by Steven Rosen
40 days ago
Live score played on toy instruments highlight Mini Microcinema's end
lived in Los Angeles, one of the most unforgettable events I attended was a
screening of films by the 20th-century Russian animator Ladislaw
Starewicz, who used insects in his amazingly inventive animated films. (He also
the insects into various settings and then shot the stop-motion films frame by
frame. A Jazz/New Music group called Tin Hat Trio played a live score to
accompany the visuals.
behold, the Mini Microcinema on Tuesday (April 19) is presenting Starewicz’s
films in the auditorium of Covington’s Carnegie. And there will be a live
score played by Little Bang Theory, a group led by Detroit composer Frank Pahl.
They play children’s instruments and toys.
be a reception starting at 6 p.m. and the performance gets underway at 7 p.m.
It is free. This is the last event for the Mini during its residency at The Carnegie.
It should be a rewarding one. For more information, please visit www.mini-cinema.org.
by Maria Seda-Reeder
57 days ago
Arts programming that emphasizes ephemeral experiences over art objects
so many good art events going on this coming weekend, I wish I could clone
myself in order to attend everything without going mad or (maybe worse) hangry.
And it’s noteworthy to mention that much of the work being shown Friday evening
emphasizes the art-going experience over the exhibition of objects.
Cincinnati-native conceptual artist Tom Marioni gave a lecture at the University
of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning and held a participatory
performance called Art History,
Philosophy and Dirty Jokes at The Littlefield this past Tuesday.
who weaves conviviality into all of his work is perhaps best known for his
ongoing social art, The Act of Drinking
Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art, which he’s been enacting since
1970. West-coast conceptualists like Marioni have long investigated public
actions as an alternative to the creation of an art object.
Marioni will be present for an opening of his more object-based art (in this
case, dry fresco, drawings and bronze sculptures) at Carl Solway gallery, and
his work seems like an interesting counterpoint to the very tangible, stitched work
of up-and-coming artist Elsa Hansen (b. 1986). Hansen, originally from
Louisville, Ky., cross stitches 8-bit portraits of famous subjects like R.
Crumb and R. Kelly, or pop cultural events like when Olympic diver Greg
Louganis hit his head on the springboard in 1988, and — like Marioni’s work — Hansen’s
relies on wit and humor.
Art Academy and UC will have exhibition openings of their students’ thesis work
Friday evening. Caliber, the AAC’s
senior thesis exhibition will feature the work of six students, while the Contemporary
Arts Center hosts the work of 15 MFA students from DAAP.
I had the
chance to speak with DAAP grad Mary Clare Rietz regarding her ongoing social
practice project On The
Map|Over-the-Rhine involving what she terms “aesthetic action”.
fellow collaborators like social practice artist and AAC professor Anissa Lewis
have been working on this project together for several years, engaging unlikely
stakeholders from the neighborhood (long-time residents, new residents, developers
and business owners) via creative mapping, guided walks, performances, and story
sharing. Rietz’s project is informed by a key concept in social network
theory, “the strength of weak ties”, i.e. the idea that a network is
strongest when people connect across differences.
calls OTR a “highly dense, close-quarters place where development is creating
diversity but not always connection,” so the potential to connect across
difference is ripe here; and Rietz’ decades of experience working in community
organizing give her a unique set of skills to respond to these disconnects.
conversation and strategic engagement, On
The Map|Over-the-Rhine asks the question:
Are people who feel connected more likely to work together toward goals
that meet the diverse needs and interests of all?
To that aim,
the artist has had events happening all week in the lobby of the CAC, and Friday
evening Rietz will put on yet another creative community building project, WHO DO YOU WANT TO MOVE?, which will invite
viewers to witness and participate in creating connections between unlikely OTR
stakeholders, forged though dance.
participatory performance/procession will start at Buddy’s Place in the heart
of OTR at 13th and Vine streets and move to the CAC, where more performances
will be put on for museumgoers at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.
contemporary avant-garde performance art by experimental sound artist Guillermo
Galindo and interdisciplinary artist, DAAP professor Mark Harris, opens Friday
night at Wave Pool in Camp Washington.
John Cage’s words describing music as “a purposeless play,” Galindo and Harris
will each perform during the opening night, and the objects left behind after
each performance will act as the exhibition in the gallery space — reemphasizing
the experience of the performance as the true art form.
by Steven Rosen
65 days ago
Posted In: Visual Art
at 01:39 PM | Permalink
encountering Matthew Kolodziej’s wonderful artwork at Carl Solway Gallery’s Patch Work: New Paintings show (through
Saturday), you might think he’s reviving the colorfully splattering,
helter-skelter Abstract-Expressionist style of Jackson Pollock. But first
appearances can be deceiving.
