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All Things Being Equal, Hank Willis Thomas at Cincinnati Art Museum

September 26th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, September 2020

All Things Being Equal, Hank Willis Thomas at Cincinnati Art Museum

The retrospective exhibition “All Things Being Equal” by Hank Willis Thomas has recently opened at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Planning for this highly anticipated show began three years ago, and the timing of its opening was postponed for several weeks due to the Coronavirus pandemic. During those weeks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery […]

What Does It Take to be a Curator?

September 26th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, September 2020

What Does It Take to be a Curator?

What does it take to be a curator?  Aeqai continues its behind-the-scenes stories on how museums work internally.   I talked to several curators from the Cincinnati Art Museum as well as the Taft Museum of Art to get their insight and perspective. Dr. Julie Aronson, CAM’s curator of American paintings, sculpture and drawings, was always […]

Pop-Up Prints Just in Time – Clay Street Press, Sunday, September 13th, 2020

September 26th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, September 2020

Pop-Up Prints Just in Time - Clay Street Press, Sunday, September 13th, 2020

On Sunday, September 13th the Clay Street Press in OTR held a Pop-Up Exhibit from 12 – 5pm along with Volatile [redux], a Pop-Up Bookshop featuring artist monographs and art reference books and booklets at the Clay Street Press Gallery. It was a great idea to have this pop-up during a dreary there-is-no-art-to-see-time. Art in the […]

North of Eden: The Art Climb at the Cincinnati Art Museum (and a Trip to Pyramid Hill)

September 26th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, September 2020

North of Eden: The Art Climb at the Cincinnati Art Museum (and a Trip to Pyramid Hill)

The biggest current project at the Cincinnati Art Museum has nothing to do with the permanent art collections under its roof. Rather, it is a monumental set of steps—164 in all—connecting the north end of the CAM’s main parking lot to the corner of Gilbert Avenue and Eden Park Drive. At nine stories tall, it’s […]

Heeding the Signal: “Beacon” at the Weston

September 26th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, September 2020

Heeding the Signal: "Beacon" at the Weston

The Weston Art Gallery’s Beacon exhibition elicits a range of meanings from its title. Beacons in the show are by turns literal and symbolic, concrete and conceptual. Gallery notes invite us to watch for “luminary individuals, institutions, and ideologies” while remembering the sense of beacon as “a kind of warning.” Bringing together ten lens-based artists […]

A State of Voluptuousness — “Francis Bacon: Late Paintings” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

August 23rd, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, Summer 2020

A State of Voluptuousness — “Francis Bacon: Late Paintings” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Francis Bacon’s last painting is mostly raw canvas. It depicts a single form: a ghostly bull bridging the blackness of an open doorway. A bit like one of those optical illusions where a shape simultaneously pushes forward and recedes, the bull alternates between presence and absence; charge and rest. Study for a Bull (1991) derives […]

“Ct King: Dangerous Little Strangers,” Clifton Cultural Arts Center, closed August 21, 2020

August 23rd, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, Summer 2020

“Ct King: Dangerous Little Strangers,” Clifton Cultural Arts Center, closed August 21, 2020

Each year the nonprofit Clifton Cultural Arts Center sponsors a  juried exhibition. The first-place winner receives a Golden Ticket, redeemable for a solo exhibition. Last year Ct King nabbed it and cashed it in for “Ct King: Dangerous Little Strangers.” This year’s Golden Ticket is not as shiny as in the past because of the COVID-19 pandemic. King’s […]

Letting Go: Unfinished/Accidents: Art about Serendipity at Manifest Gallery

August 23rd, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, Summer 2020

Letting Go: Unfinished/Accidents: Art about Serendipity at Manifest Gallery

When we encounter a portrait of the artist in her studio, a readymade that calls into question its own selection and display, or a time-lapse series that documents change in specific structures and locations, we receive an invitation to reflect on processes of artistic invention and performance. In most any exhibition, we can find works […]

Joseph Lorusso at the Miller Gallery

August 23rd, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, Summer 2020

Joseph Lorusso at the Miller Gallery

“I believe truly great art serves as a trigger into something deeper within all of us” Joseph Lorusso Nostalgic romance is alive and well at Miller Gallery in Hyde Park in the contemporary figurative work of Joseph Lorusso. Born of Italian descent in Chicago in 1966, Lorusso has been exposed to art from an early […]

It Is Otherworldly: Maya The Exhibition Cincinnati Museum Center Now through through January 3, 2021

August 23rd, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, Summer 2020

It Is Otherworldly: Maya  The Exhibition Cincinnati Museum Center Now through through January 3, 2021

Before the pyramid builders in Egypt began their staggering achievements, in our Americas, ancient people were erecting pyramids that rose splendidly and improbably above the formidable rainforests of Central America and Mexico. Like the Egyptians, the ancient Maya civilization had an elaborate pictographic language. Little known too, is the fact that it was the Maya […]

Arrest: the Politics and Transcendence of Aesthetic Arrest Qua Protest

June 27th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, June 2020

Arrest: the Politics and Transcendence of Aesthetic Arrest Qua Protest

Recently, given the fomenting protests following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery (amongst countless others), much discussion has erupted amongst contemporary artist-activists about the proper place for art and the aestheticization of politics. This is, of course, by no means a novel conversation. Historically, the aestheticization of politics has been disparaged […]

The Studio Where It Happened: James VanDerZee and the Role of Being a Modern African American

June 27th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, June 2020

The Studio Where It Happened: James VanDerZee and the Role of Being a Modern African American

