplishments and taste. British portraiture never […]

Half an Index: “Signature Scheurer: A Retrospective of the Works of Michael Scheurer” at the Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery, April 28-June 18, 2017

June 10th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, May/June 2017

Half an Index: “Signature Scheurer: A Retrospective of the Works of Michael Scheurer”  at the Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery, April 28-June 18, 2017

Sometime in the 1980s, Michael Scheurer came across an Italian toy called a Puncherino. A Puncherino is a little like what in my neighborhood we called a BoLo, a toy for one which had a lightweight wooden paddle with a rubber ball attached by an elastic cord (always the first thing to break). The difference, […]

The Way of Everyday Life: Clint Woods at the KHAC

June 10th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, May/June 2017

The Way of Everyday Life: Clint Woods at the KHAC

“The work of art employs a triggering device – a call to seek and reflect – that makes conscious what has been buried in the unconscious, drawing the viewer into awareness.” Clint Woods Cincinnati based artist and designer, Clint Woods, is currently exhibiting in the Lindner Gallery at the Kennedy Heights Art Center. Woods declares […]

“Wordly: John M. Bennett/Fred Ellenberger/Avril Thurman,” The Carnegie, closed

June 10th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, May/June 2017

“Wordly: John M. Bennett/Fred Ellenberger/Avril Thurman,” The Carnegie, closed

Curated by Peter Huttinger, “Wordly” is the perfect title for this exhibition featuring John M. Bennett, Fred Ellenberger, and Avril Thurman and focusing on words as text or graphic elements. The word play is delicious. And the location is particularly apt as The Carnegie in Covington is one of the 2,509 libraries built by the […]

Would you like a Lozenge? A Studio Visit with Angela Heisch

June 10th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, May/June 2017

Would you like a Lozenge? A Studio Visit with Angela Heisch

As this past semester of graduate school ended, I was not sure if I would make the trip to New York or not. My anxiety was forestalling my plans as it often does, and I was tether balling the idea back and forth and around in my mind with heavy hands. Travel always makes me […]

Profile of Sara Pearce

June 10th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, May/June 2017

Profile of Sara Pearce

Sara Caswell Pearce makes art with verve, gusto and infinite care. She delights in doing it. This artist is most regularly a print maker and collage artist, and she works in two smallish rooms across the hallway from one another on the upper floor of Brazee Studios in Oakley. Pearce and her husband live only […]

Subject Matters: Harvey Osterhoudt and William Renschler at the Iris BookCafé

May 6th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, April 2017

Subject Matters: Harvey Osterhoudt and  William Renschler at the Iris BookCafé

When Harvey Osterhoudt and William Renschler worked together at the Indiana University Art Museum in the 1970s, they began a dialogue about photography that would inform their work for the next forty years. Through the early months of 2017, Over-the-Rhine’s Iris BookCafé featured the results of that conversation in Subject Matters, a two-man show of […]

Transcending Reality: The Woodcuts of Kōsaka Gajin through May 7, 2017 at the Cincinnati Art Museum

May 6th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, April 2017

Transcending Reality: The Woodcuts of Kōsaka Gajin through May 7, 2017 at the Cincinnati Art Museum

Cincinnati continues to harness the landscape lion: the Taft Museum exhibition of 2016, Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh: Impressions of Landscape and two more stunners, the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Picturing the West: Masterworks of 19th-Century Landscape Photography and Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth. Anyone fortunate enough to have seen all three exhibitions last year must certainly […]

Got to Draw: “Drawn: 4th Annual International Exhibition of Contemporary Drawing” at Manifest Gallery, April 21-May 19, 2017

May 6th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, April 2017

Got to Draw: “Drawn: 4th Annual International Exhibition of Contemporary Drawing”  at Manifest Gallery, April 21-May 19, 2017

As you work your way through the drawings on view in the pleasant warren of rooms at Manifest Gallery, something wonderful happens when you reach Lucas Bianchi’s “Self Portrait in Studio” (2016). The energy of Bianchi’s drawing is everywhere in evidence, and it tells you this is a young man mad about drawing. We’ve interrupted […]

COLOR & RHYTHM at the Taft Museum of Art

May 6th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, April 2017

COLOR & RHYTHM at the Taft Museum of Art

  Cincinnati Artist Cedric Michael Cox is exploring selected pieces from the collection of the Taft Museum of Art in his a new series of acrylics, entitled “Color & Rhythm” currently exhibited on site. The Taft Museum, a National historic landmark, was built about 1820 and is considered one of the finest examples of Federal […]

Profile of Leslie Shiels

May 6th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, April 2017

Profile of Leslie Shiels

Leslie Shiels makes paintings and prints as her own response to life, to what she sees around her in solid fact and in underlying meaning. Talking with her, I had the feeling that she just can’t help it; when something interests her, bothers her, gives her an idea, she wants to make art of it. […]

