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.
If you are an orderly person, your first
stop on descending the stairs to see the current installations in the
Weston Art Gallery’s lower rooms will be the tiny viewing area just to
the right of the staircase. There, Clara Crockett’s “Theatre
Lilliputiens,” five brief films with a total running time of 20 minutes,
prepare us for the world of her small, meticulous drawings.
You don’t know where some trails will
lead. Roads diverge, loop, merge and meander. “I took the one less
traveled by,” Robert Frost wrote, “and that has made all the
difference.” Phyllis Weston Gallery presents Paper Trail
as an opportunity “to explore the brilliant variety of paper as a
medium.” But the medium really isn’t the message here.
Photography shows in cafes can be chancy
as to quality and depth. Those at Iris BookCafe and Gallery, curated by
William Messer, regularly break this rule. Messer, in exhibitions
presented quarterly at Iris since fall 2008, is himself an experienced
curator with an international background and a photographer in his own
In Lewis Carroll’s 1871 sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,
Alice traverses a mirror above her drawing-room fireplace to enter the
“Looking-glass House.” Once there she discovers a chamber that is both
familiar and bizarre — a place identical in dimension to the humdrum
parlor she has departed, but where chess pieces frolic and poems are
written in reverse.
Peter Haberkorn, a Cincinnati artist who
imaginatively salvages and repurposes older materials, has a background
in architectural study. Fittingly, the first thing you notice upon
entering Northside’s Prairie to see his new show, Airstream, is just how beautifully his work fits in as gallery-complementing design.
During the installation of her new show I surrender, dear
at downtown’s Contemporary Arts Center, Moscow-born/New York-based
artist Dasha Shishkin and I discussed a range of issues, including the
possibility that she might be a witch.
At Manifest Creative Research Gallery,
ideas for exhibitions are almost an intellectual art form on their own.
The little “neighborhood gallery for the world” in East Walnut Hills has
a history of dreaming up surprising themes.
Pompeii is the disaster-grabber of all
time. How old were you when that terrible story first drew you in? I was
8, I think, and Pompeii still grips my imagination. For all of us who can’t shake this fascination, A Day in Pompeii,
now at Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, is a must.