by Steven Rosen
Posted In: Visual Art
at 11:08 AM | Permalink
British photographer Paul Graham presented his FotoFocus-sponsored lecture at
Cincinnati Art Museum. Graham’s work is in two of FotoFocus’ featured
exhibitions — the museum’s Eyes on the
Street and the Stills show at
Downtown’s Michael Lowe Gallery. Eyes on
the Street is up until Jan. 4; Stills
closes Nov. 1.
work is related to but updates classic street photography in that, based on
what he said last night, he seeks out subtle shots rather than what he calls
“clichéd” or obviously dramatic images. He tries to build haiku-like, enigmatic
visual sequences that in their small details cumulatively provide insight. (That
said, he did show slides from a recent series that features rainbows.)
difficult task not always easily evident to the viewer, but he expressed his
purpose eloquently last night and repeatedly mentioned those whose work
inspired him — Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand. For those moved by
his work, there’s a Where’s Waldo quality to “reading” the smallest details —
the color of a tie or T-shirt, the positioning of a pedestrian on a street, the
relationship of the camera angle to a storefront sign, the choices in focus.
particularly noticeable in his recent The
Present series of New York street life, from which the Cincinnati-displayed
photos come. “It’s the theater of the street, the theater of life coming at you,”
he said. He also prefers that his framed prints be mounted on a gallery wall
close to the floor, to approximate sidewalk level. But he acknowledged last
night that the Stills show did not do
that, and he enjoyed being able to see his photos at more normal eye level.
His The Present photos in Eyes on the Street capture the results of bold action or drama,
a rarity for him, in that a woman has fallen on the sidewalk while others move
last night, the museum’s associate curator of photography, Brian Sholis, distributed
announcements of two additional events connected to the current Eyes on the Street show: a Nov. 5
panel discussion at 7 p.m. about Eyes on
the Street at Niehoff Urban Studio, University of Cincinnati, 2728 (Short)
Vine St.; and a Nov.
19 conversation at 7 p.m. on “Art and Privacy” featuring Cincinnati Police
Chief Jeffrey Blackwell and civil-rights lawyer Alphonse Gerhardstein. It’s at the
museum’s Fath Auditorium.
Go here for more
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 8, 2014
One purpose of Eyes on the Street,
the Cincinnati Art Museum’s look at 21st century street photography, is
to reveal how the phrase itself has evolved since the mid-20th century.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 10, 2014
For the Cincinnati Art Museum, getting
the Art Institute of Chicago to loan “American Gothic” (through Nov. 16)
is a coup.
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.
by Steven Rosen
Posted In: Visual Art
at 08:00 AM | Permalink
Recently at Cincinnati Art Museum, Mary Baskett wore this very colorful and exciting "pneumatic dress" designed by Naoki Takizawa for Issey Miyake's 2000-2001 fall/winter collection, while textile conservator Chandra Obie discussed the very complicated but successful effort the museum has completed to restore and preserve the dress, which had started to leak air. Baskett owns it, but it had been on display (and inflated for an extended period) at the museum's 2007 exhibition Where would you wear that? The Mary Baskett Collection. There have been discussions but no formal commitment about donating this dress to the museum. If that happens, it's doubtful it would be worn again. Obie's discussion was sponsored by the museum's popular and rewarding Art 360 program, which gives a group a chance to learn more about specific pieces of art. The next Art 360 program is Aug. 23 at 2 p.m., when the museum's Mary Claire Angle — assistant director of school-based learning — will discuss Donald Judd's "Untititled" minimalist sculpture. Event is free; reservations required at 513-721-2787.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Cincinnati Silver 1788-1940 is a
sterling example of how an art exhibition can be about local history
while still assuring the displayed objects are worthy of our long,
by Steven Rosen
at 08:06 AM | Permalink
Cameron Kitchin to take over Oct. 1
The Cincinnati Art Museum on Tuesday announced in this press release its new director, who is replacing Aaron Betsky. The latter announced his resignation late last year and left his post in May.CINCINNATI - JULY 29, 2014 – The Board of Trustees of the Cincinnati Art Museum today unanimously voted to name Cameron Kitchin as the museum’s director. Kitchin, a nationally recognized innovator and leader in the museum field, comes to Cincinnati from the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis, Tenn., where he served as director. Kitchin will begin in his new position on Oct. 1. He will report to the museum’s Board of Trustees.