He explains, in answer to an
inquiry, that he starts the paintings by putting together photo collages of
places he’s seen that are in a state of transition. He then puts those through
an illustrator program that turns them into line drawings, often with altered images.
These are projected onto a canvas
and traced out with brushes. He uses a combination of modeling pastes and
acrylics applied with putty knives to build up the paintings. He sometimes traces over lines with heavy gels to create a
raised surface where paint can be filled in.
So there are concrete origins,
actual images, to his work — it isn’t non-objective. You can see they’re rooted
in some kind of place, and you can establish a perspective that gives
definition and even a sense of kaleidoscopic movement to the canvases.
This is most clearly and
thrillingly evident in the fantastic “Shanty,” an acrylic painting. As you
study its mosaic-like structure, you begin to sense you’re getting an overview
of a crowded town on a mountainside, like in Rio, with a beltway of trees and
strip of water beyond (at the top of the canvas).
It’s a breathtakingly beautiful
painting, and the show has other excellent ones, too, like “Blaze” and “Diode.”
Kolodziej is an art professor
at University of Akron. One hopes there will be more shows of his demanding,
rewarding work at Solway.
For more information, visit solwaygallery.com.
by Steven Rosen
Posted In: Visual Art
at 01:56 PM | Permalink
the most remarkable artworks I saw in Cincinnati in 2015 — in terms of its
beauty and the painstaking effort that went into its creation — will soon leave
It was in
a rear area of the Brick 939 pop-up market in Walnut Hills. It’s already no
longer on view and just waiting to be sent back to its artist. But I have a
feeling we’ll be hearing much more from that artist — Ato Ribeiro — responsible
for the monumental-sized portrait, “Edith Motte Young, Forever,” made through a
charcoal-erasing process on brown paper.
It is a
13-by-9-foot drawing of the Detroit artist’s great-grandmother. At that size, you immediately wonder if the image deserves
the space devoted to it.
It does, indeed — the woman’s eyes look upward, hopefully and
compellingly. She seems, in her vaguely Modernist apparel, to be both of our
relatively recent past and timeless. And the work seems both authoritative and
fragile, given the use of (crumpled) paper.
Communicating by email from Detroit, where he is working on his
M.F.A. at Cranbrook Academy of Art in suburban Bloomfield Hills, Ribeiro
explains his process.
“(It) consists of
applying a few flat layers of charcoal across each sheet of brown paper before
crumpling each sheet into a little ball in order to work the creases into the
paper,” Ribeiro says.
“These creases create the sense of a discarded object. After
unraveling the paper, I would use a kneaded eraser to erase out my image's
details, one little section at a time. There were no drawing tools involved in
“Over the last 5 years, my work has gravitated towards the use
of discarded natural and found objects as my preferred choice in materials. The
reason the brown paper feels the way it does is because this was paper that I
collected (close to the beach) while in Ghana a few months ago, where the
tropical weather tends to get pretty humid. This easily accessible paper (in
Ghana) is commonly used by students to cover their academic textbooks,
protecting them from damage.
“Through the reductive process of charcoal erasing to create my
subjects, I attempt to highlight several members of my African-American
history (whom I use as role models in my life) while addressing the struggles
that African-Americans face relating to the preservation of much of our
culture. Also the work is intentionally not fixed so that viewers who do
decide to touch the piece would become aware of the how easy it is to erase/remove
part of our 'history.' ’’
Exactly how this piece came to be shown here — where it was on
display Nov. 27-Jan. 3 — is an interesting story. A fellow Cranbrook artist
from Cincinnati, Ingrid Alexandra Schmidt, heard of the opportunity and
arranged for Ribeiro to present his work.
“Though I have never spent an extended amount of time in Ohio,
Edith Motte Young ended up moving her family to Oberlin, Ohio in 1929 (where my
grandfather went to Oberlin High School and Oberlin College before becoming a
pilot),” Ribeiro says. “So I thought it would be a little poetic to send the
piece of her back in that direction. Thus I applied and was later accepted.”
is at work on a Forever Young series of family portraits — Young is his mother's
maiden name. When it is finished, one hopes to be able to see it in Cincinnati.
From the work shown here, his series is a remarkable and inspirational display of
love and respect (and artistic ability) from a young man to his family.
Meanwhile, the Brick pop-up shop and the organization behind it
— MORTAR, which is out to empower residents of Over-the-Rhine and Walnut Hills through
entrepreneurship — should be proud of giving Cincinnati a chance to see this
fine artist. For more information about
him, visit atoribeiroart.com.
