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“UNRAVELED: Textiles Reconsidered,” Contemporary Arts Center, through August 14, 2016

May 24th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, May 2016

“UNRAVELED: Textiles Reconsidered,” Contemporary Arts Center, through August 14, 2016

When you walk into “UNRAVELED: Textiles Reconsidered” at the Contemporary Arts Center, the first piece you encounter is Legacies, 2006, by Kari Steihaug (b. 1962, Norway; resides Oslo). With an unfinished sweater hanging high overhead, it dominates the gallery and is the perfect way to start the show visually and intellectually. It succinctly illustrates curator […]

Tom Marioni’s Dry Fresco, Drawings and Bronze at Carl Solway Gallery

May 24th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, May 2016

Tom Marioni’s Dry Fresco, Drawings and Bronze at Carl Solway Gallery

How are we to understand the intentions of a conceptual artist like Tom Marioni when he mounts an exhibition of objects using traditional mediums like fresco, drawing and bronze sculpture? It’s true that with conceptual art the medium is dictated by the idea (as Marioni has said with typical humor, a conceptual artist is “free […]

Domestic Departures

May 24th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, May 2016

Domestic Departures

Kennedy Heights Arts Center (KHAC) is host to artist in residence Susan Byrnes and her nostalgic narrative: Domestic Departures.  Conjuring the ever personal yet universal experience of home, her body of work engages the topic through a myriad of mediums, including sculpture, sound, performance, and more. From the historic 19th century architecture to the doorbell […]

Formal Function: Strategies of Abstraction Through June 11, 2016 at The Carnegie

May 24th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, May 2016

Formal Function: Strategies of Abstraction Through June 11, 2016  at The Carnegie

Don’t let the title frighten you. This is quite simply one of the best abstract shows I’ve seen in years. A wide variety of what passes for abstraction today may open up a world of techniques and formats. Abstraction has run the gamut of possible definitions in the past century, and seems far from running […]

Maps and Stars: “Not in New York: Carl Solway and Cincinnati” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, April 30-October 30, 2016

May 24th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, May 2016

Maps and Stars: “Not in New York: Carl Solway and Cincinnati”  at the Cincinnati Art Museum, April 30-October 30, 2016

Carl Solway (and family) have been so deeply entwined with the art gallery scene in Cincinnati that it takes a timeline on the wall to keep it all straight. He graduated from Walnut Hills in 1952; ten years later, he opened Flair Gallery at Fifth and Race. Ten years after that, he had two galleries […]

The Suspicion of Life: Paul Kohl’s Photography

April 23rd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, April 2016

The Suspicion of Life: Paul Kohl’s Photography

A quick cyber-jaunt reveals surprisingly little about photographer Paul Kohl, but the internet did offer one interesting morsel, stored within the digitized archive of the Crimson. A 1974 review by Susan Cooke included a couple sentences about Kohl, whose work had been featured in a group installation of artists decidedly unburdened by the parameters of […]

The Liminal landscape at Marta Hewett Gallery

April 23rd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, April 2016

The Liminal landscape at Marta Hewett Gallery

With The Liminal landscape at Marta Hewett Gallery, Guggenheim Award winner and Cincinnati native Frank Herrmann presents an enlightening shift in a body of work that has been remarkably consistent and serious for the last 15 years. I encourage you to go see the exhibition; Herrmann is the breed of artist that is rare in […]

All over the Damn Place: “30 Americans” at the Cincinnati Art Museum

April 23rd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, April 2016

All over the Damn Place:   “30 Americans” at the Cincinnati Art Museum

Kenya Barris’s Black-ish, a Wednesday-night sitcom on regular old ABC television, is simultaneously zeitgeist-y genuine, frantically people-pleasing, and deliciously aware of its own precarious situation:  a high-energy comic take on the foibles and follies of a loving upper-middle-class African American family living in the lap of Southern California luxury.  That luxury and status are constantly […]

Shinji Turner Yamamoto’s Sidereal Silence, at Weston Art Gallery

April 23rd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, April 2016

Shinji Turner Yamamoto’s Sidereal Silence, at Weston Art Gallery

Turner-Yamamoto’s paintings and sculptures are so commanding yet austere that, depending on temperament, a viewer either pays little attention or becomes lost in front of them. The latter of course is preferable and, I would suggest, the point of art, conjuring an experience of a new thread of reality; and with any luck becoming a […]

Clifton Cultural Arts Center – An Indispensable Asset

April 23rd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, April 2016

Clifton Cultural Arts Center - An Indispensable Asset

Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC) is in very real of danger of losing access to the historical building it calls home. Leased from Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS), CCAC has been notified that Cincinnati Public Schools is considering prematurely terminating their lease. Committed neighborhood residents, artists, institutions and friends of CCAC have rallied to garner support […]

“Utopia Parkway Revisited: Contemporary Artists in Joseph Cornell’s Shadow,” at Thunder-Sky, Inc.

March 22nd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, March 2016

“Utopia Parkway Revisited: Contemporary Artists in Joseph Cornell’s Shadow,” at Thunder-Sky, Inc.

