Having recently seen a retrospective of
Romare Bearden’s artwork at Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, N.C., his
hometown, I wasn’t expecting the Taft Museum’s current and smaller Impressions and Improvisations: The Prints of Romare Bearden to be as impressive as it is.
Monet in Giverny: Landscapes of Reflection
at the Cincinnati Art Museum is a stunning collection of 12 works —
many painted after 1910 — that offers something for art lovers of all
stripes. Your granny will be happy to gaze at utterly inoffensive
subject matter, while aficionados can sink their teeth into the artist’s
assertive paint handling.
Printmaker Jim Williams sets himself
strict limitations of size and color range but proceeds to produce a
diverse, intellectually stimulating group of mono-prints for his current
Clay Street Press exhibition. His artist’s statement describes the new
work in Hybrid Structures as his “search for a visual equivalent
to the daily dynamic interplay that occurs between the man-made and the
Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center’s latest exhibition is the work of Travis Townsend in The Love Boat (abandoned), which is presented in conjunction with Out of the Gray, a group showing of works made using graphite.
As the nation observes Black History Month, Beyond Emancipation
acknowledges that sometimes it’s tough to keep hope alive. But, even
more, the show celebrates the fact that hope has always been there and
always will be.
Good news from City Hall? Yes, actually.
City Council has voted to re-instate and improve a long-established
program providing grants to individual artists, which was cut for
budgetary reasons in 2009.
Nick Cave refers to himself as a “trans”
artist because his work transcends so many categories — sculpture,
fashion, performance, dance, fine crafts, contemporary art — that it
turns the whole notion of artistic categories upside-down. His artwork — known as Soundsuits — also
deserves to be considered “trans” because seeing it can be a
transformational experience for the viewer.
Infrastructure represents opportunity.
That was the thinking of “construction clown” Raymond Thunder-Sky, the
quiet, self-taught artist and downtown icon who saw possibility for
improvement whenever a wrecking ball swung. In his world, police
stations gave way to amusement parks.
Miami University’s New Year’s resolution
came in August, when it declared the 2011-2012 term the “Year of the
Arts.” Part II of Out of the Shadows: The Rise of Women in Art,
opens Tuesday at the Miami University Art Museum.
This past year had its ups and downs for
the visual arts. The major museums had good shows, but nothing that
captured the public imagination on the order of 2010’s Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand at Contemporary Arts Center or Wedded Perfection at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Material Witness at downtown’s
Weston Art Gallery is all about the physical. The stuff of hardware
stores — plywood, drywall, insulation — remains exposed in the work. If
there’s a common thread, it’s the artists’ “careful and considerate
material choices,” guest curator Matt Distel says.
According to Mary Heider, the curator of the current A New Reality
exhibit at Covington’s Artisan’s Enterprise Center, artists take
“pieces and parts … and create from them something not previously
conceived.” It’s hard to imagine a more elegant statement on the nature
of visual art, and it’s the premise upon which the show rests.
When does an age-old craft like knitting
become hip fiber art, street art and performance art? When it’s
practiced by the Cincinnati BombShells yarn bombers, approximately 15
women ages 25-65 with sassy alter egos, Jackie O sunglasses and platinum
This is an old museum with benefits
bestowed by several generations of collectors, some of them inspired.
But is this the best way to see these works? The installation flies in
the face of accepted museology — not necessarily a bad thing — but I’m
uncertain if it accomplishes its stated aim: to bring people and art