James VanDerZee (1886-1983) produced somewhere between 75,000 and 100,000 photographs in his creative lifetime, maybe even more, almost all of them of African Americans who lived in or were passing through Harlem. He had a fraught relationship to street photography and worked predominantly out of his studio. At the height of his career in the […]

Erase, Tear, Gouge, Replace: Mark Bradford Excavates the Present

June 27th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, June 2020

Erase, Tear, Gouge, Replace: Mark Bradford Excavates the Present

What to write about Mark Bradford? His ascent into the art world seems to border on the magical.  His story makes for a perfect Hollywood movie if Hollywood was inclined to turn its lens to artists more often, which it does not. Mark Bradford is African-American, born and raised in South Los Angeles, in the same […]

America Goddam

June 27th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, June 2020

America Goddam

Can’t you see it Can’t you feel it It’s all in the air I can’t stand the pressure much longer Somebody say a prayer Alabama’s gotten me so upset Tennessee made me lose my rest And everybody knows about Mississippi goddam -Nina Simone In 1963, Nina Simone wrote this song in protest of the atrocities […]

Kahlil Robert Irving “Ground Water From Screen Falls [(Collaged Media + Midwest STREET)]” at the Contemporary Arts Center

June 27th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, June 2020

Kahlil Robert Irving “Ground Water From Screen Falls [(Collaged Media + Midwest STREET)]” at the Contemporary Arts Center

Engaging with Kahlil Robert Irvings’s installation requires action. Its scale requires moving one’s body, viewing it first from afar and then up close. From a distance, such as viewed from outside standing on 6th street, it’s a frenetic tableau of screenshots. There are memes and browser tabs, overlapping digital prints filling the lobby’s central wall. […]

Her Star Is Still with Us: Hildegarde of Bingen, Mystic, Artist, Composer, and Advisor to Kings

May 23rd, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, May 2020

Her Star Is Still with Us: Hildegarde of Bingen, Mystic, Artist, Composer, and Advisor to Kings

This first image shows Hildegarde receiving Divine Inspiration and sharing it with the monk Volmar. She was famous throughout central Europe in the late Middle Ages, advisor to kings; venerable abbess, composer and musician, artist and mystic. She is called the ‘Sibyl of the Rhine.’ Hildegard of Bingen was as Sir Roger Penrose is to […]

Escape from the Convent School Tower: On Remedios Varo’s 1960-61 Triptych

May 23rd, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, May 2020

Escape from the Convent School Tower: On Remedios Varo's 1960-61 Triptych

Mother Superior and her creepy bearded henchman have come to retrieve the septet of uniformed captives from their human beehive. It is time for the girls to go to work. As always, mysterious hypnotic forces compel them to mount their bicycles, starry-eyed, and follow their captors towards the tower. The tails of their habits become […]

The Places You’ll Go: The Art of Walking

May 23rd, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, May 2020

The Places You’ll Go: The Art of Walking

During this time of the pandemic, in addition to reading, what I have been doing a lot of is walking. Every day, sometimes going two or even three times, just for the purpose of getting out of the house, getting some space to think or reflect. A change of scenery at a slow pace. An […]

Another Online Visit: A Blue Thought in a Blue Shade: Anna Atkins and Cyanotype Photograms

May 23rd, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, May 2020

Another Online Visit: A Blue Thought in a Blue Shade: Anna Atkins and Cyanotype Photograms

A few years ago, way back when art could still be encountered in person, Emily Bauman, Photography Curatorial Assistant at the CAM, wrote an online note about the experience of being able to handle and see up close a cyanotype by Anna Atkins, the figure who is generally credited with being the first woman photographer […]

Art Acquisitions

May 23rd, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, May 2020

Art Acquisitions

What goes into acquiring art institutionally?  Aeqai takes a look at the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Skirball Museum at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Cynthia Amneus, curator, fashion arts and textiles at CAM, is an expert in acquisitions which can be gifts or purchases.  Sometimes, a curator will receive a call […]

Another Online Visit: Rembrandt’s “Portrait of a Man Rising from his Chair” at the Taft Museum of Art

April 25th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *

Another Online Visit: Rembrandt’s “Portrait of a Man Rising from his Chair” at the Taft Museum of Art

The High Renaissance portrait sought to depict dignity—the sense of worthiness that was, typically, an even more valuable quality in a portrait than likeness—in repose. The great 16th century portraits tried to capture what was least changing about their subjects. Though the period knew, of course, that human beings were subject to time, they assumed […]

A Salome Like No Other: Reflecting on Gustave Moreau’s Salome (Salome Dancing Before Herod)

April 25th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *

A Salome Like No Other: Reflecting on Gustave Moreau’s Salome (Salome Dancing Before Herod)

Damn. I should take drugs when I paint.  Look at French painter Gustav Moreau. He must have taken something to make these mind-bending paintings in the 1800’s. I know contemporary painter Peter Doig takes drugs because he admitted so, figures; his paintings are breathtakingly hypnotic, mystical, irrationally emotional and compelling.  But Moreau?  He’s dead. We […]

Exploring the Transmutative Power of Food and Painting in Leonora Carrington's Spellbinding "Kitchen Garden on the Eyot"

April 25th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *

Exploring the Transmutative Power of Food and Painting in Leonora Carrington's Spellbinding "Kitchen Garden on the Eyot"

