For art museums, one effect of the Great Recession has been to reexamine priorities — try to do more with the collections you already have, saving money on importing prestigious but costly traveling shows.
For the 2010-2011 exhibition season, Cincinnati Art Museum’s three major shows will be in-house-curated and highlight its own collection — borrowing to fill out a show, but not define it.
Last weekend's Art Chicago, with about 150 international galleries displaying (mostly) contemporary art in their individual booths, is the best way for us Midwesterners to get a handle on what's new and important in the art world regionally and around the world. It was held at the city's massive Merchandise Mart concurrently with NEXT: The Invitational Exhibition of Emerging Art.
As the sustainability movement gains ground — in food production and dining, in transportation, energy use and housing — another front is emerging: sustainable crafts. Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Miami University Art Museum, sustainable metalsmith Gabriel Craig of Houston will speak on “Crafting Activism in an Age of Ambivalence.” That will be followed by an exercise in conceptual jewelry-making called Performance: The Pro Bono Jeweler at Shriver Center’s West Patio 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Erin Deters picked a bad time to get her undergraduate DAAP degree in fashion design and seek to start a career in New York City. She ran smack into the hurricane-force arrival of the great recession. Now she's back in Cincinnati and has curated 'Short Straw,' a recession-theme exhibition at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center.
As the Great Recession grinds on, one unusual aspect has been its impact on urban architecture. We see less privately financed construction — certainly far fewer single-family homes, office and retail buildings — and more ideas about urban deconstruction. Cities are concerned with rethinking what they have that is now vacant, derelict and a drain on resources.
If I were to pick the three best contemporary sculptors working on public art today, they'd be Richard Serra, Mark di Suvero and Martin Puryear. Serra unashamedly trumpets the strength inherent in large steel pieces, but Puryear does something different and especially liberating. A current show of his prints at Cincinnati Art Museum, on display now through June 13, offers insight into his motivations and process.
In the new Cincinnati Art Museum exhibit 'Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980,' a key point is that this work was tough stuff in its time. The art world couldn't understand why the new, upcoming photographers were eschewing artful black-and-white compositions and colorful nature landscapes to concentrate on banal, even grotesque shots of unglamorous everyday life.
As contemporary visual artists increasingly turn to video, film and projected images of all type, it becomes interesting to see how museums display their work. Are they like movies, deserving of a theater-like space where viewers can sit down and passively watch? Or are they more like performance art, encouraging viewers to walk amongst the moving images? Both the Cincinnati Art Museum and CAC are currently showing video work.
Come Monday, Cincinnati's CET will unveil what the Public Broadcasting System says is the first public television station to devote one of its new digital channels to 24/7 arts programming. The immediate impact of CETarts will be to offer expanded broadcast of PBS shows CET already features on its primary channel, but in the long term the Channel 48 folks wants to develop some local arts programming for the channel and already has meetings scheduled with various organizations.
Cincinnati Art Museum's Reel Art film series — movies with a strong connection to the visual arts — starts a new season Friday with 'Zabriskie Point.' It's a great lineup ... and I don't just say that because I'll be the guest speaker after that film's repeat screening Sunday.
In what was a tough year economically for the visual arts, Cincinnati museums managed to not only put on some excellent shows but to draw respectable crowds to see them. The Cincinnati Art Museum may have had to put its expansion plans on hold as the recession grinded on, but it used 2009 to present some of the new gifts that would look great on permanent display.
Cincinnati’s King Records had another good year in 2009, even though the pioneering R&B/Soul/Country label for all practical purposes left the city — and ceased having any meaningful impact on popular music — when its founder, Syd Nathan, died in 1968.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, an international organization that seeks to preserve, maintain and educate the public about all existing structures by the iconic American architect, will be holding its national conference in Cincinnati next year.
Since Louisville’s 21c Museum Hotel has announced a planned expansion into downtown Cincinnati, the discussion has centered on two issues: What does snagging an award-winning boutique hotel mean to local economic development and what will happen to the low-income residents of the Metropole Apartments? Important questions, but as an arts writer they're not my bailiwick. I can, however, offer some insight into what 21c might mean for the visual (and other) arts in Cincinnati.
Hopefully, by the time you read this (or shortly thereafter) the Cincinnati Art Museum will have opened 'Imperishable Beauty: Art Nouveau Jewelry,' the twice-delayed exhibition of more than 100 turn-of-20th-Century pieces from the finest American and European designers and jewelers.