0 Comments · Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Overall, it was an eventful year for the
visual arts in Cincinnati —good shows, a stimulating citywide festival
devoted to photography, and newsworthy changes at two of our major
A modernized Metrobot will be returning to the CAC
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Soon, you may hear a pronounced jingle whenever Contemporary Arts Center employees walk around their building. If so, it’s because they will be carrying
change — lots of it — so art lovers can use the new payphone on the
gloriously resurrected Metrobot.
by Steven Rosen
Posted In: Visual Art
at 08:58 AM | Permalink
Schedule includes upcoming visual arts exhibition season and performances
The Contemporary Arts
Center today announced its upcoming visual arts exhibition season, as well as
several events in its performance schedule. Here is the release, edited for
Visual Arts Exhibition Season:
Memory Palace (Sept. 12, 2014-Feb.16,
2015)Curated by Steven
MatijcioOn the occasion of
the CAC's 75th anniversary, this exhibition will present memory as soft,
malleable clay. Rather than renewing the supposed fixity of facts, Memory Palace will revel in remembering
as a creative act: highlighting the way our recollections shift actual
histories into imperfect, obstructed, quintessentially human legacies.Confirmed artists for
this landmark exhibition include Louise Bourgeois, Spencer Finch, Mike Kelley,
William Kentridge, Guillermo Kuitca, Jun Nguyen- Hatsushiba, Hans Op de Beeck,
Dennis Oppenheim, Katrin Sigurdardottir and others to be announced. The CAC's
extended community will also contribute to this project as we gather your
stories in a variety of formats, from video interviews to forensic sketches. In
turn, the CAC is commissioning reconfigurations of the organization's
unofficial archives by artists like MK Guth, Nina Katchadourian and Kerry
Tribe. This effort culminates in the CAC Lobby, where artist Pam Kravetz will
orchestrate community-centric projects including a television show,
carnivalesque games and a monumental memory quilt.
Taiyo Onorato and
Nico Krebs: Blockbuster (Sept. 12,
2014-Feb.16, 2015)Curated by Kevin
Berlin-based duo Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs respond with humor and wit to
various traditions of modernist architecture, documentary photography and the
heroic travelogue. By pecking at such constructions, the artists reveal a more
whimsical, ironic and subjective vision of the structures and technologies that
shape the ways we see and live. And while much of their practice is
photographic, the artists' engagement with other media — film, sculpture, sound — sheds the artifice of objectivity to celebrate eccentric reconstructions of
the world around us. This is the first major museum exhibition for Onorato and
Krebs in the United States, presented by FotoFocus.
Duke Riley and
Frohawk Two Feathers: Based on a True
Story (Oct. 10, 2014-March 22, 2015)Curated by Steven
unquestionable integrity has eroded over time, with as much fiction,
interpretation and imagination revealed in the pages of our esteemed libraries
as actual facts and events. Twisting fact, fantasy and fabrication into an
outsider's view of western civilization, this exhibition brings together two
artists who have turned historical fiction into a habitual calling. Boston-born
Duke Riley marries what he calls "populist myth" and "reinvented
historical obscurities" with field research, participatory craft and
museological display. Chicago-born, Los Angeles-based Frohawk Two Feathers is
an artist, historian, and self-described "myth-maker" who re-imagines
18th century colonial history through a fictive cast of slaves,
revolutionaries, militiamen and aristocrats.
Anne Lindberg and
Saskia Olde Wolbers: Unmade (Oct. 10,
2014-March 22, 2015)Curated by Steven
MatijcioArtists Anne Lindberg
and Saskia Olde Wolbers dissolve the familiarity that accumulates with time,
habit and space. Lindberg pushes drawing on and off the page, obsessively
inscribing lines that evade both resolution and definition. Dutch-born,
London-based Wolbers orchestrates a cinematic fantasy with equal enigma. By
submerging handmade sets into water and coaxing narratives to masquerade as
reality, she melts the seemingly digital polish of her films with painterly
contingency. The ensuing dialogue between the artist's works softens the
geometry of the gallery space, obscuring hard lines and sharp corners to float
towards a mysterious horizon.
Daniel Arsham: Erasing The Present (March 20-Aug. 16,
Curated by Steven MatijcioThe work of
prodigious Cleveland-born artist Daniel Arsham is said to "make
architecture do all the things it shouldn't." Blurring the lines between
theatre and hallucination, some of his best-known works appear to melt the
solidity of gallery walls, such that they appear to be dripping, folding,
oozing or absorbing furniture. In more recent years he has begun to cast aging
media devices — including cameras, film projectors and microphones — from
granulated materials like volcanic ash, sand, crystal and crushed glass. This
is the first large-scale Ohio exhibition for Arsham, who became widely known (at
the age of 25) when asked to design a stage set for the legendary Merce
Albano Afonso: Self-Portrait As Light (March 20-Aug.