During this time of quarantine, it’s enjoyable to get lost in The Kitchen Garden on the Eyot (1946) by Leonora Carrington (1917-2011). Delicately limned in egg tempera on a small panel, the scene is easy to enter online, and its cryptic serenity casts a rosy glow over one’s feelings of confinement. A sense of mystery […]

Summoning the Ghost in R. A. Blakelock’s “Moonlit Lake”

April 25th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, April 2020

Summoning the Ghost in R. A. Blakelock’s “Moonlit Lake”

“These capricious vagabonds fly somewhat in the manner of bats,” Camille Flammarion wrote in 1872[1], “which seem to dive at the turrets, and suddenly turn back, describing a parabola, to vanish in an unexpected direction.” Although the French astronomer was describing the movement of comets through the cosmos, he may as well have been describing […]

ALL THINGS ARE DELICATELY INTERCONNECTED: Jenny Holzer // Wanda Orme Earth Day and COVID-19

April 25th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, April 2020

ALL THINGS ARE DELICATELY INTERCONNECTED: Jenny Holzer // Wanda Orme   Earth Day and COVID-19

There are / were a lot of holidays effected by COVID-19 measures this spring; Ramadan, Passover, and Easter to name the heavyweights. For me what stood with a heavier weight than normal was Earth Day. Every year on April 22, we celebrate the beginning of what is now known as the official beginning of the […]

“Something Over Something Else”: Romare Bearden’s Profile Cincinnati Art Museum February 28–May 24, 2020

March 28th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *

“Something Over Something Else”: Romare Bearden’s Profile  Cincinnati Art Museum February 28–May 24, 2020

It is a major coup that the Cincinnati Art Museum is showcasing the work of the renowned African-American artist Romare Bearden who launched his career during the height of the early twentieth-century’s Harlem Renaissance in New York. The exhibition “Something Over Something Else”: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series gives Cincinnatians a visual treat this spring and […]

Jessie Dunahoo at The Carnegie

March 28th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, March 2020

Jessie Dunahoo at The Carnegie

It was a drizzly Tuesday afternoon. With long sleeves balled around his hands, Matt Distel opened the front door of The Carnegie. The previous Friday would have been a big night for the Exhibitions Director, but along with art and cultural events across the country, the opening reception for four new shows was cancelled due […]

Inside the Galleries: Art From Arrival to Installation

March 28th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *

Inside the Galleries:  Art From Arrival to Installation

From soup to nuts.  Ever wonder how a piece of art makes it to the gallery floor?  Here’s an inside look at the Cincinnati Arts Association’s Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery and the Cincinnati Art Museum and how that happens. Weston Art Gallery shows an eclectic mix of emerging and professional artists […]

Perin Mahler: “Storytellers and Other Works”

March 28th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, March 2020

Perin Mahler: "Storytellers and Other Works"

A contemporary analysis of social stress is the subject of investigation of Perin Mahler’s colorful, large scale narrative figure paintings at the Manifest Gallery in Walnut Hills. On viewing this work serially, one cannot avoid becoming cognizant of the artist’s social perceptions as well as his personal introspections which inspire the narrative scenarios of these […]

Phantom Pleasure: Consolations from Some Online Art

March 28th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *

Phantom Pleasure: Consolations from Some Online Art

I was looking forward to reviewing the N. C. Wyeth show at the Taft, and was planning on seeing it on a Sunday with my wife. We’d see the show, have brunch, check out the gift shop. On Friday the 13th—I know, right?—I went online to check out the museum’s hours—is it that they open […]

Trail of Tears: “Motel X: A Multimedia Human Trafficking Prevention Art Installation” at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, January 11-April 4, 2020

February 15th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *

Trail of Tears: “Motel X: A Multimedia Human Trafficking Prevention Art Installation” at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, January 11-April 4, 2020

When I first came to Cincinnati, I was told that I-75 had been designed by someone who had heard of an interstate highway but never actually seen one. At times, it feels like it was little more than a good guess on the builders’ part. I-75 sprouts red barrels as empty fields sprout crabgrass, and […]

Refusals and Offerings: Revolutionary Identity at the Kennedy Heights Art Center

February 15th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *

Refusals and Offerings: Revolutionary Identity at the Kennedy Heights Art Center

Revolutionary: Being American Today advances a poignant, collaborative statement about the contradictions of contemporary U.S. citizenship. At once historically dense and urgently contemporary, it draws together works by John Brooks, Kiah Celeste, Amanda Curreri, Stephanie Cuyubamba Kong, Brianna Harlan, Anissa Lewis, Melissa Vandenberg, and Renzo Velez. Curator Jessica Oberdick assembles those works in ways that […]

“Pop Supernatural” at The Weston Art Gallery

February 15th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, January/February 2020

"Pop Supernatural" at The Weston Art Gallery

On view through April 5th at the Weston is an exhibition by a Cincinnati native and current New York dweller, Todd Pavlisko. Pavlisko’s “Pop Supernatural,” is – as you might guess – guided by conversations with popular culture. The Weston’s two floors organize the exhibition. The entrance level floor holds a few different threads, while […]

Art Education for All at the Contemporary Arts Center, Taft Museum of Art and the Cincinnati Art Museum

February 15th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *

Art Education for All at the Contemporary Arts Center,  Taft Museum of Art and the Cincinnati Art Museum

“The city has room for three different art centers,” said Elise Solomon, director of learning and engagement at the Taft Museum of Art.  Shawnee Turner, Elizabeth Hardin-Klink and Emily Holtrop, her counterparts at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAM) and the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM) respectively would agree.  Often under the radar, they all actively develop […]

