by Steven Rosen
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.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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.
CAC revs up Rosson Crow's new motorcycle-themed exhibition
0 Comments · Tuesday, November 9, 2010
With the opening last week of its newest exhibition, 'Rosson Crow: Myth of the American Motorcycle,' the Contemporary Art Center is drawing regional attention to another rising star who produces art-history savvy works with heavy doses of A-list glamour and the red-and-black color schemes of revolutions and rebels. Crow's series of brand-new paintings is paired with a set of actual bikes, each with personalized and highly detailed custom-paint jobs.
Jumex exhibition reflects society's unease and curiosity about what's next
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 22, 2010
'Where Do We Go From Here? Selections from La Colección Jumex' is the kind of wonderful group show that the Zaha Hadid-designed Contemporary Arts Center was built to exhibit. It helps tremendously, of course, that the downtown museum's director/chief curator, Raphaela Platow, knows the strengths of her building so well.
CAC's 2010-11 lineup includes exhibits featuring Keith Haring, Shinji Turner-Yamamoto and local artists
1 Comment · Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The Contemporary Arts Center's just-announced 2010-11 season continues its support of emerging artists — including Cincinnati-based ones — in a series of shows mostly curated by Director Raphaela Platow. But it will also feature a tightly focused retrospective of the work of the late Keith Haring as well as a group show with an A-list of contemporary artists, courtesy of a Mexican collection.
State of the arts: Tightening belts and adapting in order to continue thriving
1 Comment · Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Staff positions have taken the biggest hit as Cincinnati's arts and cultural institutions hunker down to survive the recession. Some organizations have adapted through deliberate attrition, while other belt-tightening measures have included shorter hours and curtailed programming. "It's a painful time," says Raphaela Platow, director of the Contemporary Arts Center. The bright side (surprisingly, there is one) is that attendance is up for many organizations.
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.
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.'
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.