“Calling” by Kate Kern at the Weston Art Gallery

March 19th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, March 2017

“Calling” by Kate Kern at the Weston Art Gallery

The realm of artist Kate Kern is the ethereal space of imagination, wherein she depicts an actual, tangible place that is like this world, but not quite. Here it is, a bare room, a few empty chairs, the wind ruffling the curtains. Here it is, the dense voids of deep sea and deep space. And […]

“Bijoux Parisiens: French Jewelry from the Petit Palais, Paris,” Taft Museum of Art, through May 17, 2017

March 19th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, March 2017

“Bijoux Parisiens: French Jewelry from the Petit Palais, Paris,” Taft Museum of Art, through May 17, 2017

It was just before Valentine’s Day, when I saw the lavish “Bijoux Parisiens: French Jewelry from the Petit Palais, Paris” exhibition at the Taft Museum of Art, and how I longed for a wealthy beau. The show features some 75 pieces of French jewelry, primarily from the early 19th- to mid-20th centuries. They are from […]

KayWalkingStick at the Dayton Art Institute

March 19th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, March 2017

KayWalkingStick at the Dayton Art Institute

I can’t decide if I should leap for joy or feel cheated by the art world when I discover yet another marvelous woman artist who has not received appropriate mainstream recognition. Here’s Kay WalkingStick, now in her eighties and thriving in her studio practice, who has had a vibrant career with early New York accolades. […]

Short Circuits and Exposed Networks: The Wired at Weston Gallery

March 19th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, March 2017

Short Circuits and Exposed Networks: The Wired at Weston Gallery

Artworks today enter digital markets of circulation. Even the seemingly dematerialized, non-commodifiable works of land art and conceptual art are subject to economies of reproduction and intellectual property. The contours and cracks of these networks inform four very recent artworks in The Wired, an exhibition currently on view at the Alice F. and Harris K. […]

“Dressed to Kill: Japanese Arms and Armor” Cincinnati Art Museum through May 7, 2017

March 19th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, March 2017

"Dressed to Kill: Japanese Arms and Armor” Cincinnati Art Museum through May 7, 2017

​ On the quiet Tuesday that I visited the “Dressed to Kill: Japanese Arms and Armor” exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum, there were only a few people in the gallery, mostly middle-aged men. They were carefully studying the 11 suits of armor on view, but were equally intent on the many, many weapons on display: a […]

“The Trump L’Oeil Olé!” SOFT REGARDS: INSTALLATION BY ELENA HARVEY COLLINS AND LIZ ROBERTS Weston Art Gallery DEC. 9, 2016–JAN. 29, 2017. A Déjà Revue by Regan Brown

February 10th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, January/February 2017

“The Trump L’Oeil Olé!”  SOFT REGARDS:  INSTALLATION BY ELENA HARVEY COLLINS AND LIZ ROBERTS Weston Art Gallery DEC. 9, 2016–JAN. 29, 2017.  A Déjà Revue by Regan Brown

“I read a theory once that the human intellect was like peacock feathers. Just an extravagant display intended to attract a mate. All of art, literature, a bit of Mozart, William Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and the Empire State Building just an elaborate mating ritual. Maybe it doesn’t matter that we have accomplished so much for the […]

“Max Beckmann in New York,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, through February 20, 2017

February 10th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, January/February 2017

“Max Beckmann in New York,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, through February 20, 2017

In “Max Beckmann in New York,” the Metropolitan Museum of Art has brought together 14 works painted when the artist lived in the city in 1949 and 1950, and 25 earlier paintings (1920-1948) from New York collections. Although the New York-centric focus would appear to be narrow, the show provides a concise overview of his […]

Report from New York: Walking between Dreams in Three Immersive Cinematic Exhibitions

February 10th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, January/February 2017

Report from New York: Walking between Dreams in Three Immersive Cinematic Exhibitions

This winter, three major New York institutions hosted exhibitions of immersive, moving image installations. In many ways the works featured in these shows were direct descendants of “expanded cinema,” a term now used broadly to describe many artistic practices engaging the physical situation of moving images outside of theaters though first applied to the utopian […]

Feeling History: “The Poetry of Place” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, December 10, 2016-June 11, 2017

February 10th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, January/February 2017

Feeling History: “The Poetry of Place”  at the Cincinnati Art Museum,  December 10, 2016-June 11, 2017

“The Poetry of Place” is a small show at the Cincinnati Art Museum, with only 18 photographs by only three artists, William Clift, Michael Kenna, and Linda Connor, the works all selected from the Museum’s permanent collection and organized by Curatorial Assistant of Photography Emily Bauman. In recent years, there have been some outstanding museum […]

Caroline Wells Chandler: Crocheting Utopia

February 10th, 2017  |  by  |  published in *, January/February 2017

Caroline Wells Chandler: Crocheting Utopia

This essay hopes to provide readers a theoretical analysis of the queer abstraction of Caroline Wells Chandler (b.1985), a contemporary New York painter. The methodology of the essay will operate from a queer feminist vantage point orienting Chandler’s work within the futurity of the late José Esteban Munõz (1967-2013) in Cruising Utopia, the then and […]