Much has been written about Joseph Cornell’s work, but for me it can be summed up by saying that his boxes created worlds that we are invited into. Their small size makes them intimate experiences, and we involuntarily shrink to fit into his universe. In a gallery handout1 for “Utopia Parkway Revisited: Contemporary Artists in […]

Engendering Identity: LGBTQ (and u) at Wash Park Art

March 22nd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, March 2016

Engendering Identity: LGBTQ (and u) at Wash Park Art

Gender is one of the first assessments we make. How does this instinctive process affect self identity and imposed identity? What happens if the self’s and society’s assessments conflict? Are we simply male or female? Why do we assign gender to objects? What is male? What is female? Why does it matter?   Printed on […]

Weapons of Mass Construction

March 22nd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, March 2016

Weapons of Mass Construction

There’s nothing funny about guns. Even the toy gun that releases a flower after the trigger is pulled is still a formidable object despite the unmistakable irony. However, Brooklyn-based artist Natalie Baxter has found a way to transform firearms into colorful sewn sculptures that makes one almost feel giddy. OK-47, currently on-view at Institute 193 […]

Thoughts From A Millennial Artist

March 22nd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, March 2016

Thoughts From A Millennial Artist

The millennial generation is baffling to most who are outside of it. Truthfully, it is confounding to us as well. The onslaught of the internet and the ever expanding opportunities it offers is fundamentally changing the way we as a society do almost everything. Being the generation who grew up parallel with the personal computer, […]

Provocative Things: A Profile and Interview with Jo Ann Callis

March 22nd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, March 2016

Provocative Things:  A Profile and Interview with Jo Ann Callis

In the early 1970s, Jo Ann Callis left Cincinnati, where she had grown up, for California. Some forty years later, FotoFocus brought her back. On February 24, 2016, she gave a lecture—really an annotated slide show of her work—at the Cincinnati Art Museum as part of its Lecture and Visiting Artist Series, and the following […]

On the Verge: Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh: Impressions of Landscape at Taft Museum of Art, February 20-May 29, 2016

February 24th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, February 2016

On the Verge:  Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh: Impressions of Landscape at Taft Museum of Art, February 20-May 29, 2016

How newly-founded must an American art museum be not to be awash in paintings by the painters of the Barbizon School, either on display or, perhaps more likely these days, in storage? The works of Corot, Rousseau, Millet, Daubigny, and a number of artists loosely allied with them represent an important but frequently not fully […]

as if hauntingly, it isn’t my home, it’s just where I live: on Do Ho Suh at the CAC

February 24th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, February 2016

as if hauntingly, it isn’t my home, it’s just where I live: on Do Ho Suh at the CAC

“and none of these is wholly compassed by a certain pernicious understanding of reading as escape. Escape from what? The “real world,” ostensibly, the “responsibility” of “acting” or “performing” in that world. Yes this reading posture registers as extroversion at least as much as introversion, as public as it does private: all a reader need […]

Living Things: Jochen Lempert’s Field Guide

February 24th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, February 2016

Living Things: Jochen Lempert’s Field Guide

Because we are so exposed to and distracted by images in our lives, we become desensitized to one of photography’s chief purposes: to observe. Jochen Lempert’s photography, now on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum in Field Guide: Photographs by Jochen Lempert, presents a captivating retrospective of the artist and biologist’s art, and one that, […]

Matthew Kolodziej’s “Patch Work” at Carl Solway Gallery

February 24th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, February 2016

Matthew Kolodziej’s "Patch Work" at Carl Solway Gallery

In the early part of last century abstraction began considering something as simple as the power of multiple intersecting lines. The clarity of the grid evolved to become, in Rosalind Krauss’ words, “modern art’s will to silence, its hostility to literature, to narrative, to discourse.” Matthew Kolodziej’s paintings begin at this point in more ways […]

“52 Tuesdays”: A Survey of a year before the easel

February 24th, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, February 2016

"52 Tuesdays": A Survey of a year before the easel

The works chosen for this landscape exhibit represent one artist’s efforts at the easel on a Tuesday, any given week of his sabbatical year. Kevin Muente’s successful descriptive representations are on the spot plein aire paintings which were not additionally edited in the studio. The paintings depict common landscape, not ostentatiously landmarked but painted closely, […]

Overwhelming Landscape: Jonathan Queen & Matthew Metzger at Miller Gallery, January 7-February 6, 2016

January 23rd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, January 2016

Overwhelming Landscape:  Jonathan Queen & Matthew Metzger at Miller Gallery, January 7-February 6, 2016

In the artist’s statement accompanying Matthew Metzger’s showing of ten new paintings at Miller Gallery, Metzger articulately lays out some of his goals: “In an overwhelming landscape, harsh, indifferent, opposite to arguably our most endearing human traits, we recognize our humanness.” In a nutshell, Metzger is here describing our relationship to the sublime, an aesthetic […]

Off the Wall: “The Other Window: Emil Robinson and Matthew Yaeger” at Wave Pool

January 23rd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, January 2016

Off the Wall:  “The Other Window:  Emil Robinson and Matthew Yaeger” at Wave Pool

One of those shows that hits you over the head in a good way, “The Other Window” features lush, rainbow-bright paintings both stationed on walls and on pedestals and the floor.  It’s a funhouse sort of gig, but beautifully, self-consciously serious too. Emil Robinson has taken care of the wall portion with handsome, studious but […]

Authentic Narratives: Ohio’s Regionalists, 1915-1950

January 23rd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, January 2016

Authentic Narratives: Ohio's Regionalists, 1915-1950

Looking back historically, one sees that Post World War II critics and curators endorsing the trends of expressive experimentation emanating from New York as the mechanism of modernism in the visual arts, eschewed figurative and narrative representations and the artists who employed these elements as outdated and behind the times. Regardless of the critics’ blessing, […]