Where The Sidewalk Begins

February 15th, 2020  |  by  |  published in *, January/February 2020

Where The Sidewalk Begins

In the midst of Downtown Cincinnati, there is a much beloved architecturally and historically significant building celebrating its 200th birthday. With the exception of a few other early American and European Colonial and Native American structures on this continent, most have not survived and even fewer in this region of our country. Cincinnati was founded […]

“Tell Me What’s Beyond the Levee”: “The Levee: A Photographer in the American South” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, October 5, 2019-February 2, 2020

December 28th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

“Tell Me What’s Beyond the Levee”: “The Levee: A Photographer in the American South” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, October 5, 2019-February 2, 2020

Sohrab Hura is a young Indian photographer (b. 1981) who in 2016 came to the cities, towns, and countryside that stretch along the Mississippi River from Cairo, Illinois, down to the Gulf of Mexico, looking to understand a section of the United States that was profoundly unfamiliar to him. Along the way, he wanted to […]

Semiotic Overloads and Proxy Dimensions: Joomi Chung and John Humphries at the Weston Art Gallery

December 28th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, December 2019

Semiotic Overloads and Proxy Dimensions: Joomi Chung and John Humphries at the Weston Art Gallery

Changes of shape, new forms, are the theme which my spirit impels me now to recite. Inspire me, O gods, and spin me a thread from the world’s beginning… —Ovid, Prologue to Metamorphoses[1] In Joomi Chung’s Image Space/Memory Space, there are mountains and motorbikes, traffic cones and tree branches, satellites and skyscrapers, flocks of birds […]

Henry Lawrence Faulkner

December 28th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, December 2019

Henry Lawrence Faulkner

The bohemian life and creative mission that drove Henry Lawrence Faulkner encompassed more than visual art, but it is perhaps his stylized and sometimes colorist work that most indelibly left an impression on the world.  Extraordinarily prolific, Faulkner left behind more than 5,000 works.  He was both a romantic and pragmatic, at times knowing that […]

Art of Ernest Blumenschein

December 28th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, December 2019

Art of Ernest Blumenschein

The Dayton Art Institute continues its celebration of its Centennial year by highlighting the career of one of Dayton’s most successful 20th century artists: Ernest Blumenschein. This exhibition of 15 works examines his love of the spontaneous sketch, his stature as a fine oil painter and his remarkable contribution to his community in the American […]

Best Fiction of 2019

December 28th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, December 2019

Best Fiction of 2019

2019 was an exceptionally fine year for new fiction.  My list of the best fiction of this year was difficult to make, as so many excellent choices are available.  In reading other such lists (“The New York Times Book Review”; “The New Yorker”, NPR, Amazon, amongst others), I noted that these lists have few novels […]

Drifting and Digging: Birgit Jensen’s Flugblätter at Clay Street Press Gallery

November 24th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

Drifting and Digging: Birgit Jensen’s Flugblätter at Clay Street Press Gallery

In Birgit Jensen’s Flugblätter (Flying Letters), nothing settles comfortably into place. The purportedly autonomous artist ruptures into the collective. The collective expands and contracts like a breathing organism, dismissing its own consistency with Whitmanesque abandon. The radically distributed artist takes transformation as its topic, working paradoxically to make temporal processes concrete, all while inhabiting the […]

“DARK: Shadows, Nightscapes, and Darkness,” Manifest Gallery, through December 6, 2019

November 24th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

“DARK: Shadows, Nightscapes, and Darkness,” Manifest Gallery, through December 6, 2019

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” A single sentence from Anne Frank encapsulates Manifest Gallery’s “DARK: Shadows, Nightscapes, and Darkness” exhibition. From a pool of’ 359 works by 103 artists representing five countries, 30 states, and the District of Columbia, the blind jury selected 17 pieces by 15 […]

Robert and Chuck’s grand adventure: “Into the Wilderness” Eisele Gallery, Cincinnati

November 24th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, November 2019

Robert and Chuck's grand adventure: "Into the Wilderness"  Eisele Gallery, Cincinnati

Leave your comfort zone and imagine trekking into the wilds of Wyoming with artists Chuck Marshall and Robert Hagberg. Descriptive plein air paintings, several of them executed in the wilds, are contemporary interpretations of  Wyoming wilderness currently exhibited at Eisele Gallery. The concept that inspired the “Into the Wilderness” experience of Hagberg and Marshall, was […]

Castanets and Castas: “Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum and Library” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, October 25, 2019-January 19, 2020

November 24th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

Castanets and Castas: “Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum and Library” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, October 25, 2019-January 19, 2020

This is a big show with a big story to tell, one that both celebrates and critically examines what it means to be Hispanic. The show focuses on, but is not limited to, European Spain, which it follows through many of its incarnations: an ancient civilization, a Roman outpost, a Christian outpost, a center of […]

Paul Mpagi Sepuya at the Blaffer Art Museum

November 24th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, November 2019

Paul Mpagi Sepuya at the Blaffer Art Museum

“Yes, I understand these,” I might have said to myself on my first encounter with Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s photographs at Houston’s Blaffer Art Museum. In the Los Angeles photographer’s first major museum survey, arriving from the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, fragments of figures bend and tangle against cool walls and in dark rooms. […]

Distant Vistas and Closer Looks: “The Poetry of Nature: Hudson River School Landscapes from the New-York Historical Society” at Taft Museum of Art, October 5, 2019-January 12, 2020

