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by Steven Rosen 05.14.2014 70 days ago
Posted In: Visual Art at 10:14 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Raphaela Platow on the CAC’s 2008-2009 Maria Lassnig Show

When I 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 U.S. Platow had 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.) Because of 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 contemporary painters.” Lassnig 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 death): “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. “In the 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.” Lassnig did 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. “We ended 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 over ocean. “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 here. “I was so happy we did it, and it was a beautiful show and very meaningful for me.” Read more about the CAC’s 75th anniversary here.
 
 

CAC's Upcoming Season Has a Lot to Like — and Lick

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.  

Myth of the American Motorcycle (Review)

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.  

Where Do We Go From Here? (Review)

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.   

A Contemporary New Season

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.   

Creative Economics

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.  

'Time-Based Art' Looks Great at CAC

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.   

Sights of the Season

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.'   

An Art Career Built with Linoleum

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.  

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