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White People: A Retrospective (Review)

Exhibit shows depth of Melvin Grier’s photojournalistic work

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Melvin Grier, a photojournalist for the late, lamented Post for some 30 years has produced a retrospective of his work, much of it in classic black-and-white but several in color, at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center. The show is called White People: A Retrospective, because — one presumes — as a black man, Grier didn’t take for granted the places to which his assignments gave him privileged access.  

Curious Curation

New museum seasons show a new way of thinking

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Now that the Cincinnati Art Museum and Contemporary Arts Center both have announced their 2011-2012 seasons, the biggest immediate story exhibition-wise is the amount of international interest the CAC already is getting for its Realms of Intimacy: Miniaturist Practice from Pakistan. That show, put together by Justine Ludwig, runs September-January.  

Remember the Nineties

Connie Springer photo show focuses on illuminating portraits of ninetysomethings

2 Comments · Monday, May 9, 2011
The faces belong to people who are 90 years old or more, going about their lives with zest and relish. Photographer Connie Springer's nonagenarian portraits were first shown at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center in January 2009. The exhibition has had an unexpected continuing existence.  

From ‘Wonder Woman’ to Warhol

Douglas Cramer’s route to the Cincinnati Art Award

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Douglas S. Cramer is considered one of the world’s great collectors of contemporary art and has donated to many major museums, including CAM, which will display his recent gifts along with the Warhol portraits in a show on view through Aug. 21. The show features photographs, graphite drawings and eight acrylic-and-silkscreen-ink-on-linen portraits of Cramer by Warhol, all from 1985.  

Cincy, Styled

Cincinnati Fashion Week's return legitimizes the city’s chic status

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 4, 2011
An average day for Nathan Hurst can include anything from evaluating models at a casting call to meeting with international designers. If you're picturing this fashion wonder boy traipsing around New York City, you're a bit off. Hurst works his fabulosity in the Queen City. At 23, Hurst successfully produced the first Cincinnati Fashion Week in 2010 (this year's model runs May 9-15), learning and building partnerships every step along the way.  

Shifting Perspectives

Martha MacLeish’s work in Manifest show a multi-dimensional wonder

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Martha MacLeish's art, whether two- or three-dimensional, is concerned with “aspects that raise questions and create tension,” according to her artist's statement. The thing she doesn't mention is the joyful sense of life these works convey, a bursting, vibrant delight of echoing forms and interacting colors.  

Midwestern Marco Polo

Courttney Cooper maps Cincinnati through memory and imagination

0 Comments · Monday, April 18, 2011
Courttney Cooper’s large-scale, meticulously scribbled aerial views of Cincinnati bring together memory and imagination and allow versions of the city past to blur with the present. Cooper, 38, is a Cincinnati native who has exhibited near and far in museums, galleries and various folk-art festivals around the country. He’s also participated in numerous projects at Visionaries Voices, where he goes almost daily to continue work on his drawings.  

Preservation Overhaul

Video sculpture is art you can watch, but how do you save it?

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 13, 2011
University of Cincinnati owns an important video sculpture by the man who basically created multimedia art, Nam June Paik. But don’t expect to see Cinci-Mix, which was commissioned in 1996 for an interior wall in then-new Aronoff Center for Design and Art. Because the old-school components — 18 stacked rear-projection monitors playing laser-discs — started breaking down, the College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP) had to put the piece in storage in 2007.  

Narrative Figuration (Review)

The magic of Realism is on display at the Weston Art Gallery

0 Comments · Monday, April 4, 2011
In the Weston Art Gallery’s new group exhibition Narrative Figuration, on display now through June 5, curator Daniel Brown assembles five talented local artists whose chosen mode is representational, figurative work. All five artists have studied at the University of Cincinnati (DAAP). Their work focuses on genre scenes, with a renewed interest in beauty.  

Jonpaul Smith's Consumer Trends

Weaving together product packaging into fine art

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Visitors to the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center’s annual exhibition The Art of Food, which is up now through April 15, have come to expect a particular brand of art — that which is made from or inspired by food. So, at first glance, the woven paper constructions of Jonpaul Smith come as a surprise. A closer examination, however, reveals his medium: The ubiquitous processed food packaging that permeates American culture.  

The ’Wave of the Future

By expanding its mission, will arts booster ArtsWave spread itself too thin?

1 Comment · Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Now in the middle of its first fund-raising campaign under the new name ArtsWave, the organization formerly known as the Fine Arts Fund wants to pioneer a new approach to valuing the role of the arts in our community. But with that might come controversy. Some worry that in trying to broaden its mission, ArtsWave will be spreading its dollars thin.  

Should Everybody Love a Circus?

Circus poster exhibition more thought-provoking than you might think

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 9, 2011
When does something become art? One answer is when a museum shows it. Thus, the current show at the Cincinnati Art Museum through July 20, The Amazing American Circus Poster: The Strobridge Lithographing Company, qualifies as art. And I doubt few of the visitors to this exhibit will quarrel with this claim.  

You Don't Know Keith

CAC show of Pop Art icon Keith Haring’s early work is a revelation

1 Comment · Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Keith Haring’s iconography of silhouetted figures, pointy-eared dogs, swelling hearts and televisions — produced in an instantly recognizable style of heavy black outlines filling jumbled compositions — is synonymous with the Pop Art and street culture of the 1980s.  

Cleopatra (Review)

Traveling exhibit examines the mysteries and artifacts of Cleopatra's Egypt

2 Comments · Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Cleopatra, considered ancient Egypt’s great last pharaoh before that civilization fell to Roman conquest in the first century B.C., had a reputation for knowing how to present herself stunningly to outsiders. Legend has it she once sailed upriver in a gilded barge with purple sails to introduce herself to Mark Antony, the powerful Roman leader who became her new lover.  

Jun Kaneko (Review)

Solway exhibit of dynamic ceramics exhilarates

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The surest cure for winter blues can be found in the West End’s Carl Solway Gallery, where Jun Kaneko's big, brash, superbly finished ceramic sculptures and his brilliantly colored paintings and drawings lift the spirit at first glance.