0 Comments · Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Vivian Maier is the art world’s current
mystery artist du jour.
Cincinnati’s FotoFocus Biennial widens its scope as a top recurring photography event
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Just by adding the word “Biennial” to its official name for 2014, FotoFocus
— which occurs this month in some 50 venues throughout Greater
Cincinnati — is aiming to raise its importance and artistic
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 1, 2014
I was able to peruse Kirkland’s latest monograph — Douglas Kirkland: A Life in Pictures
— and what struck me, right from the start, was his voice.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 10, 2014
The buildings in these photographs seem outside
of time, existing in a private universe where shadows exist only to
point up architectural features.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 27, 2014
To some, the very notion of billboards (or outdoor signage in general) being artwork or hosting artful images instead of give-us-your-money advertising is confusing. But it’s getting more common.
Local art collector Sara Vance Waddell shares her collection of prominent feminist art
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I go with my gut,” says Sara Vance Waddell
about her philosophical approach to collecting art. And it is clear that
trusting her instinct has done her well as the marketing and
advertising CEO/president of her own media business.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 4, 2014
At a luncheon/press conference Thursday
in New York, the FotoFocus Biennial will announce details of its 2014
activities in Cincinnati for this year’s Oct. 8-Nov. 1 run.
by Alexis O'Brien
Posted In: Visual Art
at 11:19 AM | Permalink
If you’ve been to the Cincinnati Art Museum recently, and
specifically since March 22, you’ve probably found yourself lingering among
portraits in a corner of the second floor. (Up the grand staircase and in Room
212, the space now designated as the museum’s photography gallery.)
And it might’ve been Jean Renoir’s doing. The filmmaker’s
honest, sideways smirk that’s good at whispering you in to laugh at life at or
For me, he was the one whose 77-year-old face, through the
gap of a narrow doorway, led me in to look upon his ruthlessness magnified, given
new life by Richard Avedon and brought to light by Brian Sholis, the museum’s
new curator of photography.
“It wasn’t until the 1970s when museums started taking
photography seriously,” Sholis says. “The art world stopped writing it off as
so mechanical and lacking real talent, so museums like this one began acquiring
a lot of it.”
Which explains the 4,000-field, photographical rundown Sholis
was sent before moving from New York to Cincinnati to take his curatorial
position in 2013. The database was a list of every museum-owned piece of
photography, and while studying it, Sholis noticed a pattern: two
recognizable names in one row, repeated. An artist by an artist. Portraits of the Artist. You see where
this is going.
“For people who don’t know much about the history of
photography, they’re given another chance to connect here, and I wanted my
first exhibition to be as welcoming as possible,” Sholis says. “Here, there’s
twice the chance of hitting upon someone a visitor could recognize.”
Out of four-dozen artists-by-artists photographs, Sholis narrowed
his exhibition selection to 14 of them, presenting Frida Kahlo by Bernard
Silberstein, Picasso (with his son Claude) by Robert Capa and Miles Davis by
Lee Friedlander, among others.
The dancer in me was especially drawn to modern mover Merce
Cunningham by Barbara Morgan, who took Cunningham’s photo like he crafted his
dances — with good faith in chance.
She shot the double-exposure by retrogressing her film after
an initial shot and snapping Cunningham again in another position, not
realizing the two bodies as one image until they’d been developed, much like
Cunningham frequently rolled a die to dictate his movements and their
And while, like the individual pieces themselves, the idea
of the exhibition is stimulating and timely (I don’t need to tell anyone about
the portrait-in-the-form-of-iPhone-selfie phenomenon), the placement of the
pieces is also noteworthy, and very thoroughly Sholis-thought-through.
The Mexican artist portraits are grouped together alongside
a couple of painted face performers; partners in work and life, John Cage and
Merce Cunningham share an intimate space on a portion of the gallery’s west
wall; and Miles Davis is situated alone and dominantly, glaring over onlookers
while avoiding awkward eye contact with Renoir (after being moved when Sholis
saw the staring contest).
“These are more than just casual snapshots even though they
look that way,” Sholis says. “These are kind of dialogues between the artists
themselves and their creators, the photographers.”
And, of course, you.
Upcoming Weston exhibits feature two bold approaches to photography
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 26, 2014
While Anita Douthat and Charles Woodman
both create photography-based or light-based art, their approaches are
dramatically different. So, too, is their work — except for a common