October 26th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

Distant Vistas and Closer Looks: “The Poetry of Nature:  Hudson River School Landscapes from the New-York Historical Society” at Taft Museum of Art, October 5, 2019-January 12, 2020

I grew up in New York, and so the Hudson River was the river of my childhood. As a child, I thought of it starting in New York City rather than ending there, and then it went, straight and broad, some 300 miles north into the mysterious territory those from the city called “upstate.” It […]

Stride Piano on Canvas: Robert Colescott at the Contemporary Arts Center

October 26th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

Stride Piano on Canvas: Robert Colescott at the Contemporary Arts Center

More than thirty years after Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center staged a mid-career celebration of Robert Colescott, the arts center has assembled the first survey of his life’s work. Art and Race Matters features 85 pieces produced over more than five decades, taking the viewer from his early studies at Berkeley to his sojourn at the […]

"Women Breaking Boundaries" Cincinnati Art Museum from October 11–April 12, 2020

October 26th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

"Women Breaking Boundaries" Cincinnati Art Museum from October 11–April 12, 2020

In this the one-hundredth anniversary of the Women’s Suffragette Movement, the Cincinnati Art Museum joins numerous museums across America to focus on and celebrate women’s equality. But the Cincinnati contribution is oh-so-different. The curator, Ainsley M. Cameron, Curator of South Asian Art, Islamic Art & Antiquities at the Cincinnati Art Museum explained that all eight […]

Dress Up, Speak Up: Regalia & Resistance at the 21C Museum Hotel Cincinnati

October 26th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

Dress Up, Speak Up: Regalia & Resistance at the 21C Museum Hotel Cincinnati

In the exhibition “Dress Up, Speak Up: Regalia & Resistance”, 21C Chief Curator Alice Gray Stites assembles an impressive group of international artists whose work subverts, reinterprets, and reframes representations of cultural power, communal dignity, and personal agency through costume and its context. While regalia is a familiar term, indicating a formal outfit or ornament […]

“Paintings by Bessie and Herman Wessel from the Estate of Helen Wessel,” Cincinnati Art Galleries, through November 23, 2019

October 26th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

“Paintings by Bessie and Herman Wessel from the Estate of Helen Wessel,” Cincinnati Art Galleries, through November 23, 2019

“They (Herman and Bessie Wessel) believed that recording the infinitely varied pageantry of the visible world with paint was an exceedingly and challenging pursuit; one that dwelled not on the ebb and flow of any fashionable modernist creed, but rather on the simple and timeless of joy of living.” 1  That is the beginning of […]

The Bent and Biologized Bodies of Oktay Ince’s Breakages

September 28th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, September 2019

The Bent and Biologized Bodies of Oktay Ince’s Breakages

In my home country, Turkey, the amorphous term “terrorist” has adopted folk-lore speculative projections: from a baklava magnate to journalist dissenters and high school teachers, from professors to artists, the unpredictability of being labeled a “terrorist” blankets all such dissenters who dare problematize the ruling AK Party/President Erdoğan. One such case is that of Oktay […]

IMPACTFUL INTERSECTIONALITY IN CONTEMPORARY ART

September 28th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, September 2019

IMPACTFUL INTERSECTIONALITY IN CONTEMPORARY ART

Intersectionality, a deconstructionist critical theory that attempts to identify how different aspects of political and social discrimination overlap and impact marginalized members of our society, is a term that was coined by black feminist scholar, Kimberle’ Williams Crenshaw in 1989. It includes various forms of social stratification, such as class, race, sexual orientation, age, religion, […]

Enduring Attractions: Ritual and Play at the Caza Sikes Gallery

September 28th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

Enduring Attractions: Ritual and Play at the Caza Sikes Gallery

The Art of the Automaton at Caza Sikes Gallery in Oakley boasts an array of interactive machines designed by seven artists from across the United States. They have honed their craft as builders since childhood, traveling to such places as Bali, Tanzania, Nigeria, Senegal, and Peru to develop their technique. Works by Dewey Blocksma, Randall […]

The Company You Keep: “Tiger Lily Press 40th Anniversary Exhibition” at Kennedy Heights Arts Center, August 3-September 14, 2019

September 28th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

The Company You Keep: “Tiger Lily Press 40th Anniversary Exhibition” at Kennedy Heights Arts Center, August 3-September 14, 2019

Some art work we are likely to do alone, as little outside assistance is required: street photography, for example, or sketching wildflowers in the woods, or singing in the shower. Other types require support systems of various sorts: a string quartet or bronze casting. Artists frequently pool their resources to draw nude models, though they […]

“Emanate”: Light, Time and Art

September 28th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, September 2019

“Emanate”: Light, Time and Art

Through October 10-13, the city will roll out the massive, citywide light-based art spectacle BLINK for the second time after a successful first go around in 2017. The outdoor festival, however, isn’t the only attraction that people should gravitate toward to view interesting light-based work. It’s perhaps appropriate that the smaller exhibition, “Emanate,” is featured […]

“Kimono: Refashioning Contemporary Style,” Cincinnati Art Museum, through September 15, 2019

August 24th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

“Kimono: Refashioning Contemporary Style,” Cincinnati Art Museum, through September 15, 2019

As I whipped through “Kimono: Refashioning Contemporary Style” 1 at the Cincinnati Art Museum, several things struck me. First was the aptness of it title, which quite succinctly sums up its basic thesis that the kimono has inspired Western clothing design through its form and surface decoration beginning in the 1870s and continuing to the present. The […]