“Fiber?” at C-LINK Gallery, Brazee Street Studios, through February 26, 2016

January 23rd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, January 2016

“Fiber?” at C-LINK Gallery, Brazee Street Studios, through February 26, 2016

“Fiber?” is this year’s material-based exhibition in C-LINK Gallery at Brazee Street Studios. It features 13 Cincinnati-based artists: Sandra Palmer Ciolino, Judy Dominic, Cris Fee, Jennifer Zimmerman Garter, Kelli Gleiner, Pam Kravetz, Carla Lamb, Jacob Lynn, Karen Saunders, Barbara Stewart, Jenifer Sult, Jonpaul Smith, and Lindsay Whittle. When I walked into the show, it took […]

Altered Piece Conservation on View: Zaragoza’s Retablo of St. Peter January 26 – April 24, 2016 The Cincinnati Art Museum, Gallery 124

January 23rd, 2016  |  by  |  published in *, January 2016

Altered Piece Conservation on View: Zaragoza’s Retablo of St. Peter January 26 – April 24, 2016 The Cincinnati Art Museum, Gallery 124

The large panels of wood had been joined and the soft pine coated with a mixture of animal skin glue and resin. The painter would have preferred to use a wood with a finer grain for this retablo, or altarpiece, an oak or linden, but no such material was available in this area of Spain.  […]

WHY WYNWOOD? A LETTER FROM MIAMI

December 22nd, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, December 2015

WHY WYNWOOD? A LETTER FROM MIAMI

Dear Art Loving Friends, It’s with great excitement that I write to you today. The last weeks were wrought with emotional highs, lows and a little bit of everything in between. We were knee deep in preparation for Modern Living: Objects and Context, an exhibition in the works for nine months which BLDG co-curated with […]

“Modern Living: Objects and Context,” The Carnegie

December 22nd, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, December 2015

“Modern Living: Objects and Context,” The Carnegie

“Modern Living: Objects and Context” at The Carnegie was co-curated by Matt Distel and BLDG, a Covington-based design firm, and explores “the intersection and conflation of design and art objects,” according to The Carnegie’s Exhibitions Director Distel. To this end, the exhibition is divided into two parts. Objects are installed as art in the first-floor […]

President Unless They Hang Him First: Tom Sawyer Through the Eyes of C. F. Payne

December 22nd, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, December 2015

President Unless They Hang Him First: Tom Sawyer Through the Eyes of C. F. Payne

Located in the Incline District of East Price Hill, The Flats Art Gallery sits in a renovated apartment building across the street from BLOC Coffee Company, and only a few minute’s walk from the immensely popular Incline Public House­­­­­­.  On an overcast day, in an unseasonably warm December, the neon OPEN signs behind the gallery’s […]

Architectural Pursuits: An Interview with Catherine Richards

December 22nd, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, December 2015

Architectural Pursuits: An Interview with Catherine Richards

Catherine Richards defines herself as an artist and architect.  A graduate of DAAP originally from Cleveland, she spent a year in NYC working for the renowned firm OMA (co-founded by Rem Koolhaas). She currently teaches at DAAP, lives in OTR, and works out of a gigantic studio in Newport filled with a mountain of fabric, […]

Phyllis Weston: In Memoriam

December 22nd, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, December 2015

Phyllis Weston: In Memoriam

Phyllis Weston’s recent death, after a very long and singularly fruitful career in the arts in Greater Cincinnati, certainly represents the end of an era, and I think that the era which she helped to define and in which she dominated, may have been a gentler one, certainly one in which the force of a personality […]

Deliberate Bridges: 21st Century Art on Display at Carl Solway Gallery

November 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, November 2015

Deliberate Bridges: 21st Century Art on Display at Carl Solway Gallery

Though the idea of automatons had been present in mythology for centuries, the term “robot” wasn’t introduced to the public until R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), written by Karel Čapek, debuted at Prague’s National Theater in 1921.  His play popularized the term, but Karel credits his brother Josef, a noted Czech painter, with its invention.  The […]

Capital Campaigns to Fund Two Theaters in Metroplex

November 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, November 2015

Capital Campaigns to Fund Two Theaters in Metroplex

Capital Campaigns to fund two theaters in metroplex Shakespeare new performance space named Otto M. Budig Theatre In the September 2015 issue of Aeqai, I discussed Cincinnati’s cultural building boom, as evidenced by the renovations and expansions at Christ Church, Cincinnati Union Terminal, and Music Hall.  Now we are seeing additional major building projects for […]

“Selections from the Michael Lowe Collection,” Art Academy of Cincinnati, Closed

November 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, November 2015

“Selections from the Michael Lowe Collection,” Art Academy of Cincinnati, Closed

The exhibition “Selections from the Michael Lowe Collection” at the Art Academy of Cincinnati focused on the local collector and private dealer’s collection of Minimal, post-Minimal, and Conceptual art, with works dating from 1965 to 1987. The exhibition transported me back to my years in New York. After I finished my graduate work in art […]

Review of Celant Lecture at Opening of FotoFocus

November 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, November 2015

Review of Celant Lecture at Opening of FotoFocus

  On Friday evening, October 23, FotoFocus invited about one hundred people to dinner and to a kick off lecture by Italian curator/critic/thinker/museum professional Germano Celant, widely regarded as one of the first and finest independent curators in the world.  The event was the precursor for the one day Symposium organized by New York FotoFocus Curator […]

