Jahaziel Minor's senior exhibition at the Art Academy of Cincinnati last April presented something remarkably different from other recent undergraduate shows. It focused on one large painting and the nearly 20 preparatory drawings and oil paintings he made to develop the final canvas.
Ryan McGinness' exhibition of new paintings creates an optical second reality in the Vance-Waddell Gallery at the Cincinnati Art Museum. He uses florescent paint to create a three-dimensional effect. The illusion is so believable that it's hard to imagine anyone not itching to touch the panels.
Many Westerners received their introduction to modern China during the 2008 Olympic games. Television viewers witnessed the results of an architectural explosion in Beijing, and innovative structures like the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube became instant cultural icons.
What this means is not at all simple. The papers are painted beautifully in the loose but contained way of a lot of art right now. It's also politically charged. But bringing the two together makes something consuming. We, as viewers, stand face-to-face, surrounded by the criminal acts of our generation.
"The theme of 'Houdini's Box' is all-encompassing," explains Jymi Bolden, director of Art Beyond Boundaries Gallery. He put this exhibition together to showcase a diverse range of photographers working with film and digital techniques in what he calls "a magic act."
It begins with a strange and stiff little figure from the 17th century, "Robert Gibbs at 4-1/2 Years." Young Gibbs appears as a miniature adult, in the fashion of the times, holding gloves as his father might, painted by an artist known only as the Freake-Gibbs painter.
Turning adversity into a virtue is something artists are good at. The adversity of being an artist in a Communist society that forbad direct social criticism steered Anderle into a body of work well suited for comment on the human condition. So prints became Anderle's dominant form of expression through much of his career.
It is astonishing that Maria Lassnig, whose work is presented in an impressive solo exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), is widely unknown in the United States. She is an influential force throughout Europe, working in Vienna for the past few decades.
Ohad Meromi is part of a group of Israeli artists who migrated from Tel Aviv to attend Columbia University's graduate program. Matt Distel previously made us aware of this group when, while working at the Contemporary Arts Center, he brought Guy Ben-Ner's work there in 2005.
Colors are usually spot on, with little meandering between, say, blue and green, and shapes are polygons of considerable variety, in some cases relaxing into curves with a whiff of Art Deco. Meanwhile, in one of the four upstairs galleries, Kelly Jo Asburys paintings havent a hard edge in them.
Posters announcing fund-raisers were designed with an eye to the vintage: coin cans, retro typefaces, "Everything must go!" jargon. Publico's street sign, a light box with black san serif letters, taken from its original spot and replaced in the Weston, becomes an ironic flashback.
They’ve created several amazing wall compositions in which arrays of prints bear strong resemblance to a central sculptural or relief work. Yet there is some degree of irony that Benglis’ art — historically associated with Post Minimalism — would appear so densely.
What's happening to the arts audience in Cincinnati? Is it the same group of stalwarts -- loyal and interested but inevitably growing older -- or is there an infusion of new people with new expectations? Outreach/education people in Cincinnati arts join CityBeat for a roundtable discussion.