“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Cincinnati Art Museum, I am excited to announce the appointment of Cameron Kitchin as our new director,” said Marty Ragland, president of the Board of Trustees and co-leader of the search committee. “From Day 1, our members and patrons, as well as members of our search committee, board and staff, agreed that, in addition to being an accomplished museum leader, our new director must have a passion for art, be a strategic thinker and embrace our city with the goal of bringing people to the enjoyment of art. We found these qualities and many more in Cameron.”Kitchin will oversee the entire institution, including collections, staff, facilities, exhibitions, research resources, education and outreach programs, external relations, fundraising and administrative activities. As an arts and cultural leader, Kitchin will initiate, maintain and develop new partnerships and collaborations in Cincinnati, the state and the region to enhance and support the Cincinnati Art Museum’s mission to bring people and art together in ways that transform everyday lives and the community.Kitchin’s appointment comes at the end of a nearly seven-month search by the committee led by Ragland and board chairman Dave Dougherty. The Board of Trustees also hired professional search firm, Russell Reynolds Associates, to help guide the process. Kitchin won the unanimous vote of the search committee prior to going to the board vote."I am greatly honored to be appointed to serve as director of the Cincinnati Art Museum,” Kitchin shared. “I look forward to joining with the Cincinnati community to grow the museum's role in the life of our new city. I have long admired the Art Museum’s exhibitions, programs, collections and transformative educational initiatives. I am excited now to lead a team of talented professionals and supporters, with our dedicated trustees, to expand the impact and to broaden the reach of the museum to serve all Cincinnatians."Kitchin led the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, one of the South’s leading art museums, for six years. He oversaw the growth of the museum as a community-based institution, leveraging the museum’s significant collections and history to forge new partnerships with a wide network of cultural institutions, educational entities, universities and social service agencies. Under his leadership, the Brooks engaged in rigorous new educational initiatives, pursued exciting original scholarship and successfully achieved broad appeal in exhibitions and programs. Kitchin led the museum through two comprehensive strategic plans, a capital plan and a groundbreaking program in early childhood education in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution. Other significant new achievements included art therapy, Alzheimer’s services, teen art programs and overhauls of critical museum systems, collections databases and security infrastructure. Kitchin’s innovations and effectiveness in reaching new audiences across the entire community, building bridges through public service and leading a diverse and talented professional museum team drew the attention of the Cincinnati Art Museum’s search committee. In addition, Kitchin’s use of technology as a tool for exploring art and his creative public programming impressed the museum’s board.Prior to joining the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Kitchin served as executive director of the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, the statewide contemporary art museum in Virginia. During his six years there, he led the museum through a comprehensive institutional revitalization, increased visitation and achieved a balanced budget every year. He also mounted numerous acclaimed exhibitions of national and international note while simultaneously opening the doors to new audiences through creative programming. His successful completion of a major capital campaign and commitment to social discourse at the museum raised the museum to new heights during his tenure.Previously, Kitchin managed Economics Research Associates’ national consulting practice for museums and cultural attractions for three years in Washington, D.C., and led the economics component of Washington’s Museums and Memorials Master Plan, as well as studies for the Newseum and National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C. In previous engagements, he directed the American Alliance of Museums’ strategic planning process, headed AAM’s national political campaign in support of museums and led a complex digital copyright initiative for museums.Kitchin is an active member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and has served on numerous task forces, including one on AAMD’s national standards on deaccessioning and broadened and diversified the membership of the association as an appointee to the AAMD membership committee. He received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Harvard University in 1993 and an MBA with a concentration in not-for-profit and museum management from the Mason Graduate School of Business, William & Mary in 1999. Kitchin was also selected from among top international museum professionals to participate as a residential program fellow in the Getty Leadership Institute’s Museum Leadership Institute, the most rigorous and longest-established academic program for interdisciplinary museum leadership, in 2008. He is also an AAM accreditation peer reviewer, an IMLS national grant panelist and an active leader in numerous professional associations and societies.Kitchin will relocate to Cincinnati this fall. He will be joined by his wife Katie - a national public policy expert in homelessness and child and family wellbeing - and his three young children, ages 10, 7 and 3.
by Alexis O'Brien
Posted In: Visual Art
at 09:33 AM | Permalink
Museum adds Visionaries + Voices artist's work to permanent collection
embraced new in a powerful way when Cincinnati’s oldest art institution, the
Cincinnati Art Museum, purchased a new piece from local, contemporary artist
Courttney Cooper this week.
