by Steven Rosen
106 days ago
Posted In: Visual Art
at 10:14 AM | Permalink
interviewed Raphaela Platow, the Contemporary Arts Center’s director/chief
curator, several weeks ago for this week’s CityBeat
story about the institution’s 75th anniversary, I asked about some of the
highlights of her tenure.
One was the
2008-2009 exhibition of abstracted and intense figurative paintings by
then-octogenarian Austrian painter Maria Lassnig, who was little known in the
arranged for the show to travel here from London’s Serpentine Gallery, and it
was presented as Lassnig’s first major solo U.S. museum show. It meant a lot to
Platow, who as a native of Germany had been familiar with Lassnig’s work, and
she was emotional addressing the audience on opening night. (The first CAC show
Platow curated, work by Carlos Amorales, also opened that night.)
space considerations, not much about the Lassnig show was included in the
story, beyond noting it as an example of CAC’s prescience, since MoMA-PS1 currently
has a major retrospective of her work and calls her “one of the most important
died last week at age 94. So, as a tribute to and remembrance of her, here are
some excerpts from the interview with Platow (that was done before Lassnig’s
“I had a
very personal relationship to the exhibition because I loved the work for many
years,” Platow said. “It was really surprising to me she had never had a show
in the U.S. I really felt she was one of most prominent female painters there
is, and there are not that many female painters of that generation who are not
part of the history, part of the discourse.
area of painting, it was always the heroic male creating these amazing canvases,
and here was Maria always struggling and staying her course. It meant a lot to
me to present this first exhibition, and ever since then she won the Golden
Lion at the Venice Biennale, and PS1 now has a big show of her work. I’m happy
we sort of spearheaded that.”
not come to Cincinnati for the opening of her 2008 show here. And as Platow
recalled, it wasn’t all that easy even to get her paintings to town.
up taking a show that Serpentine in London put together because it’s extremely
difficult to work with her,” she said. “She didn’t want her paintings to fly
“We had to
separate them out and put them on three different planes. She didn’t want all
her work to be on one cargo plane. And she was extremely afraid of the work
traveling overseas on a trans-Atlantic flight. It was very strenuous to get it
“I was so
happy we did it, and it was a beautiful show and very meaningful for me.”
about the CAC’s 75th anniversary here.
by Mike Breen
• Dean & Britta (formerly of critically-acclaimed Indie dreamscapers Luna) bring their unique multimedia show, "13 Most Beautiful … Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests," to Over-the-Rhine's revitalized Emery Theatre. The project originated four years again after Dean Wareham received a phone call from a curator (and big Luna fan) at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh asking if he'd be interested in writing some music to go with the stockpile of 500 or so "screen tests" Warhol had accumulated in the ’60s. The clips feature Warhol's video of friends and acquaintances, including many familiar faces from the Factory days. Wareham talked to CityBeat's Brian Baker about the process of writing songs for the 13 "tests" chosen, describing it as being like making a music video in reverse. Read Brian's full feature story here. Tonight's performance — featuring Dean & Britta's quartet performing in front of large projections of the screen tests — is at 8 p.m. Tickets (if it doesn't sell out) are $25 at the door. Here's some of the soundtracked video to get you in the mood. The event is being co-presented by the Contemporary Arts Center, which is currently exhibiting Image Machine: Andy Warhol and Photography. • After a tough previous week when she was stuck in New York City during and after “Frankenstorm” Sandy, tonight at 8 p.m., veteran singer/songwriter Aimee Mann performs in Cincinnati at 20th Century Theatre in Oakley.For 30 years, Mann has built a dedicated core of adoring fans swept away by her smart, clever and emotionally resonate take on Pop music, driven partly by her uniquely inviting vocals (which former CityBeat writer Brad Quinn once brilliantly described as “egg-shaped”). She first came to the attention of the public at large with her group ’Til Tuesday, which received massive support from MTV and radio for the hit “Voices Carry." Mann and some funny pals recently parodied the of-its-era clip in a hilarious video for "Labrador" from her latest album, Charmer.Mann went solo at the start of ’90s, releasing her debut Whatever in 1993 and then capping off the decade with her brilliant songs written for and prominently featured in the film Magnolia. Departing the major label system at the start of the new millennium, Mann founded SuperEgo Records to release her own material, most recently issuing Charmer, another critically acclaimed gem that provides further evidence that Mann is still one of the great, somewhat under-heralded songwriters of her time. Another gifted writer deserving of more attention, Ted Leo (of “and the Pharmacists” fame), opens tonight's show solo. Tickets range from $20-$35. • Blues Rock cult sensation, soulful singer and modern-day geetar hero Joe Bonamassa swings through the Taft Theatre tonight for a 9 p.m. show. Tickets range from $49-$79. Bonamassa is one of the more celebrated