The Dappled Life: “Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, October 15, 2016-January 8, 2017

December 17th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, December 2016

The Dappled Life:  “Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth”  at the Cincinnati Art Museum,  October 15, 2016-January 8, 2017

Okay, I’ll go first. In my decades of getting to know and love the Cincinnati Art Museum’s permanent collection, I had never really liked Van Gogh’s “Into the Undergrowth,” painted a month or so before he died in 1890 at the end of a whirlwind career that lasted no longer than ten years. “Into the […]

Two Shows at Wave Pool: “Everything Is Nothing with a Twist” and “Domus Candela”

December 17th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, December 2016

Two Shows at Wave Pool: "Everything Is Nothing with a Twist" and "Domus Candela"

December 3rd marked the opening of two new exhibitions at Wave Pool: the group show Everything Is Nothing with a Twist on the ground floor and a solo installation Domus Candela by Erin Taylor upstairs. The ground exhibition, all by artists inspired by minimalism, contained works that were bound by their physical form, whereas Domus […]

Human As Content: Alan Rath at Carl Solway

December 17th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, December 2016

Human As Content: Alan Rath at Carl Solway

The windowless white rooms that comprise the Carl Solway Gallery provide an austere setting for the LCD screen-based, chrome-armatured show Alan Rath: New Sculpture. The main gallery feels almost sparse; each piece is given a generous amount of space. At first glance, the robotic, high-tech pieces set against or mounted on the mostly bare, flood-lit […]

Visionary Artists at the Carnegie Arts Center

December 17th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, December 2016

Visionary Artists at the Carnegie Arts Center

E is for Edie, An Edith McKee Harper Retrospective Tony Dotson, An American Outsider Solo Exhibition Both exhibitions run from December 9, 2016 through February 11, 2017 Amanda Ackerman and Emily Frey are the curators for the brilliant retrospective of about three hundred works by Edith Harper, collaborator and wife to Cincinnati’s well-known and beloved […]

Best Fiction of 2016

December 17th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, December 2016

Best Fiction of 2016

2016 has been one of the best years for fiction in quite a number of years.  The ongoing globalization of literature continues, with superb writers now emerging from all over the world.  The range of subject matter and writing styles has rarely been as varied as this year’s, and, although I am limiting my list […]

Dissident Personae: Zanele Muholi at the Freedom Center

November 19th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, October/November 2016

Dissident Personae: Zanele Muholi at the Freedom Center

Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center brings the history of US slavery into conversation with human rights abuses across varied national and cultural contexts. From October 1, 2016 to January 23, 2017, the museum hosts an exhibition of works by Zanele Muholi, a Johannesburg-based photographer who mounts stirring condemnations of violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, […]

When Photography Was New: Picturing the West: Masterworks of 19th-Century Landscape Photography Islands of the Blest Artist-Led Communities: Meatyard, Lyons, Siskind & Callahan

November 19th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, October/November 2016

When Photography Was New:  Picturing the West: Masterworks of 19th-Century Landscape Photography  Islands of the Blest  Artist-Led Communities: Meatyard, Lyons, Siskind & Callahan

The Fotofocus Biennial 2016 features a marvelous array of photography exhibitions – eight exhibits curated by Kevin Moore for Fotofocus and about sixty additional ancillary exhibits of photography that various museums, galleries and libraries from Cincinnati to Columbus have prepared in support of the biennial endeavor. While the eight exhibitions specially selected by the curator […]

American Photography’s Lurch Toward the Conceptual

November 19th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, October/November 2016

American Photography’s Lurch Toward the Conceptual

Two of the three FotoFocus 2016 exhibitions offered at the Art Academy of Cincinnati were curated by former AAC photography instructor, Will Knipscher. These included the historical body of work Evidence, created by Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan in the 1970s, plus two bodies of new work by Mandel with his new collaborator, wife Chantal Zakari, […]

Decentering the Art: “Kentucky Renaissance: The Lexington Camera Club and Its Community, 1954-1974” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, October 8, 2016-January 1, 2017

November 19th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, October/November 2016

Decentering the Art: “Kentucky Renaissance: The Lexington Camera Club and Its Community, 1954-1974”  at the Cincinnati Art Museum,  October 8, 2016-January 1, 2017

In an undated and untitled photograph by Robert C. May, we are standing at the edge of some unremarkable woods, separated by a paved road from more woods on the other side. The view is dominated by four scruffy trees, no two of which are standing at quite the same angle. The road is as […]

New Art Galleries Open in Cincinnati

November 19th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, October/November 2016

New Art Galleries Open in Cincinnati

With the renovation of Cincinnati’s urban core nearly complete, neighborhoods near downtown, including Over-the-Rhine, Camp Washington, Price Hill, Brighton and Northside have become hot places to live.  They also have increasing neighborhood entertainment and art districts.  Artists’ studios are now located in all those areas.  Where artists’ studios are, galleries follow. One of them is […]