Past Perfect: “Mapplethorpe + 25: A Symposium to Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of The Perfect Moment” at the Contemporary Arts Center, October 23-24, 2015

November 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, November 2015

Past Perfect:  “Mapplethorpe + 25: A Symposium to Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of The Perfect Moment” at the Contemporary Arts Center, October 23-24, 2015

It was a pretty perfect moment. For one evening and the whole day following, FotoFocus and the Contemporary Arts Center teamed up to sponsor and host three panel discussions and three keynote speakers to talk about the making of Mapplethorpe the artist, the making of the CAC’s 1990 show “The Perfect Moment” and subsequent trial, […]

The History of the World: Jacob Lawrence at the Taft Museum of Art

October 21st, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, October 2015

The History of the World:  Jacob Lawrence at the Taft Museum of Art

In the 41 tempera vignettes that make up “Heroism in Paint:  a Master Series by Jacob Lawrence” (currently on display at the Taft Museum of Art through January 17, 2016), Jacob Lawrence dramatizes the life of Toussaint Louverture, revered as the founding father of Haiti who led Haitians in their fight against slavery in the […]

A Thousand Invisible Threads | Mapping the Rhizome

October 21st, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, October 2015

A Thousand Invisible Threads | Mapping the Rhizome

A Thousand Invisible Threads | Mapping the Rhizome at the Herndon Gallery at Antioch College, finds its influence from Deleuze’s and Guttarai’s postmodern classic, A Thousand Plateaus. A theme is the rhizome, a biological term for a type of root structure, used as a metaphor for philosophy, social structures, or ways of thinking that are […]

The Dog, the Unicorn, and the Wheel: “Sublime Beauty: Raphael’s ‘Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn’” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, October 3, 2015-January 3, 2016

October 21st, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, October 2015

The Dog, the Unicorn, and the Wheel: “Sublime Beauty: Raphael’s ‘Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn’” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, October 3, 2015-January 3, 2016

First of all, forget the unicorn. Or at the very least, hold it in abeyance. X-ray analysis of the painting shows us that before there was a unicorn on this young woman’s lap, there used to be a dog. And before skilled restoration turned it back into a unicorn again in the early 20th century, […]

Erasing the American Pastoral in Elena Dorfman’s Sublime: The L.A. River

October 21st, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, October 2015

Erasing the American Pastoral in Elena Dorfman’s Sublime: The L.A. River

“See how willingly Nature poses herself upon photographers’ plates. No earthly chemicals are so sensitive as those of the human soul.” — John Muir Elena Dorfman spent two years photographing the Los Angeles River for her series Sublime: The L.A. River, now being exhibited in the Weston Gallery. The river, paved in 1938 after a […]

City on the Rise: Public Art in Covington, Kentucky.

October 21st, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, October 2015

City on the Rise: Public Art in Covington, Kentucky.

Our walls are changing for the better.  Propelled by the global phenomenon of street art and sustained by an embrace of community-sanctioned murals, public art is back in a big way. In Cincinnati, when it comes to public art, the name ArtWorks is ubiquitous.  With a hundred murals in thirty-six neighborhoods, formerly drab walls are […]

la Biennale di Venezia: Part Two: Americans in Venice

September 21st, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, September 2015

la Biennale di Venezia: Part Two: Americans in Venice

The Venice Biennale, which opened in May, is on view through Nov 22 with exhibitions in the Giardini and the Arsenale, featuring 136 artists, 89 participating countries, and 44 collateral events presented by non-profit organizations and exhibited in various locations across Venice. The city’s massive Arsenale (of Venice’s mighty past as controller of the Mediterranean) […]

The Nothing that is There: “Stewart Goldman: Nuances” at the Philip M. Meyers, Jr., Memorial Gallery, DAAP, September 13-October 25, 2015

September 21st, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, September 2015

The Nothing that is There:  “Stewart Goldman: Nuances” at the Philip M. Meyers, Jr., Memorial Gallery, DAAP, September 13-October 25, 2015

It’s fair to wonder on what basis we can be sure that the wonderful series of recent paintings by Stewart Goldman, curated by Aaron Cowan, are landscapes. Many are horizontal—some even lusciously elongated—but not all. The artist has provided a number of keys to help us see the landscape elements that inspired these mostly non-representational […]

The Romance of Spaces: An Interview with Denise Burge

September 21st, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, September 2015

The Romance of Spaces: An Interview with Denise Burge

Denise Burge is an associate professor of art at UC’s DAAP College of Art. I visited her on a warm late summer day in her studio in Northside where I found her working on the beginnings of a new series. Burge is known for her work with quilts as well as more recent video and […]

Mothersbaugh Performance at Woodward

September 21st, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, September 2015

Mothersbaugh Performance at Woodward

Walking into the Woodward Theater in OTR, the first person I noticed was Quinn. We had never met before,  but judging by the swiftness of his steps and his frequent motion of hand to chin during the warm up I could tell that he had a lot to say. As it turned out,  Quinn had […]

Suspended over the Abyss: Seeing Calvino at the Cincinnati Public Library

September 21st, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, September 2015

