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.
Contemporary Arts Center celebrates 75 years of pushing Cincinnati along the cutting edge
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Peggy Crawford didn’t know the group she
helped found in 1939 — Cincinnati’s Modern Art Society — would become so
long-lived or vital. It is now the Contemporary Arts Center, which on
Friday is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
by Kelsey Kennedy
Posted In: Visual Art
at 03:19 PM | Permalink
The CAC celebrates its 75th anniversary this year
The Contemporary Arts Center marks its 75th anniversary with
the launch of its newly redesigned website, contemporaryartscenter.org.
By adding a timeline and a list of exhibits dating back to
1939, the updated site highlights some of the museum’s most notable attractions
through videos and interactive learning. The historical timeline depicts an honest look at what Cincinnati was like
in 1939 and displays the iconic artists that put the CAC on the map. In 1940,
Picasso’s Guernica toured the Midwest for its first and
only time and made a pit stop in Cincinnati. In 1963, the Pop art show An American Viewpoint was one of the
first exhibitions of its kind. And in 1990, nearly 81,000 people visited the
Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition.
Along with the illustrated timeline and videos, the CAC site also
offers lesson plans, exhibit brochures, audio files and slideshows about past
exhibits. New features like online ticket admission and family visitor information have been added. After 75 years and
hundreds of amazing artists, the Contemporary Arts Center has proven it’s still
the coolest place in Cincinnati to spark your creativity and become inspired.
FORM, a Cleveland-based creative services
firm, designed the visual layout of the site.
by Jac Kern
Posted In: Events
at 10:47 AM | Permalink
The Cincinnati Art Museum’s monthly Art After Dark series is a really
cool way to experience the historic art institution. Each final Friday, the CAM
opens its doors after hours for a themed night of gallery tours, live
performances and a cash bar with happy hour drinks and appetizers. Friday’s Art
After Dark: Rococo Vibrations includes tour of Genius and Grace: François Boucher and the Generation of 1700
(members-only at 5:30 p.m., public tours at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.) and the
Neo-Soul stylings of Tracy Walker from 6-8 p.m. The free event runs 5-9 p.m.;
parking is $4.
Oyster Festival kicks off Friday. This 28th annual food fest features a menu of more than 40
styles of oyster dishes, including Smoked Oyster Salad, Fried Oyster Tacos,
Oyster Stuffed Jalapenos, Oysters Mardi Gras and Nantucket Oysters. Guests can
enjoy lunch, dinner and happy hour specials and pay to play various games for
prizes, with proceeds benefiting the Saint Francis Soup Kitchen in
Over-the-Rhine. Washington Platform’s Oyster Festival specials are available 11
a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 4-8 p.m. Sunday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday- Thursday.
Recent Grammy Award winners
Roomful of Teeth perform at the Contemporary Arts Center Friday. The vocal
group specializes in blending classical singing techniques with diverse World
music styles for a completely unique sound — one of their songs is in a made-up
language! The concert, which begins at 8 p.m., is just the latest offering from
the CAC’s solid performance series. Tickets are $14, $8 for members. Read our
story on Roomful of Teeth here.
This weekend is your last
chance to check out Krohn Conservatory’s spring show, Avant Garden. The show features exotic flowers and shrubs with
recycled materials in the landscape. Avant
Garden closes Sunday along with the Conservatory’s spring plant sale. The
anticipated annual butterfly show — this year it's Pura Vida: The Butterflies of Costa Rica — opens April 12.
Day in Cincinnati is not only a city holiday, but a rite of passage for locals.
It marks the first game of the Reds’ season (baseball’s first professional
team), the unofficial start of spring and the return of one of the best parades
of the year, the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade — now in its 95th year!
Opening Day may not be until Monday, but Covington gallery BLDG is getting a
jump on festivities beginning Friday.
199C: Cincinnati’s Opening Day
is an exhibit of baseball-, Cincinnati- and Opening Day-themed art from more
than 40 artists from around the neighborhood and world. The exhibit opening
starts at 4 p.m. Friday with music from Automagik, food trucks, a live art
installation, retro video game competitions and a pop-up Wiffle ball game on
Pike Street. Find more info here.
