Jane Durrell

Jane Durrell writes on the visual arts and travel for a variety of publications. Her career has tacked between stints at various museums, particularly the Cincinnati Art Museum, and journalism. Each kind of work has been useful to the other. Her bachelor's degree from Western College in Oxford, Ohio, is in English literature, and like other lit majors she thinks literature prepares one for life. It has been perfectly satisfactory for her life, at any rate.

Mark Daly at Cincinnati Art Galleries

Mark Daly’s engaging paintings line every wall at Cincinnati Art Galleries, treating of pleasurable aspects of life at the seaside, in New York City, on Nantucket, and points as far away as Venice. The show’s subtitle, “The Musician’s Paintbrush,” refers to Daly’s playing a mean mandolin, sometimes on Fountain Square, but overlooks his ongoing business […]

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Review of “Monet in Giverny: Landscapes of Reflection” at Cincinnati Art Museum

Pleasing the crowd was not Monet’s aim in life, but after the Impressionists’ convention-flaunting beginnings had simmered into acceptance he had a following that allowed him to live a life style of his own choosing and to paint as he pleased. He had more or less always done the latter; the former had been chancy. […]

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Sara Pearce's Expecting to Fly at 5th Street Gallery

A quick first take on Sara Pearce’s Expecting to Fly at 5th Street Gallery downtown shows her a words person as well as a visual artist. And no wonder; words were her trade during her Cincinnati Enquirer years, when she reported on restaurants, books, sometimes visual arts, and was a features editor. What collages require, […]

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Letter From London

In London, on the day I went to both exhibitions, it seemed that everyone who wasn’t at the National Gallery’s stunning Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan had come to the Royal Academy for David Hockney’s knock-your-eye-out responses to the English landscape. Each show was at controlled maximum attendance but the crowds […]

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Beyond Emancipation at Kennedy Heights Arts Center

The insistent art works in Beyond Emancipation at Kennedy Heights Arts Center demand attention. “Look at me,” they seem to cry out. “Look at me now. WHAT DO YOU THINK I’M SAYING?” The first message, and there are others, is that emancipation was a first step, a needed step, but only the beginning. Nowhere is […]

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Lily Mulberry and 1305 Gallery

The idea of opening a little art gallery is one of those persistent day dreams seldom carried out in real life. 1305 Gallery, a model of its kind, opened more than six years ago at 1305 Main Street in Over-the-Rhine and has presented a steady program of exhibitions since. Plans for 2012 are in place, […]

Remembering Thom at Art Beyond Boundaries

In 1973 the art critic of the Cincinnati Post wrote that Thom Shaw “a young Cincinnatian, Art Academy trained, is possessed of a powerful line and sense of balance within his works.” An exhibition of Shaw’s black and white masonite block prints was at the Miller Gallery, then on Edwards Road. I was the art […]

Glass Ceiling? Guess Not

The paintings that mark a gradual return to across-the-board contemporary art at Marta Hewett Gallery, where glass objects have held the floor, are themselves almost glass-like. Jason Zickler’s labor-intensive works with their dense layers of clear, cured resin and paint gleam in a celebration of colorfor its own sake but hold in their depths delineations […]

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Interview with Aaron Betsky on Schmidlapp Gallery Re-Installation

Tucked in the multi-page announcement of the Cincinnati Art Museum’s 2011-12 exhibition schedule is a portent of change beyond the new season.  Re-installation of the Schmidlapp Gallery will be “the first step in the vision for a re-designed Cincinnati Art Museum.” To find out what’s going on, in the Schmidlapp gallery now and the rest […]

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Carl Fudge

at Solway Gallery Carl Fudge is a sly fellow. Just as you think you’ve caught the drift for one of his series works, either paintings or prints – ah yes, you think, look how this cluster balances that – he changes the color scheme for another version and all relationships shift gear. New game entirely. […]

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A Painter's Eye

Jane Durrell comments on Creating the New Century. Now that we’re a decade deep into the new millennium, the impulse to slap “New Century” on just about anything out there is hard to resist. Meanwhile, a lot of what’s going on has 20th century roots. Case in point is Creating the New Century: Contemporary Art […]

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Odd Man Out

WHITE PEOPLE: A RETROSPECTIVE Photographs by Melvin Grier Quite a lot is going on in the engrossing exhibition of Melvin Grier’s photographs at Kennedy Heights Arts Center.. One narrative line is this city, reflected in a daily newspaper over a period of more than thirty years. Another has to do with the photographer himself, a […]

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Jimmy Baker

Remote Viewing Jimmy Baker makes difficult art, and makes it extremely well. His solo show at Contemporary Arts Center, Remote Viewing, is only ten paintings but they are quite enough for the long, thin gallery that stretches along the south side of the CAC’s second floor. The works hang at a distance from one another, […]

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Mary Baskett

An Interview To interview Mary Baskett, known for individualistic dress as well as for expertise in Western and Japanese prints, I wear the single spectacular piece of clothing in my own closet, a winter coat of many colors. “Jane! Your coat!” says Baskett, on opening the door of the Mt. Adams house where she and […]

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Goya at The Taft

Los Caprichos at the Taft Museum of Art Francisco José de Goya was 53 years old, seriously deaf but acutely visual, when he published the extraordinary series of eighty images called Los Caprichos now on view at the Taft Museum of Art. Caprichos—the word means “whims” or “fancies”—in this artist’s hands become the thoughtless, often […]

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Thomas Gainsborough

Gainsborough’s Touch Exhibitions can be flat-out beautiful and they can bristle with ideas. When they are both you might want to send up a rocket in celebration, but perhaps the best thing is simply to go back and look at the show again. The Cincinnati Art Museum’s extraordinary gathering of paintings in Thomas Gainsborough and […]

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Kristen Spangenberg

                    “A young Californian has come out of the west. . .to take over the curator’s post in the Print Department of the Cincinnati Art Museum” reported the art columnist for the Cincinnati Post, September 24, 1971. The new curator was Kristin Spangenberg, this month marking […]

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Mark Patsfall

Clay Street and Beyond Mark Patsfall is the go-to guy if you’re an artist and you have a difficult print job at hand. Patsfall also makes art, as can be seen right now in the Weston Art Gallery’s The House In My Head. His own quirky, idea-filled show, The Nature of Time, recently appeared at […]

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