guitarists of our time and he's built a rabid following mostly by word of mouth and without the benefit of a big label corporation behind him. Bonamassa's latest album Driving Towards the Daylight was released this spring, but live and in-concert is where he thrives, as evidenced by his discography since 2000 — he's had nine studio albums but also four live albums and three live DVDs. Check the title track from Driving below and read more about the Blues/Rock star from this week's CityBeat here. • Acclaimed for its detailed, theatrical recreations of Pink Floyd concerts, Cleveland's Wish You Were Here is bringing its "Classic Floyd Albums Tour 2012" to Bogart's in Corryville tonight for an all-ages, 8 p.m. performance. Tickets are $12. The "tour" (spread over three months) has featured shows across Ohio where the crew has played the albums Wish You Were Here, The Wall and Animals in full. Tonight, the group is doing Dark Side of the Moon at Bogart's. The band is able to accurately replicate Floyd's intricate sound and concert experience by using a large ensemble of at least nine musicians, plus their own lighting and sound crew. Cincinnati musician Jamie Combs (of 4th Day Echo and various other projects) joined the band in 2006 as guitarist and vocalist. Here's a clip from a 2007 appearance in Cleveland of the band performing "Time/Breath Reprise." Click here for even more live music events in Greater Cincinnati tonight.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 12, 2009
So often has it been said that the Contemporary Arts Center needs to carefully select shows to fit its unconventional Zaha Hadid-designed space that it's almost a mantra. As has been seen in the past, imported traveling exhibits (especially group shows relying on paintings) have a tendency to get lost amidst the angles, offbeat spaces, stairways and hidden corners of the downtown building's interior. But the current Anri Sala show interacts so well and so completely with its two CAC floors that the experience is transformative.
Chasing Anri Sala's echoes at the CAC
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Anri Sala's solo exhibition fills two floors of the Contemporary Arts Center with sound, light and tactile objects. One work in particular confuses and simultaneously conflates the others. It's a small kinetic sculpture: a pair of hands sheathed in purple latex gloves, index fingers pointing toward each other, revolving slowly around an axis.
CAC unveils high-profile shows for its 2009-10 season
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Shepard Fairey, the hip alternative-culture artist who has become a superstar in the wake of his "Hope, Change and Vote" posters supporting Barack Obama's presidential campaign, leads the Contemporary Art Center's 2009-10 exhibition schedule announced April 28. Fairey will be coming here with the show, doing public art projects in the city and public programs at the CAC. It marks a return of sorts — he was part of the CAC's 'Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture' exhibition in 2004, a group show that's quickly becoming legendary for its prescience. The new season begins in early October with an ambitious — hopefully groundbreaking — group show curated by the CAC's Maiza Hixson called 'Young Country.'
Tara Donovan uses commonplace materials in new ways at the CAC
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Even from the sidewalk, it's excessively clear that a new, sprawling, elegant exhibition has moved into the Contemporary Arts Center. Kaplan Hall has been hung with a looming nimbus form made from thousands of white Styrofoam cups and backlit with a soft glow. This and two other floors have been turned over to Tara Donovan's immense, organic sculptures.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Donald Sultan is considered a painter's painter. That means that, while not widely familiar to the general public, other artists and museums respect him for the influential originality of his vision and technique. The Contemporary Arts Center has just organized and opened a modestly sized show, 'The First Decade,' bringing together key paintings of Sultan's from the mid-1970s through the early 1980s. The exhibit, curated by Raphaela Platow, will be on display through May 17.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 19, 2008
As curator of education at Contemporary Arts Center, Scott Boberg cares deeply about the visual impact and meaning of words. One of his jobs is to write the informational wall text accompanying the art at the museum. He's also interested in the impact of words and other message-laden symbols as an artist. His "Sign Song" is the current art show at Semantics Gallery, up through Nov. 29.
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Yes! That was my first response upon seeing Carlos Amorales' new show, Discarded Spider, at downtown's Contemporary Arts Center (CAC). This show works perfectly in the gallery spaces of the Zaha Hadid-designed building, whose many angles and openings have proved the master of too many prior CAC shows.
Exhibition of Austrian painter opens new season at the CAC
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 8, 2008
It is astonishing that Maria Lassnig, whose work is presented in an impressive solo exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), is widely unknown in the United States. She is an influential force throughout Europe, working in Vienna for the past few decades.