Opening Day celebrations
run the gamut from sports-related fun to art, bar events and food. Check out a
roundup of Monday’s happenings here.
Be sure to read this week’s
Best of Cincinnati issue for reader and staff picks on the city’s best
restaurants, businesses, events and more.
For more art openings, theater shows, parties and other stuff to do
this weekend, check out our To Do picks and
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 26, 2014
You’ve never heard anything like ensemble
Roomful of Teeth, who will be making their Cincinnati debut at the
Contemporary Arts Center this week. That’s no understatement.
Hauschka brings prepared piano to the CAC for a Friday performance
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Thanks to the Contemporary Arts Center
(CAC), Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the University of Cincinnati’s
College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), concert:nova and MusicNow, New
Music progressivism is alive and well — and building a devoted following
— in Cincinnati.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The opening of a new show can be a tense,
contentious time for an artist. Doubts arise: “What do the public and
critics think? Does this show really work?" But at the Contemporary Arts Center’s recent opening of her show by every wind that blows, Diane Landry was above all that. Literally.
by Drew Klein
Posted In: Performance Art
at 03:48 PM | Permalink
CAC performance curator Drew Klein reports from arts biennial in NYC
Arriving in New York for a work-related trip
always causes my nerves to stand at full attention. I typically overcomplicate my
schedule with back-to-back caffeine dates in different neighborhoods, or try
and sneak in one more performance than would be wise. At the same time, I know
when I'm back here that I'm going to be seeing some of the most
forward-thinking live art happening in the world today, and the energy and
inspiration I pull from the shows I see and the people I meet will influence my
programming for seasons to come.
One layover, a two-hour delay and an
annoying navigation out of Newark Airport later, I'm in the city and
frantically sprinting to my first pow wow of the week with artist Hisham
Bharoocha. Hisham is highly regarded for his music, visual art and
photography, though I'm talking with him mainly in regard to the former. A
founding member of the group Black Dice, his recent experiences have seen him
organize the now legendary BOADRUM experiences in which 77 and, later, 88 drummers
played the same number of kits on the dates 07/07/07 and 08/08/08, respectively, as well as
other projects utilizing the two main parts of his live creative output — voice
and percussion. Hisham owns a unique ability to take a live concept and build
it into something visceral yet magical, and I was glad to find that I enjoyed
him as a human being as well. I hate bad coffee dates.
However, the main reason for being in New
York this time of year is Performa 13, the performance art biennial hosted at
various venues around the city that runs for 24 days in November. Started in
2005 by art historian RoseLee Goldberg (she has written a book on performance
art and is now revered as a key figure in that world), Performa presents some
of today's most compelling performance art works and, more famously,
commissions new work from reputable artists who work across various mediums —
artists ranging from Carlos Amorales to Japanther to Ragnar Kjartansson.
Earlier performances this month have featured Dean Spunt of No Age, a Contemporary Arts Center
performer this past September, and C. Spencer Yeh, the longtime Cincinnati
resident and noise art maestro whose visual art exhibition Standard
Definition opened at the CAC in October 2009. My experience two years ago at
Performa 11 introduced me to a rough working of Jace Clayton's Julius Eastman
Memorial Dinner, and that serendipitous event lead to the project being
further developed and realized before its world premiere as a
production-in-full in our performance program this past April.
The first experience I had with Performa 13
will be hard to beat, I imagine. Arriving at the quaint Connelly Theater Ryan
McNamara's MEƎM: A Story Ballet About The Internet, the attendants
were instructed to check all coats and bags at the entrance before entering
what served as a sort of waiting room of art school students, seasoned
performance art patrons and those seeking something out of the ordinary. The
room resembled a high school cafeteria in look and ambiance, filled with social
chatter between friends and colleagues. As I paid little attention to the conversations,
I went into the performance completely unaware of what would happen.
