The current Martin Tucker: Remembered
exhibit at the DAAP Galleries on the University of Cincinnati campus
spotlights a local artist — a retired art professor who died this year —
whose work showed a keen eye for the seductive, colorful quality of
American consumer culture.
A recent trip to Los Angeles museums left
me exhilarated at the scale and imagination with which major
contemporary artists are using non-traditional materials. But the return here, followed by thinking
about past and upcoming shows and activities, had me wondering if our
younger artists have enough opportunities to ever make a similar impact
with their work.
I have this recurring dream in which I go
out for a walk or drive in Cincinnati and every place I go and
everything I use to get there, from my feet to a car or bus, has been
decorated or designed by ArtWorks.
Public art in cities is becoming a mass-participation event, as the recent LumenoCity event at — make than on — Music
Hall shows. Add that to ArtWorks’ wall murals and some of the “street
art” projects presented by Contemporary Arts Center — Shepard Fairey’s
citywide poster project and whatever JR has planned for his upcoming
In its two years in existence, the Contemporary Arts Center’s performance season — curated by Drew Klein — has grown in importance, if not become equal in interest to the museum’s exhibition season. Now, Klein has announced the third season.
If sometime early next year there is an
outbreak of people madly, passionately licking the support poles inside
Cincinnati buses, you’ll know Contemporary Arts Center’s upcoming Buildering: Misbehaving the City has had its desired effect.
On June 20 at 7 p.m., Spring Grove
Cemetery will offer a Twilight Tour of what I believe is one of the
finest and most prescient war memorials in this region — its Civil War
section, where 1,027 soldiers are buried in a manner so subtly
unobtrusive to the surroundings that it’s easy to overlook.
On May 20, the CAC announced cutbacks and
layoffs to avoid fiscal deficits in the coming years. But there is more
exciting news in the offing: A new Robert Mapplethorpe-related
exhibition is planned for 2015.
In New York, under the
stage name Patti Astor, she became a club habitué and Queen of the
Downtown Screen. She was a star of some of the underground No Wave films
of the late 1970s/early 1980s that helped spark New York’s grungy and
wildly creative East Village arts scene.
In advance of last year’s FotoFocus
festival, probably the largest photography-related event in Cincinnati’s
history, I asked James Crump — the festival’s co-chair and then chief
curator/curator-at-large at Cincinnati Art Museum — if there wasn’t an
unspoken spirit hovering over the proceedings: Robert Mapplethorpe.
The School of Art at the University of
Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning doesn’t
yet offer a specific MFA degree in duct tape, but you have to wonder how
soon before they do after seeing a current DAAP exhibition, Rise and Fall: Monumental Duct Tape Drawings by Joe Girandola.
The Contemporary Arts Center is so
excited about a performance piece that musician Jace Clayton will be
doing there in April that it’s bringing him here earlier — Friday — as
an advance introduction to Cincinnati.