Photography is the artform that has most in common with comedian Rodney Dangerfield. Historically, it got no respect. Late-19th/early-20th-century Pictorialist photographers pushed the idea of photography-as-art, and the new Taft Museum exhibition plants their flag immediately with its title, 'Truth/Beauty,' echoing a phrase from poet John Keats' 'Ode on a Grecian Urn.'
In a town where the local music scene often struts its stuff by releasing compilation CDs, it's fitting that the first-rate homegrown creative design community is also looking for a little deserved attention. 'Twelve-Way With Cheese' is a a wonderfully retro project hearkening to the classic styles and campiness of comic books from a golden pre-digital age, and it's a cheap thrill, just as a comic book should be.
Probably the most eagerly awaited regional art museum event this summer isn’t an indoor exhibition at all. It’s the debut (on June 20) of 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park at Indianapolis Museum of Art. But more locally, the Cincinnati Art Museum and Dayton Art Institute both have great summer shows planned.
"Fringe suggests that (which is) set apart from work aiming at marketability. It probably has a tendency to disturb. Fringe won't answer questions, it will present them." So says Cincinnati artist Robin Stinetorf in his statement for this year's Visual Fringe Festival. He's one of six artists (five humans and a horse) to comprise the visual art appendage of the Cincy Fringe Festival at the Art Academy.
Right now, the Carl Solway Gallery has a show important to its remarkable history. Works from the Gallery Collection features pieces by more than 60 major artists who, as the 75-year-old Solway puts it, mostly are “people of my generation or close to it.” But what’s most impressive about the show is the close relationship Solway has had with many of the artists including John Cage, Buckminster Fuller and Nam June Paik.
In a first for the galleries, Country Club's Oakley and Los Angeles locations chose to present an exhibition concurrently, painter Fritz Chesnut's 'Peak and Flow,' offering different pieces from the same series. His new abstract paintings radiate a definite West Coast vibe, and they're on view locally through May 29.
Time has no shape, color or texture. It's non-spatial, constantly changing and invisible. How on earth could an artist hope to capture it? Manifest Gallery explores this elusive medium with the works of 19 artists in 'TEMPO,' curated by Jason Franz, and runs concurrently with 'Rites of Passage' featuring work by college students and recent graduates.
The Contemporary Arts Center's just-announced 2010-11 season continues its support of emerging artists — including Cincinnati-based ones — in a series of shows mostly curated by Director Raphaela Platow. But it will also feature a tightly focused retrospective of the work of the late Keith Haring as well as a group show with an A-list of contemporary artists, courtesy of a Mexican collection.
Simplified paintings of windows and doors have been sprouting across the boarded-up facades of derelict buildings around Over-the-Rhine and other inner city spots since last October. They're the work of Future Blooms, an unusual public-art program initiated by Keep Cincinnati Beautiful. In a small, localized way, it recalls the work of the Federal Art Project, part of the job-creation Works Progress Administration that existed as part of the New Deal during the Great Depression.
If you still have doubts as to whether computer-generated art can actually be true art, look in on McCrystle Wood's 'Jardin Femme' at Clay Street Press. The 21 computer-created archival digital prints, each in an edition of five, capture both the eye and the mind of the viewer. They're beautiful but not "pretty" and intellectually exciting without being didactic.
'Disturbing Reality' at the Weston Art Gallery is as much a group therapy session as a group exhibition. In addition to the expected scenes out of a child's anxiety closet, there are a surprising number of cathartic, even comforting, images. The nine artists in this circle seem to feed off one another.
In Country Club's current group show, much of the work is flat-out beautiful, while what isn't is still rewarding because it gives you plenty to think about. The show, continuing through April 10, resonates from artist to artist and is a pleasure to explore.
Colored pencil art works? By grownups? If you thought the colored pencil was an artistic medium reserved for grade school, members of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America will be quick to dissuade you. The group has a show up at the downtown YWCA right now that features multiple works from more than a dozen artists.
To see just how extensively appropriation is being used in contemporary art, it's useful to compare and contrast two traveling shows now in Cincinnati: Kara Walker's 'Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)' at the Cincinnati Art Museum and Shepard Fairey's 'Supply and Demand' at the Contemporary Arts Center. The term "appropriation" is used to describe new art that incorporates in some way a pre-existing work into its imagery.
When it was announced last year that Shepard Fairey's traveling solo show 'Supply and Demand' would stop at the Contemporary Arts Center, it immediately seemed a masterstroke for the museum. One component of this exhibition involves Fairey working in public spaces and on mural projects, but not unauthorized graffiti. He and his crew ended up erecting seven paper murals downtown and in Northside.