A recent trip to Los Angeles museums left
me exhilarated at the scale and imagination with which major
contemporary artists are using non-traditional materials. But the return here, followed by thinking
about past and upcoming shows and activities, had me wondering if our
younger artists have enough opportunities to ever make a similar impact
with their work.
The 20th century looms large in Paul Schuette’s new show Compositions
at semantics. An investigation into form, structure and sound, the
exhibition’s multimedia works orient themselves around Modernism’s
concern with quintessence, but pose typically Postmodern questions about
how we define genres and the context in which we encounter works of
On a recent Saturday night, three galleries along Central and Harrison avenues were open — Synthetica-m and the collectively run U-turn Art Space and Semantics. The exhibits at U-turn and Semantics were amazingly good. Their shows are still up through May 28. And yet word comes U-turn will be closing after one more show. So yet another Cincinnati alternative space that has made a mark will be gone before it can really galvanize growth in the larger arts community.
The two Brighton co-op galleries that try to maintain ongoing, changing exhibition schedules — Semantics and U-turn Art Space — have a challenge in luring audiences to their shows. They only have regular hours of noon-4 p.m. Saturdays, along with opening-night receptions. Still, so-called “alternative art spaces” are a crucial component for any city that wants to have meaningful contemporary art.