Suspended over the Abyss:  Seeing Calvino at the Cincinnati Public Library

Stationed inside the Cincinnati Public Library’s downtown branch, in the International Fiction alcove, is an archipelago of funky institutional wooden tables topped with glass rectangular boxes.  Inside the glass boxes are 55 illustrations by three artists depicting the cities Italo Calvino poetically maps in Invisible Cities, the shapely novel/epic-poem/dialogue that has an effortlessly epic quality […]

la Biennale di Venezia: Part One

August 5th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, Summer 2015

la Biennale di Venezia: Part One

Inaugurated in 1895 with the first international presentation in 1897, la Biennale di Venezia is the oldest and in my opinion, still the most prestigeous of the contemporary international exhibitions of visual art. Venice celebrates the 120th anniversary of the first Exhibition (1895).Venice is an erotic city, steeped in cultural, and military history and it […]

Both Sides Now: “Northern Baroque Splendor: The HOHENBUCHAU COLLECTION from LIECHTENSTEIN. The Princely Collections” at the Cincinnati Art Museum

August 5th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, Summer 2015

Both Sides Now: “Northern Baroque Splendor: The HOHENBUCHAU COLLECTION  from LIECHTENSTEIN. The Princely Collections” at the Cincinnati Art Museum

Jan Tilens and Hendrick van Balen’s “Expansive Mountain Valley Landscape with a Rainbow and the Hunt of Diana” is a classic example of a “Weltlandschaft,” or world landscape, the sort of picture that first drew Otto Christian Fassbender and his wife Renate to assemble their outstanding collection of 17th century paintings now on view at […]

Profile of Melvin Grier

August 5th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, Summer 2015

Profile of Melvin Grier

It took years, but eventually Jymi Bolden persuaded Melvin Grier it was possible to be both a photojournalist and a fine artist. Bolden was a student at the Art Academy of Cincinnati when he worked during the 1980s as a photo intern with the already seasoned Grier at The Cincinnati Post, and that’s when the […]

Architectural Design: One Focus of People’s Liberty Grantmaking

August 5th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, Summer 2015

Architectural Design: One Focus of People’s Liberty Grantmaking

Architectural Design one Focus of People’s Liberty Grantmaking Civic-minded Individuals Gain Support for Creative Initiatives People’s Liberty staff leaders describe the operation as a philanthropic laboratory.  This forward-looking, deep-pockets organization, which values disruptive ideas and innovative methods, is changing the character of local philanthropy and the face of urban neighborhoods.  People’s Liberty is a collaboration […]

Vanishing Point: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Edward S. Curtis

August 5th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, Summer 2015

Vanishing Point: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Edward S. Curtis

According to the forward to his monumental book series The North American Indians, Edward S. Curtis is a man “whose pictures are pictures, not merely photographs.” One wonders now what is meant by that statement, written in 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt. But if you spend enough time in the Taft Museum of Art’s new […]

Furious Moments: Titus Kaphar at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center

June 23rd, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, June 2015

Furious Moments:  Titus Kaphar at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center

The current exhibit of Titus Kaphar’s works at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, titled “The Vesper Project,” surveys history, heredity, race, architecture, and just plain old visual art, intermingling parody, autobiography, destruction, and reinvention into a chiaroscuro carnival of unearthly but somehow palpably earthbound delights.  All of Kaphar’s brilliant artistic/literary amalgamations and tricks manage to […]

Nancy and David Wolf Gallery, Cincinnati Art Museum

June 23rd, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, June 2015

Nancy and David Wolf Gallery, Cincinnati Art Museum

As you ascend the stairs to the just opened Nancy and David Wolf Gallery in the Cincinnati Art Museum’s second-floor ambulatory, you’re confronted with four stained glass windows made by the Tiffany Studio for Avondale’s Grace Protestant Episcopal Church and two tall glass vases, also by Tiffany. These functional and decorative objects make a suitable […]

Intimate Witness: Doris Salcedo Retrospective at MCA Chicago

June 23rd, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, June 2015

Intimate Witness: Doris Salcedo Retrospective at MCA Chicago

Doris Salcedo is a Colombian artist of international renown who has made sculpture for the past three decades. Her work, meticulously crafted in her Bogota studio with a team of assistants, memorializes those lost to political violence both in her home country and abroad. She uses simple, utilitarian, human-scale objects and materials in unorthodox configurations […]

Staged Necromancy: The Perfect Kiss (QQ)* *questioning, queer

June 23rd, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, June 2015

Staged Necromancy: The Perfect Kiss (QQ)* *questioning, queer

“Arrange whatever pieces come your way.” — Virginia Woolf You enter the room through a ruche curtain, a membrane partitioning a world from our own. Only two colors exist in the palette of the capacity—varying shades of red and white—and you are immersed in the sweet fragrance of rose petals. These are the first impressions […]

Mapplethorpe Then and Now: 25 Years and a Conversation with FotoFocus’ Kevin Moore

June 23rd, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, June 2015

Mapplethorpe Then and Now: 25 Years and a Conversation with FotoFocus' Kevin Moore

Many different memories, ideas, conclusions, and issues  are beginning to surface as FotoFocus Curator Kevin Moore and the Contemporary Arts Center each look toward Fall of 2015, the 25th anniversary of the original Robert Mapplethorpe photography show, “The Perfect Moment”, and its tumultuous  aftermath.  Sheriff Simon Leis and the Vice Squad closed down the exhibition, […]