Britni Bicknaver Channels Access and Atmosphere in Cinema of Memory

August 24th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, Summer 2019

Britni Bicknaver Channels Access and Atmosphere in Cinema of Memory

Britni Bicknaver has had a very busy year. The Cincinnati native has exhibited new works in group shows at the Weston Art Gallery (Cincinnati, OH) and The Carnegie (Covington, KY) through the spring and summer of 2019, before opening her solo show Cinema of Memory at Reverb Art + Design (Cincinnati, OH) on August 7. […]

Kevin White Retrospective

August 24th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

Kevin White Retrospective

Nestled in the niche neighborhood of Northside, Visionaries + Voices (V+V) is home to Kevin White, a contemporary and founding artist of the ability-forward hub.  A solo-show of his work to date, Kevin White Retrospective catalogs the oeuvre of the prolific and present-day artist.  Installations, paintings, and live-art comprise the show, as well as photographs […]

Liminal Water: Weightless at the Miller Gallery

August 24th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, Summer 2019

Liminal Water: Weightless at the Miller Gallery

Weightless by Christy Lee Rogers Through September 7 The Miller Gallery 2715 Erie Ave Cincinnati, OH 45208 “What lifts you up?” asks the prompt for Christy Lee Rogers photography exhibit Weightless, which appears at Cincinnati’s Miller Gallery. It’s a question that met my curiosity with an initial skepticism, as it’s a question that could’ve have […]

“Moon Museum”: Celebrating Artistic Contributions to the Space Program

August 24th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, Summer 2019

"Moon Museum": Celebrating Artistic Contributions to the Space Program

The moon, Earth’s singular satellite, has fascinated the earthbound human mind for thousands of years. The 50th anniversary of the successful 240,000 mile journey of American astronauts to the moon occurred in mid-July, 2019. Especially noted for the first steps on the lunar surface are native Ohioans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Their historic journey […]

Posthuman Design: Creatures: When Species Meet at the Contemporary Arts Center

June 30th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

Posthuman Design: Creatures: When Species Meet at the Contemporary Arts Center

Creatures: When Species Meet locates creative processes less in the imagination of singular artists than in the encounter between living things, their negotiation of each other’s habits and desires through media both traditional and emergent. As the show catalogs those processes, it disrupts humanist views of nonhuman animals, defending against their reduction to symbols within […]

Does Size Matter?: “Magnitude Seven: 15th Annual Exhibition of Small Works” at Manifest Gallery, May 31-June 28, 2019

June 30th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

Does Size Matter?: “Magnitude Seven: 15th Annual Exhibition of Small Works” at Manifest Gallery, May 31-June 28, 2019

“Magnitude Seven” is neither the oldest nor the smallest show of small things in town, a distinction that probably goes to the Art Academy’s “Minumental” show every fall, which has run for over thirty years, and requires that each work be no larger than two inches in any direction. Jason Franz, Founding Executive Director and […]

“L’ Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters,” Taft Museum of Art, through September 14, 2019

June 30th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

“L’ Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters,” Taft Museum of Art, through September 14, 2019

Sometimes it takes time for the aesthetic worth of something to be recognized. This most definitely was not the case with French advertising handbills AKA posters from its Golden Age, from 1880 to the late 1890s. They immediately attracted a passionate bunch of collectors, earning them the sobriquet affichomaniaques–poster maniacs. “L’ Affichomania: The Passion for French […]

Hilna Af Klint at The Guggenheim: Metaphysics as it Patrols Mortality’s Borders

June 30th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, June/July 2019

Hilna Af Klint at The Guggenheim: Metaphysics as it Patrols Mortality’s Borders

The Guggenheim’s spring retrospective of the seminal Swedish painter, Hilma Af Klint, has, naturally, evoked a multitude of art critics and visual culture scholars who laud her radical abstraction which, at the beginning of the 20th century, preceded Kandinsky, Malevich, Mondrian. Yet, where much attention has been given to the symbology and motifs riddling Klint’s […]

From the Mythic Nile to the Mighty Ohio

June 30th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

From the Mythic Nile to the Mighty Ohio

“Egypt: The Time of the Pharaohs” Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Avenue   Cincinnati, OH Through August 18, 2019 Step into a time when civilization grew along the Nile, pyramids dotted the skyline and people believed gods walked among us…… From the mythic Nile to the mighty Ohio, “Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs” made its U.S. […]

The Consistency of Memory: Stewart Goldman’s "The Hanging Figures" at the Skirball Museum

June 1st, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

The Consistency of Memory: Stewart Goldman’s "The Hanging Figures" at the Skirball Museum

Stewart Goldman taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati for over thirty years. An enduring presence in the Ohio art world, he has curated shows on printmaking and the visual aesthetics of opera, lectured on the long-term influence of the Renaissance, and headed up the Cincinnati Sculpture Council. He has frequently exhibited his work in […]

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man at Cincinnati Art Museum

June 1st, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man at Cincinnati Art Museum

Part One opened April 26; Part Two opens June 7 and continues through September 2. Tuesday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m.–8 p.m. “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” took over the Cincinnati Art Museum starting April 26 and it will continue until September 2, 2019. According to Marian Goodell the ultimate goal of […]

How Shall the World be Served?: “Life in the Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Masterpieces from the Dordrecht Museum” at the Columbus Museum of Art, February 1-June 16, 2019

June 1st, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

How Shall the World be Served?: “Life in the Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Masterpieces from the Dordrecht Museum” at the Columbus Museum of Art, February 1-June 16, 2019

