Cincinnati Art Museum starts its busy fall season Saturday, when it celebrates the inaugural 4th Floor Award — a biennial competition for local artists — with a show of works by Don Lambert, who creates maps and spin paintings. This exhibit is up through Nov. 29. An exhibit years in the making opens in October: Roaring Tigers and Leaping Carp: Decoding the Symbolic Language of Chinese Animal Painting. Put together by Curator of Asian Art Hou-mei Sung, it borrows from collections all over the world as it surveys a thousand years of Chinese art and history. The show opens Oct. 9 and continues through Jan. 3.
Also in October, the art museum brings in a show organized by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston: Imperishable Beauty: Art Nouveau Jewelry. It features more than 100 works by such important international jewelers and designers as René Lalique, Henri Vever, Philippe Wolfers and Tiffany & Co. It opens Oct. 24 and continues through Jan. 25.
Martin Puryear, an African American sculptor whose use of natural, organic materials — especially trees — should appeal to fans of Cincinnati’s Thin Air Studios, has also been an active printmaker. And the museum has organized a survey of his last decade’s worth of prints opening Dec. 12 and continuing through March 14. (Get CAM details at www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org.)
The Contemporary Arts Center’s fall schedule will hold onto the current Anri Sala: Purchase Not By Moonlight through Jan. 24. But it will feature two other new shows: C. Spencer Yeh: Standard Definition is the first museum show for this Cincinnati-based sound and visual artist/musician (pictured) and includes “Buck and Judy,” a music video created for the band Deerhoof.
It runs Oct. 3-Jan. 24. And from Oct. 3 to May 2, the CAC presents Marilyn Minter: Chewing Color, featuring recent paintings and photographs in which the artist’s hyper-realistic work plays off against more abstract art. Incidentally, both shows will have a “special preview week” Sept. 24-Oct. 2. (Get CAC details at www.contemporaryartscenter.org.)
Taft Museum of Art continues its recently opened The Chemistry of Color, Contemporary African-American Art through Nov. 1. After that, from Nov. 20 through Jan. 17, comes Drawn by New York: Drawings and Watercolors from the New York Historical Society, which began collecting them before any other organization in the U.S. (Get Taft details at www.taftmuseum.org.)
At the Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Gallery in downtown’s Aronoff Center for the Arts, three new shows open Sept. 18 and continue through Dec. 6. “I’ll just ask Dad.”: Recent Work by Ryan Mulligan features the artist’s low-tech installations, which create a darkly humorous, somewhat-autobiographical narrative. Also offered are Form as a Cognitive System: Frescoes by Michael Sharber and Virtue in the Struggle: Installation and Works on Paper by Casey Riordan Millard. (Get Weston details at www.westonartgallery.com.)
Moving to the art-friendly neighborhoods, Carl Solway Gallery in the West End presents installations by 16 artists — several from here — in Walls, Floors & Ceilings, from Sept. 17 to Dec. 23. Among artists featured are Kristine Donnelly, Sam Gilliam, Ann Hamilton, Amy Kao, Donald Lipski, Tim McMichael and Matt Mullican. (Get Solway details at www.solwaygallery.com.)
Country Club, in the same West End building as Solway, offers the fantastical paintings of Aaron Morse, a University of Cincinnati graduate who now resides in Los Angeles, in Kingdom of Nature, which runs Oct. 23-Dec. 19. The artist aims for new mythologies through narrative painting that draws on influences from northern Renaissance painting to comic books. The gallery also will have an installation by Katie Parker and Guy Michael Davis. (Get Country Club details at www.countryclubprojects.com.)
Manifest Creative Research Gallery in East Walnut Hills, which has a current hot show in NUDE through Sept. 11, debuts a third gallery when its new season begins Sept. 25 with Monochrome: An International Competitive Exhibit of Works Utilizing One Color; Solo: Paintings by Kirstine Reiner; and Solo: Photographic Collages by Andrea Hoelscher. Those three shows continue through Oct. 23. (Get Manifest details at www.manifestgallery.org.)
And on Sept. 11, the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington opens its fall season with shows by five local artists: Leslie Shiels, Craig Lloyd, Timothy Tepe, Igor Mintch and Patrice Trauth. The shows run through Oct. 16. (Get Carnegie details at www.thecarnegie.com.)