Co-Curated by Steven Matijcio and Alice Grey StitesFor Brazilian artist
Albano Afonso light is the elusive, but no less essential element that makes
painting, photography, film and vision itself possible. Through photographs,
installations, projections and luminous objects he gives light a sculptural
presence, and measures its ability to both elucidate and obscure. Such affect
is spoken through the language of art history, as Afonso reformulates
time-honored traditions of portraiture, still life, vanitas and landscape. This
will be Afonso's first major exhibition in the United States, and it will
extend across the CAC and 21c Museum Hotel.
James Lee Byars and
Matt Morris: the perfect kiss (QQ)* (April
17-Sept. 13, 2015)Curated by Matt
MorrisThroughout his life,
American artist James Lee Byars (1932-97) framed his work with elusive notions
of questioning and perfection. Both his enduring marriage and his
flirtatiousness with German artist Josef Beuys (whom he sent lyrical letters
and objects) serve as fodder for an exhibition that is both art and exchange. the perfect kiss (QQ)* is both a
curatorial and creative undertaking for Morris, who will develop an
installation of works by Byars in conjunction with a number of his own artistic
interventions. The exhibition's title references a 1974 artwork by Byars, while
also speaking to the 25th anniversary of Robert Mapplethorpe's exhibition The
Titus Kaphar: The Vesper Project (April 17 – Sept.
13, 2015)Co-Curated by Titus
Kaphar and Steven MatijcioMarrying
appropriation, archaeology and iconoclasm, Kaphar's work sifts through the
racial politics of art history. The
Vesper Project is a massive sculptural statement in which his paintings are
woven into the walls of a 19th century American house. It is the culmination of
a five-year engagement with the lost storylines of the Vespers, a 19th century
family who "passed" as a white family in New England even as their
mixed heritage made them "Negro" in the eyes of the law. In this
project, the members of this family and their histories are intertwined with
Kaphar's autobiographical details, posing broader cultural questions of
identity and truth.
Taylor Mac: An Abridged Concert of The History of
Political Popular Music (1939 – now) (September 2014)Taylor Mac (who
prefers the pronoun ‘judy’) is a “ragingly original and bracingly radical [and]
best cabaret performer” from New York (TimeOut). The Obie Award-winning
playwright, actor, and singer-songwriter transforms into a bedazzled creature
who leads us into a decidedly personal history of music, ideas, and ways of
being — in a hilarious and healing performance ritual. Mac delves deep into the
history of political music for this performance, the latest in judy’s series of
concerts exploring the last 240 years of popular songs in America. Funny and
moving with a sweet, powerful voice, judy has the bantering skills of a veteran
Ben Frost: A U R O R A live (October, 2014)Ben Frost’s music is
about contrast, influenced as much by classical minimalism as by punk rock and
metal. It has a visceral presence, felt as much as heard. Muscular yet
cerebral, ambient yet urgent, Frost’s compositions merge guitar-based textures,
musique concrète samples, and building-shaking amplified electronics into
sweeping digital soundscapes. A U R
O R A is the Australian producer’s fifth album. The music leads the
audience towards a bleak place filled with synthetic forms, decaying objects
and metals devoid of emotion, exploring blinding luminescent alchemy; not with
benign heavenly beauty but through decimating magnetic force. In 2010 he
was awarded the music protégé in The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative
and spent two years learning from and working with music producer, theorist,
and composer, Brian Eno. Last year Frost debuted his first opera, The Wasp
Factory, based on the Iain Banks novel and produced “The Enclave,” a
multi-channel video and sound installation that premiered at the Venice
Nils Frahm with Dawn of Midi (November 17, 2014)
Since his early childhood, Nils Frahm has been immersed in music, particularly
in the styles of classical pianists before him as well as contemporary
composers. Today Frahm works as an accomplished composer and producer from his
Berlin-based Durton Studio. His unconventional approach to an age-old
instrument, played contemplatively and intimately, has won him many fans around
the world. Frahm displays an incredibly developed sense of control and
restraint in his work, catching the ear of many fans. The recognition of his
immense talent has been steadily growing thanks to his previous solo piano
works, include Wintermusik (2009) and
The Bells (2009), and Felt (2011). Last year, he returned with
the celebrated new album Spaces, a
collection of pieces that perfectly expresses Frahm’s love for experimentation
and answers the call from his fans for a record that truly reflects what they
have witnessed during his concerts.