Well, despite what the show’s title might suggest, it’s not a blockbuster Rembrandt show. As the exhibition catalogue delicately notes, “we cannot be sure Rembrandt ever visited Dordrecht,” one of the oldest cities in all of the Netherlands and the fifth largest in its province after Rotterdam, The Hague, and Leiden. The show definitely will […]

“Rise & Shine”, A Group Exhibit at Wash Park Art

June 1st, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, May 2019

"Rise & Shine", A Group Exhibit at Wash Park Art

An interesting exhibit of the curated work of a number of artists is a good reason to drop into Holly Spraul’s Wash Park Art gallery this summer. Nicole Trimble is continuing her series on women (how can one forget “Judy Slays”, Trimble’s update on the biblical story of Judith and Holofernes). Trimble’s piece in this […]

Profile of Nancy Nordloh Neville

June 1st, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, May 2019

Profile of Nancy Nordloh Neville

“I do enjoy showing my work,” Nancy Nordloh Neville told me. “It’s my life on review.  You remember how and where you were when you painted it.  You remember if the rain came before you were finished, if you made friends with the neighbors’ dog, or if you forgot an important supply.” A plein air […]

Rachel Rampleman at Weston Gallery

April 30th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, April 2019

Rachel Rampleman at Weston Gallery

A shallow stage, dramatic floor to ceiling curtain of silver mylar, pink lights, and disco ball have recently transformed the ground floor of Weston Art Gallery. Alluding to the settings of over-the-top performances of artifice, this open space literally sets the stage for Rachel Rampleman’s labyrinthine exploration of drag subcultures, body builders, make-up artists, and […]

Floating Signifiers: holmes+riordan (collaborations) at Clay Street Press

April 30th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

Floating Signifiers: holmes+riordan (collaborations) at Clay Street Press

Visual artist Diana Duncan Holmes and poet Timothy Riordan sustained a creative partnership across three decades, reaching from the late twentieth into the early twenty-first century. In his many years of service to Xavier University, and hers to Northern Kentucky University, they produced a range of multimedia artifacts that disclose the poetry of images, the […]

Opening Space for the Imagination: Archive As Action at the Contemporary Arts Center

April 30th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

Opening Space for the Imagination: Archive As Action at the Contemporary Arts Center

“In a culture where derangement and disequilibrium are the constant and inescapable climate of a politics of bewilderment, the militant tactic is not intoxication and excess but to come to our senses and learn to live in the space they open up” –Thomas A. Clark, from “Imagination” I return again and again to this line […]

An Authorized Version: “For America: Paintings from the National Academy of Design” at the Dayton Art Institute, February 23-June 2, 2019

April 30th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

An Authorized Version: “For America: Paintings from the National Academy of Design” at the Dayton Art Institute, February 23-June 2, 2019

Whatever you think of the outcome, the Dayton Art Institute’s exhibit of 100 paintings from the collection of the National Academy of Design has been curated multiple times and by multiple standards. Since its founding in 1826, current members of the National Academy (NA) have chosen the artists who will admitted each year to add […]

Art of the International Parks Exhibit at Eisele Gallery

April 30th, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, April 2019

Art of the International Parks Exhibit at Eisele Gallery

The best public park views in the world are the subject matter of the best painters in the current exhibit at Eisele Gallery, Cincinnati. Mountain tops and serene valleys, rushing waves, hot springs and thermal pools are moulded into aesthetic statements by the nationally noted artists in a variety of media: oil, acrylic, pastel and […]

Fairs and Affairs: The Availability of Pleasure “Paris 1900: The City of Entertainment” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, March 1-May 12, 2019

March 31st, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

Fairs and Affairs: The Availability of Pleasure “Paris 1900: The City of Entertainment” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, March 1-May 12, 2019

The visual richness of Paris during the Belle Epoque would have followed people wherever they went, even out of doors. Posters must have been everywhere, depicting products for sale and announcing events and attractions both large and small on lithographed newsprint affixed to walls, fences, and kiosks specially designed for the purpose. The marketing of […]

Review: The Armory Show 2019

March 31st, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, March 2019

Review: The Armory Show 2019

This year’s iteration of The Armory Show marked its 25th anniversary, placing a considerable amount of pressure on Director Nicole Berry to execute the event at the level stakeholders in the art world have come to expect. First launched in 1994 at the Gramercy Park Hotel, The Gramercy International Art Fair has morphed into New […]

The Womanist Movement: Bridging the Gap

March 31st, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, March 2019

The Womanist Movement: Bridging the Gap

March is nationally celebrated as Women’s History Month. In keeping with its stated mission of eliminating racism and empowering women, the Greater Cincinnati YWCA has mounted an exhibition encompassing the expressive works of nine local women who examine their own attitudes of identity, entitlement and personal experiences of victimization. The exhibiting artists are: Yvonne van […]

From the “California Ideology” to Tiqqun’s “Total War:” Tracing net.art’s Archival Poetics

March 31st, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, March 2019

From the “California Ideology” to Tiqqun’s “Total War:” Tracing net.art's Archival Poetics

As a researcher, theorist, and something of a contemporary continental philosophy-bent author in, my interests in new media theory, film studies, and comparative media are necessarily political, often siding with a turn towards “speculative realism,” Quentin Meillassoux’s “correlationism,” or François Laruelle’s “non-standard philosophy” at the expense of affect theory or those “poetics” that salvage media […]