Profile of Katie Parker and Guy Michael Davis

April 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, April 2015

Profile of Katie Parker and Guy Michael Davis

Katie Parker and Guy Michael Davis live a life that’s an intriguing combination of postmodern and ancient. Even as they work daily to innovate with ceramics and multi-media decorative arts, they also revel in the timeworn techniques of firing clay in kilns and conjuring new glazes to suit their vision. Parker and Davis together are […]

Switch Hitter: “Up at Bat” at the Cincinnati Art Museum

April 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, April 2015

Switch Hitter:  “Up at Bat” at the Cincinnati Art Museum

Andy Warhol didn’t know who Pete Rose was, and Rose didn’t know who Warhol was.  They never met.  Warhol chose the photo on which he based his now Cincinnati-famous screen-print from a selection of newspaper shots sent to him, because Rose couldn’t (or maybe wouldn’t) make it to New York City to pose for a […]

Post Fabrication at Wave Pool Gallery

April 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, April 2015

Post Fabrication at Wave Pool Gallery

Entering a new space is always an interesting experience.  Whether it is a friend’s home or public building, you are faced with the task of conjuring up conclusions about that person or place based off of the physical elements around you – the interior structure, the smell, the reverberation in the wood as you walk […]

On Human-Altered Beauty: New and Newer Topographics at the Cincinnati Art Museum

April 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, April 2015

On Human-Altered Beauty: New and Newer Topographics at the Cincinnati Art Museum

The art of photography changed forever in 1975, the year that William Jenkins curated “New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape” at the International Museum of Photography in New York. The exhibit brought together eight artists who challenged the meaning of landscape photography priorly defined by the architects of photography as an art form—lensmen like […]

Encompass: encircle: embrace: A Fusing of the Imaginary with the Real

April 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, April 2015

Encompass: encircle: embrace: A Fusing of the Imaginary with the Real

One feels the unlocking of something amidst Barbara Ahlbrand’s paintings. Energy, chaos, tranquility. The atmosphere in the gallery at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, where a new retrospective of her work titled Encompass: encircle: embrace is being displayed, is simultaneously serene and chaotic. The textures Ahlbrand achieves fuse childish pandemonium with a mature grasp of […]

The Idler and the Crowd: “Wild West to Gilded Age: American Treasures from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art” at the Taft Museum of Art, February 6, 2015-May 24, 2015

March 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, March 2015

The Idler and the Crowd:  “Wild West to Gilded Age: American Treasures  from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art”  at the Taft Museum of Art, February 6, 2015-May 24, 2015

If you had wanted an education in the transition from the 19th to the 20th centuries in American culture, the Taft Museum has been the place to be. In the past year and a half, the Taft has hosted the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s collection of American daguerreotypes, “Telling Tales” from the New-York Historical Society, […]

In Theory: Navigating reimagined territories in Now Here: Theoretical Landscapes at The Carnegie

March 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, March 2015

In Theory: Navigating reimagined territories in Now Here: Theoretical Landscapes at The Carnegie

What is a landscape? What exactly constitutes its borders and ambiguities? “Now Here: Theoretical Landscapes,” a new exhibit at The Carnegie in Covington, explores this complicated question, displaying a cornucopia of artworks by twenty-one regional artists who, through varied media, attempt to redefine the landscape genre. It becomes immediately evident upon entering the gallery that […]

“The Total Look: Rudi Gernreich, Peggy Moffitt, and William Claxton,” Cincinnati Art Museum, through May 24, 2015

March 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, March 2015

“The Total Look: Rudi Gernreich, Peggy Moffitt, and William Claxton,” Cincinnati Art Museum, through May 24, 2015

The title of the Cincinnati Art Museum exhibition featuring the apparel designs of Rudi Gernreich – notorious for his topless swimsuit — is inspired. “The Total Look” defines the Austrian-born designer’s aesthetic concept that every element of an ensemble should complement every other. He designed everything from head to toe – hats to shoes – […]

Women in Abstraction: Phyllis Weston Gallery

March 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, March 2015

Women in Abstraction:  Phyllis Weston Gallery

Abstract Art lovers’ Alert! The current exhibit featured at the Phyllis Weston Gallery in O’Bryonville will thrill you. The benign art of collage is taken in several engaging directions in Kathy Salchow’s multi-element collages. Natural and textural elements assembled in fanciful combinations engage the viewer’s imaginative interpretations and enjoyment. “Early Bird Tobacco Bag” is comprised […]

“About Faith:” nine women’s experiences with Judaism through art

March 24th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, March 2015

“About Faith:” nine women’s experiences with Judaism through art

“About Faith,” does not hide behind a clever name. It is, both on its surface and deep down, about showcasing its artists’ Jewish identities. According to a placard located immediately inside the first room of the exhibit, “About Faith” is curator Beth Goldstein’s attempt at completing the Hiddur Mitzvah, or “adornment of a commandment.” She […]

Public Art: Where It’s Headed, and Why It Matters to Cincinnati

February 11th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, Winter 2015

Public Art: Where It’s Headed, and Why It Matters to Cincinnati

Editor’s Note: Aeqai asked ArtWorks Executive Director Tamara Harkavy and Communications Director Christine Carli to let our readers know what ArtWorks’ plans for 2015 include, and their essay appears as the first piece in the Jan/Feb. aeqai. ArtWorks is an amazing phenomenon: Harkavy started it mainly as a jobs program for both inner city children […]