After being lead into an auditorium with
standard seating facing an elevated stage, the program began with three male
dancers contorting their bodies slowly and precisely to a modern dance Pop
soundtrack. Not long into the routine it became clear that “something” was
happening directly behind the audience. Too unbothered to turn around and take
my attention from the stage, I heard small laughs and continued to feel like the
program was turning into something entirely new. As the energy picked up around
me, I finally glanced back and for the first time noticed that nearly all of
the rows behind me were no longer there, and that two other dancers had set up
shop in the back corners of the room and portions of the audience were now
seated, in the same chairs, facing those performances. At the same time, two
audience members appeared in their chairs moving up the ramps at the sides of
the stage, being pulled by two production team members. Before too long, my own
chair was lifted up and I was swiftly carted, passing through one room with
three leotard-adorned dancers moving to strobe-affected disco before being
delivered to a room where two women in matching outfits performed a laconic
dance to a playlist of suspenseful film score pieces. This routine continued
for an hour, with roughly 10 minutes spent at each location. At the end, after
we were all put back in what we thought were our resting positions, there was
still time for one final, beautiful, balletic piece. Then our chairs were
forcefully reconfigured, and our expectations were once again turned upside
The music was mostly modern, referencing pop
culture, and the dance routines were pulled (stolen) from popular internet
videos. The anxiety over being completely unable to control your own attention,
while still desperately attempting to, was incredibly effective in highlighting
the performance's entire concept of questioning the very possibility of a
singular “experience” today. There were roughly 10-12 possible positions,
and each person probably experienced no more than six of those. We all wanted
to catch more of what was happening all around, but often ignored what was
right in front us. In the end, nobody seemed to leave feeling like they didn't
get to experience it all.Follow citybeat.com for more Performa 13 updates from Drew Klein.
1 Comment · Wednesday, October 30, 2013
On the first Wednesday of each month, a
group of special visitors gathers in one of three participating
Cincinnati museums for a tour designed expressly for them. The group
includes people whose memories are fragile in the extreme and their
guests, the family members or others who accompany them.
by Jac Kern
Posted In: Events
at 12:15 PM | Permalink
Day! Across the world
today, people are converting metered parking spaces into tiny temporary public
parks. Look up #parkingday on Instagram to see how artists, activists and
everyday citizens are turning parking spots into amazing hangout spots — just
for an hour (or as long as their meter lasts).
PARK[ing] Day is being celebrated on Main Street in Over-the-Rhine and on
Eighth Street between Broadway and Sycamore streets until 2 p.m. From 5-7 p.m. Friday,
parking spaces on Main Street will be transformed into temporary galleries and
performance stages. Find more information here.
artist JR is in town this week for his exhibition at the Contemporary Arts
Center opening Friday — his first solo show in the country. JR takes photographs
of people, prints these extremely large-scale portraits and pastes them on
buildings, rooftops and trains across the globe. Tonight’s opening at the CAC
begins with a members-only artist talk at 7 p.m. The celebration opens to the
public at 8 p.m. ($10 for non-members). JR’s Inside Out photo van will be on-site to take free portraits of
people that will be printed as 36-by-53-inch posters, ready for pasting. The exhibit, JR, is open at the CAC through Feb. 2, 2014. Read our interview with JR and find more details about the show.
Saturday is the
last day of summer and the final City Flea in Washington Park before the market
goes indoors for the fall and winter. Send off summer with a trip to the flea,
open 10 a.m-4 p.m. Find more info and vendors here.
Zinzinnati is the largest ‘fest in the country — more than 500,000 German
enthusiasts fill six blocks of downtown for the annual celebration. In addition
for brats and beer, Star Trek star/social media superstar George Takei is Grand
Marshal this year! The OG Mr. Sulu will lead this year’s World’s Largest
Chicken Dance at 4 p.m. Saturday. Oktoberfest runs 5 p.m.-midnight Friday, 11
a.m.-midnight Saturday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. Pick up the official fest
guide in this week’s issue or online.
The Thompson House
in Newport is now under new management they’re hosting an open house for bands
and patrons this weekend. The new crew is ready to answer your questions about
the bar, bands and any rumors starting at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Go here
for more info.
For more art openings,
parties and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks,
full calendar and Rick
Door for weekend theater offerings.