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The Big Picture
 

A Great American Sculptor’s Show Visits Columbus

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Columbus’ Wexner Center for the Arts makes a bold statement in its current retrospective of David Smith’s work: He’s the greatest American sculptor of the 20th century. If Smith, who died in an auto accident in 1965 at age 59, is ahead of Alexander Calder, Isamu Noguchi or Richard Serra, I’m not sure the general public knows it.   

Saving a Modernist Cincinnati Kitchen

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 8, 2012
When Chuck Lohre and Janet Groeber learned the innovative kitchen at Hyde Park’s landmark 1960 Corbett House was being replaced by new owners, they shifted into action to save it. They offered to take it and the owners agreed. They acquired the kitchen in 2010. Now, no longer wanting to store the disassembled kitchen, they are trying to find a new home for it.  

Carl Solway Celebrates John Cage Centennial

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Carl Solway, celebrating his 50th year as a Cincinnati gallerist, was speaking recently to arts patrons in the residence at Hamilton’s Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park about the milestone that is his new show. He’s presenting a John Cage show, he said, because Cage was the 20th Century’s greatest artist.    

The Taft Goes Public

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 10, 2012
This year is the Taft Museum’s 80th anniversary — it opened in 1932, five years after Charles Phelps Taft and Anna Sinton Taft deeded their historic 1820 mansion and its 690 works of art to Cincinnati.    

Questions About CAM ‘Collections’

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Other museums have also tried this in order to get more of their collections on view. Now Cincinnati Art Museum, which has 60,000 objects, is trying the approach. It’s converting two important second-floor galleries — previously its prime space for temporary exhibits — to open storage for the next two years, when renovation of the old Art Academy building is complete.    

High Art at Hughes High

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 14, 2011
It was about a year ago this time I was climbing the steps of Notre Dame Cathedral to look beyond the famous stone gargoyles and see Paris. I recently climbed the winding stairwell of the usually closed-off, 145-foot-tall square tower at Clifton Heights’ Hughes High School to view Cincinnati from the exposed landing at the top. Not quite the same thing, but impressive.  

Museum Seeks a Comeback

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Beginning Sunday with a 4-6 p.m. reception, the Skirball Museum (3101 Clifton Ave., Clifton, www.huc.edu/museums/) is opening a new exhibition: Jewish-related fine-crafts objects, such as driedels, mezuzahs and shofars, made of Venetian glass by Michael Gore, an Illinois artist.   

CAC Hires Performance Curator

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 16, 2011
There are two big reasons to be excited about Vermont-born, singer-songwriter Sam Amidon’s show at 9 p.m. tomorrow night in downtown’s Contemporary Arts Center (CAC). First is Amidon himself, whose records combine beautifully rendered, hauntingly sung, traditionalist-minded Folk songs with unusual arrangements.  

Remembering Vince Geier

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Whatever else, it requires bravery for a photographer to wander around abandoned buildings, subway stations, wave pools and other derelict remnants of the built environment. Vince Geier of Northside, who died in June at age 37, had it. His friend Cathy Heil, who accompanied him (and others) into Detroit’s massive Michigan Central (Railroad) Station, empty since 1988, can attest to that.   

The Mysteries of Rothko’s Red

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 19, 2011
When I first started learning about contemporary art, Pop ruled. There was a wicked humor in Pop that was subversively accessible — taking the imagery of recognizable objects, often consumer products, and liberating them from their “official” meaning. It seemed both radical and fun in an ironic, distancing way.   

Richard Hamilton: Pop Art Pioneer

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 5, 2011
At Carl Solway Gallery in the West End, on a wall by a stairway leading up to his office, is a small but heartfelt tribute to the British Pop Art pioneer Richard Hamilton, who died last month at age 89. On the wall is one of Hamilton’s prints: “Kent State,” based on a photographic image he snapped from his television set during news coverage of the 1970 killing by Ohio National Guard troops of four university students on their campus.  

A Houston Art Pilgrimage

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 20, 2011
As a devotee of the kind of enigmatically mysterious, ambitious conceptual art installations — sometimes minimalist, sometimes abstracted or color-field — that can be called “spiritual,” I’ve made pilgrimages to some pretty unusual places. The rationale behind such art often is that remoteness adds to the intensity of the experience.
  

UC Replants Crystal Garden

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 7, 2011
While University of Cincinnati’s relocation and reinstallation of Dennis Oppenheim’s “Crystal Garden” wasn’t meant as a memorial to the internationally renown sculptor, it ends up being that. The decision to make the work a much more prominent piece of UC’s itself-internationally-renowned campus landscape was arrived at in November 2010, before Oppenheim’s January death from liver cancer at age 72. The New York-based sculptor had even signed off on the move at the end of December.   

Art Museums Are Becoming Fashionable

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 24, 2011
I have seen the future of art museums and it is fashion/costume design. That’s a paraphrase of a famous review Jon Landau wrote upon seeing an early Bruce Springsteen concert, but I felt as if I’d just discovered the art-museum-world equivalent — at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s recent Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibit.  

Madeira Celebrates British Punk Rock

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Who knew that Madeira is a hotbed of British Punk Rock scholarship? Those familiar with the quiet, upscale northeast Cincinnati community might think its musical interests fall more toward Streisand and Manilow than The Damned and The Sex Pistols. But there in the Madeira Branch library, in a wall case in the long entryway corridor, is the display “The A-Z of UK Punk Rock and Post Punk.”