Word Image Image Word

February 11th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, Winter 2015

Word Image Image Word

“Writing’s just drawing in different apparel, and drawing is another way of writing.”—Jean Cocteau This Cocteau quote was the heart of a recent Word Image Image Word exhibition at the Art Academy. Curator Matt Hart, poet and chair of the Academy’s Liberal Arts Department, invited nationally and internationally known writers to participate by providing them […]

Based on a True Story

February 11th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, Winter 2015

Based on a True Story

The term “based on a true story” gives promise of an almost reality, while lending full disclosure that what’s before you is not teeming with truth; and herein lies the most humbling preface for an exhibition about history.  Artists Frohawk Two Feathers and Duke Riley navigate the world of the omitted, the imagined, and the […]

Max Unterhaslberger at Phyllis Weston Gallery

February 11th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, Winter 2015

Max Unterhaslberger at Phyllis Weston Gallery

One senses a materiality trying to escape from these paintings. In some of them Unterhaslberger traps the work behind a clear acrylic screen by applying the paint, sometimes thickly, to the back of the acrylic leaving us to view a perfectly flat surface. Guessing at the dimension that lies beneath is joyful rather than mysterious. […]

Profile of Annie Bolling

February 11th, 2015  |  by  |  published in *, Winter 2015

Profile of Annie Bolling

If Annie Bolling and Beverley Lamb reach their highest aspiration for their 1,800-square-foot art gallery on Woodburn Avenue, the art they make will fill the entire 1.96 square miles of East Walnut Hills and Walnut Hills combined. And the greatest artwork produced by The Gallery Project they operate will be a combination of the art […]

Profile of Dennis Harrington

December 30th, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, December 2014

Profile of Dennis Harrington

Dennis Harrington hasn’t used his artistic training to create much of his own art lately. He instead makes it his mission to optimize the artistic visions of others. The longtime director of The Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery is widely thought to curate some of the region’s finest shows. In 2015 the […]

Bukang Kim: The Completed Journey

December 30th, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, December 2014

Bukang Kim: The Completed Journey

All of the arts have been refreshed by waves of painters, writers, musicians and dancers, who fled their countries of origin between approximately 1933 and the present. Often called exile artists, writers from Nabokov to Kiran Desai, and painters from Max Ernst to Man Ray, from de Kooning and Mondrian to Gorky and Hans Hofmann, […]

Put a Bird on It: “Contemporary Narrative” at Clifton Cultural Arts Center

December 30th, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, December 2014

Put a Bird on It:  “Contemporary Narrative” at Clifton Cultural Arts Center

“Contemporary Narrative” is up through January 10, 2014 at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, and it’s worth a look just to wander through the big space and appreciate some easy-on-the-eye drawings, paintings, ceramics, and other pieces that really don’t seem to narrate a contemporary story as much as convey whimsical little vignettes across a rainbow […]

Looking Where the Focus Isn’t: A Profile of Brian Sholis

December 30th, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, December 2014

Looking Where the Focus Isn’t:  A Profile of Brian Sholis

Brian Sholis, the new Associate Curator of Photography at the Cincinnati Art Museum, says from the start that he has no training—“none at all”—in Art History. He sees himself as “a contemporary art person who zeroed in on photography,” as he explained in an interview with Aeqai earlier this year. His undergraduate degree was in […]

The Unbearable Lightness of Neon: Anthony Luensman’s “C A M P G R O U N D” at the Cincinnati Art Museum. A New Year’s Rumination

December 30th, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, December 2014

The Unbearable Lightness of Neon:  Anthony Luensman’s "C A M P G R O U N D" at the Cincinnati Art Museum.  A New Year's Rumination

I. Man Versus Human Nature. “C A M P G R O U N D evokes a billboard one may still discover along a country highway. It advertises with the familiar vacation icons of tire swings and sparking campfires. The animated sign promises outdoor escape and primitive comfort against the massive holdings and complexities of […]

Modernist Directions and Misdirections: “Paris Night & Day: Masterworks of Photography from Atget to Man Ray” at the Taft Museum of Art, October 3, 2014-January 11, 2015

December 1st, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, November 2014

Modernist Directions and Misdirections:  “Paris Night & Day: Masterworks of Photography from Atget to Man Ray”  at the Taft Museum of Art, October 3, 2014-January 11, 2015

The art historical narratives of the history of photography and the advent of modernism are often intertwined, though in some of those narratives, photography helps facilitate modernism, and in others, modernism gives photography the nudge it needs to outgrow its 19th century roots. As the captions on one of the walls at the Taft note, […]

“Marcus Ratliff: Collages & The Art World: Forty Years of Graphic Design” and “Marcus Ratliff: Collages,” Carl Solway Gallery, through Dec. 20, 2014

December 1st, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, November 2014

“Marcus Ratliff: Collages & The Art World: Forty Years of Graphic Design” and “Marcus Ratliff: Collages,” Carl Solway Gallery, through Dec. 20, 2014

Cincinnati should be proud that it has produced some of the most important artists of the latter half of the 20th century: Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004), Jim Dine (b. 1935), and Marcus Ratliff (b. 1935). It may seem like hyperbole to include Ratliff because he was a commercial artist, a term that seems quaint today. But […]

The Urban Landscape: Six Artists – Six Views Clifton Cultural Arts Center

December 1st, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, November 2014