Profile of Ena Nearon Menefield

March 31st, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, March 2019

Profile of  Ena Nearon Menefield

“Cincinnati is a good city for creating a place for yourself,” Ena Nearon Menefield, who has been here since 1996, says.  Her own background, as a woman of color, makes her an experienced judge in such matters. Originally from New York City, the place where she raised her children, and later resident in California, she […]

Both Ends of the Brush: “Winslow Homer to Georgia O’Keeffe: American Paintings from the Phillips Collection” at the Taft Museum of Art, February 9-May 19, 2019

March 3rd, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

Both Ends of the Brush: “Winslow Homer to Georgia O’Keeffe: American Paintings from the Phillips Collection” at the Taft Museum of Art, February 9-May 19, 2019

High modernism is well over a century old by now, and its roots are even older. How could that even have happened? The Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. was the first American museum devoted to modern art, opening in 1921, some eight years before MOMA. Though the title of the loan show at the Taft […]

The Window of Clarity: Eric Hatch’s "Faces of Addiction"

March 3rd, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

The Window of Clarity: Eric Hatch’s "Faces of Addiction"

Award-winning writer and photographer Eric K. Hatch has made his reputation by focusing on landscapes and the built environment. So when an acquaintance who lost a son to an overdose encouraged him to address drug addiction, he at first hesitated, feeling unprepared to take on such a project. Yet after a meditative cross-country trip and […]

Close Reading: Proximity of Syllables by Migiwa Orimo at the Weston Gallery

March 3rd, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

Close Reading: Proximity of Syllables by Migiwa Orimo at the Weston Gallery

A pair of curtains adorned with a large set of parentheses hung at the entrance to the exhibit “Proximity of Syllables” at the Weston Gallery make a pronouncement: as you pass through, you are entering a space of meaning made not by what is directly stated, but by what is implied, unsaid, sidelined, redacted, absent, […]

“Art Academy of Cincinnati at 150: A Celebration in Drawings and Prints,” Cincinnati Art Museum, through April 28, 2019

March 3rd, 2019  |  by  |  published in *

“Art Academy of Cincinnati at 150: A Celebration in Drawings and Prints,” Cincinnati Art Museum, through April 28, 2019

If there were any question about the importance of the Art Academy of Cincinnati (AAC) or the quality of its teachers and students, the thoughtful “Art Academy of Cincinnati at 150: A Celebration in Drawings and Prints” at the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM) puts that to rest. The exhibition presents 90 drawings and prints by […]

On a Certain Tendency of Contemporary Installation Art

March 3rd, 2019  |  by  |  published in *, Winter 2019

On a Certain Tendency of Contemporary Installation Art

British installation artist Alex Hibbitt’s Rhizome: Falling (2018) has traversed numerous gallery locales throughout the States in the last few years and hangs, suspended and static, in the Weston Gallery’s atrium ceiling. The work – a horizontal web of variegated materiality and form – while weighty, sputters a certain recherché of the ethereal, culling to […]

The Hills are Alive: Cole Carothers’s “The Cincinnati Collection, 1985–2012” on display at Roehr Insurance Company, curated by Caza Sikes, November 2-30, 2018

December 23rd, 2018  |  by  |  published in *

The Hills are Alive: Cole Carothers’s “The Cincinnati Collection, 1985--2012” on display at Roehr Insurance Company, curated by Caza Sikes, November 2-30, 2018

In Cole Carothers’s “Margin” (2008), we are in Northern Kentucky somewhere—I’m thinking probably Monmouth Street—where the roadway dips down under some train tracks. There is no glamor here, at least not in a conventional sense. Where we are has been zoned for what is called light industry, which typically means that the factories are neither […]

Picasso to Pollock: Modern Masterworks from the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University at the Speed Art Museum

December 23rd, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, December 2018

Picasso to Pollock: Modern Masterworks from the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University at the Speed Art Museum

According to the Speed Art Museum, Picasso to Pollock: Modern Masterworks from the Eskenazi Museum of Art showcases the impressive early 20th-century art collection owned by the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University. It covers the breadth of nearly every major artistic movement that occurred between the years 1900 and 1950 in Europe and America. […]

Queen City Struts Her Stuff Panorama of Cincinnati Art – 33rd Anniversary Benefit for the Taft Museum December 1st through Friday January 18th, 2019

December 23rd, 2018  |  by  |  published in *

Queen City Struts Her Stuff Panorama of Cincinnati Art - 33rd Anniversary Benefit for the Taft Museum December 1st through Friday January 18th, 2019

As a prominent river town, the Queen City has long been a storehouse for culture.  Picture Benjamin West’s massive painting Ophelia and Laertes – 109 x 152 1/2 inches – rolled up and secured to a barge coming down the Ohio River to its purchaser, none other than Cincinnati’s Nicholas Longworth. It was the first […]

Welcome Project Hosts a Series of Cincinnati Neighborhood Dinners

December 23rd, 2018  |  by  |  published in *

Welcome Project Hosts a Series of Cincinnati Neighborhood Dinners

Sharing a table and a meal together can make a community stronger. During a time of unrest nationally and internationally, this is the season to be thankful over a common dinner meeting new people and reaching out to those who are different from us. The Welcome Project reflects this theme in a year-long collaboration.  It […]

Best Fiction of 2018

December 23rd, 2018  |  by  |  published in *, December 2018

Best Fiction of 2018

  2018 was an odd year for fiction; good and occasionally superior books appeared throughout the year, though it took some sleuthing to find them.  Nothing dominates other than an ominous tendency towards overpraising novels that tend towards the politically correct.  If you read other lists of best novels of the year, you’ll notice a […]