"Cincinnati Map" is now part of the museum’s
permanent collection and skillfully depicts the buildings, streets, and
roadways that make our city one Cooper never tires of drawing. A piecemeal of
8.5-by-11-inch repurposed papers, "Cincinnati
Map" is a Bic pen line rendition of downtown Cincinnati that Cooper worked
on for a year and brought to life by memory alone.
Cooper is one of the most ambitious and compelling artists working in
Cincinnati,“ says Matt Distel, CAM adjunct curator of contemporary art. “His
work not only speaks to Cincinnati but also addresses more universal concepts
about how people experience their environment.”
of Northside’s Visionaries + Voices studio and gallery, "Cincinnati Map" was shown in Cooper’s first museum show at the
Cincinnati Art Museum last year and will now be exhibited there as curatorial
opportunities for it emerge.
by Jac Kern
Posted In: Events
at 12:47 PM | Permalink
It’s Pride Week in
Cincinnati, a time to celebrate and support the local LGBTQ community, promote
diversity as well as equality and just have a good time as a plethora of events
takes over the city.
The Pride party has been
going all week and the fun continues tonight with the Skyy Vodka Pub Crawl
featuring bars and clubs in Over-the-Rhine, Northside, Downtown, Newport and
Covington. Shuttles run three loops with six busses stopping at 20 bars. A $10
wristband gets you on the bus all night and into any bars that have cover
charges. Find details here.
Cincinnati Art Museum’s free
Art After Dark series also
takes a Pride theme this month. Stop by the museum before the crawl for
performances by Young Heirlooms and the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, gallery tours,
giveaways and more from 5-9 p.m. Bar crawl wristbands can be purchased at the
museum or Millennium Hotel, Below Zero, Rosie's Tavern or Chameleon between
The much-anticipated annual
Pride Parade steps off at 2 p.m. Saturday with a slightly different route due
to streetcar construction: Seventh and Culvert streets to Vine Street to Fifth
at Fountain Square, down Eggleston Avenue. The parade will end at Sawyer Point,
where a family-friendly festival runs 3-9 p.m. There will be two entertainment
stages (be sure to swing by the CityBeat stage!), rides and games for kids,
food and drink. There will also be a public commitment/re-commitment ceremony at 6
p.m., free to all couples interested in participating. The ceremony will cap
off with a couples’ first dance. The festival ends with a fireworks display at
9 p.m. Find a full entertainment lineup here.
And be sure to check out
this week’s Pride Issue.
We’ve got interviews with local LGBTQ advocates, a calendar of events and more.
The 2014 Cincinnati Fringe
Festival is in full swing this weekend (continuing through June 7). We’ve
previewed each of the 30-plus performances and will be posting reviews of every
show as well — check them out here.
sculptor, printmaker and collector of fancy antique oddities Hunt Slonem graces Cincinnati with his colorful,
fabulous presence this week. The American artist has work showcased in more than 100
museums across the world — and now, Miller Gallery in Hyde Park. Perhaps best
known for his neo-expressionist paintings of tropical birds and other animals,
Slonem will be at the gallery for the opening Friday night. Meet the artist and
peruse his works from 6-8 p.m.; The
Exotic World of Hunt Slonem will be on display at Miller through June 29.
Jane’s Saddlebag in Union,
Ky., is a unique attraction sprawling over 35 acres of land that features a
general store, restaurant, wine shop, petting zoo, historic spaces and
recreations. Located near Big Bone Lick State Park, Jane’s is great for a
weekend getaway close to home. Visit this weekend as they host their second
annual wine festival noon-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Sample wines from 20
local and regional wineries and shop handmade items from more than 40 craft
vendors. Tickets are $12 and include four tasting tickets, a wine glass and
live music. Go here
for more info.
For more art openings, parties, festivals and other
stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks,
full calendar and Rick
Door for weekend theater offerings.
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.