The Urban Landscape: Six Artists – Six Views Clifton Cultural Arts Center

How odd – not one of the artists whose works comprise The Urban Landscape: Six Artists – Six Views at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center  through December 5 indicates that people occupy the spaces they portray. This seems to be a curatorial decision, as the show’s defining statement says “Six contemporary painters explore the urban […]

Profile of Stewart Goldman

December 1st, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, November 2014

Profile of Stewart Goldman

Stewart Goldman’s career has shown many variations during more than 50 years of painting and drawing. Through it all, color has driven his art. Perhaps a bigger force behind his creations, although not always as obvious, have been absences, or memories of things that no longer are. It’s interesting that absence has such a large […]

“Beyond Pop: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective” at the Cincinnati Art Museum

December 1st, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, November 2014

“Beyond Pop: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective” at the Cincinnati Art Museum

I was invited to attend the Founder’s Opening of “Beyond Pop: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, which for me, felt like both a homecoming and a reunion. It was heartwarming to see the hometown museum of one of the greatest masters of Twentieth Century Art celebrate the dedication and achievement of […]

Murals, Public Art and the Lure of the Creative Place

October 31st, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, October 2014

Murals, Public Art and the Lure of the Creative Place

Covington is an ‘unapologetically authentic’ place. It’s an island unto itself. No label, declarative statement, or stereotype quite fits the business owners and residents who live here. What can be said is what unites them: their belief in community, their value placed on the arts and creativity, and their passion and pride for the city. […]

Systems of Watching: “Eyes on the Street” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, October 11, 2014-January 4, 2015

October 31st, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, October 2014

Systems of Watching: “Eyes on the Street” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, October 11, 2014-January 4, 2015

Street photography was a movement initially made possible by cameras that were small, film that was fast, and hands that were steady. It refreshed photography as an art form by opening up an almost unlimited source of unscripted narrative. It required some skills of the photographer not unlike those needed by an undercover cop: you […]

David Benjamin Sherry’s Western Romance

October 31st, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, October 2014

David Benjamin Sherry’s Western Romance

Western Romance aims to create a dialogue between David Benjamin Sherry’s photographs of vast landscapes saturated with synthetic color and the tradition of Western landscape photography. The subjects appear at first glance to be similar, but intentions are different. Sherry’s photographs are more about color and light than capturing the grandness of the western frontier. […]

Letter From Brooklyn

October 31st, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, October 2014

Letter From Brooklyn

There is an old yiddish saying that goes something like “No-one knows whose shoe pinches except the person who is walking in them”. As a child I heard this phrase and conjured up images of my all-white KED sneakers that always gave me blisters, but I heard this phrase again while leaving Brooklyn and the […]

Public Art: Mural Month and FotoFocus

October 31st, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, October 2014

Public Art: Mural Month and FotoFocus

October has been a month full of activities in the visual arts.  FotoFocus, the biennial celebration of photography and lens-based art, is still in swing, and it brought an exceptionally high level of exhibitions, lectures, and other adjunct programming to Greater Cincinnati.  Mayor Cranley also declared October to be Mural Month, in order to bring […]

One-Eyed Thief

October 4th, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, September 2014

One-Eyed Thief

Intellect and wit are a potent pair, and Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs have both. An exquisite composite of their work, The One-Eyed Thief, showcases the vast expanse of photography as a medium.  Onorato and Krebs weigh our value system as a culture through our relationship to imagery.  They reckon with a medium that has […]

MK Guth – Making Memories into More

October 4th, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, September 2014

MK Guth – Making Memories into More

Museums tend to be places where the public congregates to ruminate over the reminders of past people, places, and objects. Somewhere between holy awe at the importance of the items around you and an unspoken fear that with a single misstep you may knock over one of these priceless pieces, there is a certain feeling […]

“BINDU – THE FIRST CIRLE: RADHA LAKSHMI,” gallery One One, Brazee Street Studios, through Oct. 9, 2014

October 4th, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, September 2014

“BINDU – THE FIRST CIRLE: RADHA LAKSHMI,” gallery One One, Brazee Street Studios, through Oct. 9, 2014

Born in India and now living and working in Cincinnati, Radha Lakshmi is the first artist-in-residence at gallery One One and Brazee Street Studios. Founder and Director Sandy Gross and Leah Busch, creative director and gallery coordinator, had long discussed instituting an artist-in-residence program. It would include a solo exhibition to showcase the results of […]

BURNHAM REDUX

October 4th, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, September 2014

BURNHAM REDUX

The spirit of Daniel Burnham hovers over Fourth Street in Downtown Cincinnati.  The famous Chicago architect and his associates created four commercial office buildings in Cincinnati’s financial district in the early twentieth century. And with the recent conversion of the shuttered Bartlett Building into a Marriott Renaissance hotel, the Burnham name is the buzzword for […]

The Messy Democracy of Photography: An Interview with FotoFocus’s Kevin Moore and Mary Ellen Goeke

October 4th, 2014  |  by  |  published in *, September 2014

The Messy Democracy of Photography: An Interview with FotoFocus’s Kevin Moore and Mary Ellen Goeke

1989 was a watershed year for the art of photography in Cincinnati. Kristin Spangenberg published her catalogue Photographic Treasures from the Cincinnati Art Museum, which recorded the results of her having been given funding to purchase one hundred photographs to give the Museum’s existing but scattershot photographic holdings some shape and a sure anchor in […]