Hot on the heels of Monet in Giverny,
this summer the Cincinnati Art Museum showcases the life and legacy of
pioneering African American artist Henry Ossawa Tanner in Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit. A full-scale retrospective, Modern Spirit
is a provocative examination of one man’s journey to discover a
pictorial language capable of expressing an intense religious feeling.
In a space dedicated to interiors, the
expansive second floor of Bromwell’s downtown, Celene Hawkins brings
together several of the city’s most accomplished artists with works “in
which nature is found, observed and re-made in elegant and subtle ways,” for Flora and Fauna.
So, the outside comes into these high-ceilinged, fireplace-studded
display rooms to mutual benefit.
For Night and Day, a
two-person show by Brooklyn-based artists Mike Perry and Naomi Reis
currently on view at the gallery/shop/studio YES, I’ve let my guard down
a little. The temptation to experience something approaching the
sublime beneath the surface of lighthearted illustrations wrapped in
psychedelic colors or brittle, architectural depictions of a modernist
sphere was just too strong.
As the mercury begins its steady ascent
and the humid days give way to sultry nights, the climate-controlled
environs of Cincinnati’s art galleries beckon. But with the spring
season nearing its end and several galleries paring back their
programming, despite best efforts to beat the heat, this summer’s
hottest works are going to be found outside.
a lost fledgling in my backyard. He blunders about on big feet and his
bleating mouth asks to be fed or put back in the nest. I do not speak
bird, but I know who does. I call Sheida Soleimani, artist, violinist
with the band Marmalade Brigadeand Cincinnati’s unofficial avian intermediary.
When the Cincinnati History Museum delves
into its attic, or “storage,” as museums are more likely to call their
collection of out-of-sight possessions, it has at hand treasures from
some of the best attics in the city, among other sources.
I always admired the BombShells, Cincinnati’s yarn-bombing ladies. I just didn’t think that, given my lack of crafting skills, I could become one. Now, living the dream of wannabes worldwide, I’ve been invited to participate in a bombing.
Jannis Varelas’ exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center, Sleep, My Little Sheep Sleep,
is a multi-media installation of exaggerated figures collaged together
from banal materials, the first in a series of projects organized by
guest curators from around the world.
Before Burger Madness, there was mural madness at Arthur’s, the Hyde Park restaurant/bar. From 1981 to 1992, Jerry Dowling painted
caricatures of 142 regulars on a 44-foot wall. The characters are still
there — on the mural, anyway — but the character has changed.
The 20th century looms large in Paul Schuette’s new show Compositions
at semantics. An investigation into form, structure and sound, the
exhibition’s multimedia works orient themselves around Modernism’s
concern with quintessence, but pose typically Postmodern questions about
how we define genres and the context in which we encounter works of
I’m obsessed with the title of Thunder-Sky Inc.’s latest show, Reverse Psychology.
The name, a play on two artists’ opposite aesthetics and themes,
doesn’t work for me — or does it? Should I be celebrating differences,
or searching for similarities? I don’t know what to think, and I think
that’s the intent.
When I was growing up, the fact that
Cincinnati was known as “Porkopolis” was not exactly a selling point for
me. I vividly remember Bicentennial Commons at Sawyer Point opening in
1988 to much hullabaloo thanks to the flying pig sculptures near the
entrance and being absolutely mortified with embarrassment that my
hometown would choose to embrace its reputation as a haven for swine.
At over six feet tall, Joseph
Winterhalter is an imposing figure. With a deep voice and a firm
handshake, he comes across as a fusion between an aging punk rocker and
radical intellectual with a lot on his mind.