The fall season’s museum show that has attracted the most advance interest — because of its ambitiousness and its timeliness — is the Contemporary Art Center’s Realms of Intimacy: Miniaturist Practice from Pakistan, which opens Sept. 23 and continues until an as-yet-not-finalized January date.
One of the prize paintings in the Taft Museum of Art's permanent collection is Francisco Goya's oil "Portrait of Queen Maria Luisa of Spain," circa 1800. It's the only painting by the Spanish master — one of art's greatest innovators — in Cincinnati. The face with its powerful gaze, the dark hair holding glittering jewelry and the gauzy and delicate bodice all speak to the confident and astute way Goya could paint. Or does it?
Francisco Goya produced his famous series of etchings, 1799's 'Los Caprichos,' at a time when narrow-minded religious extremists and other authoritarians were striving to control politics on the one hand while on the other the rise of the Enlightenment represented society's attempt to shift to reasonable thinking. Sound familiar?
Let's hope you won’t be too busy during December preparing for and celebrating the various holidays to get to area museums and galleries for their art exhibits. There are quite a few good ones. Here are my recommendations, based either on seeing them or being familiar with the artists/subject matter.
Brian Joiner, an esteemed local artist, passed away Oct. 8 after being diagnosed with liver cancer several months ago. He always tried something new in his work and as an African-American artist often addressed tough issues regarding race, politics and spirituality with irony and humor. For his ever-joyful presence, boundless energy and seemingly unlimited generosity, he will be missed by all whose lives he touched.
The charge to local arts leaders and CityBeat writers was simple yet also complex and difficult: What is the one thing you would change or add to the local arts scene to make it better? Well, maybe it wasn't worded quite so bluntly, but that was the point. There are plenty of exciting things happening locally in the arts; what should be next?
Over the next few months area museums and galleries are presenting a variety of outside-the-box fare, including quilts, wedding dresses, motorcycles and even an installation made of trees. The Taft Museum, Cincinnati Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum, Country Club, Manifest Gallery, Carnegie Center, Weston Art Gallery, Carl Solway Gallery and Thunder-Sky Inc. are pulling out all the stops for patrons.
Last year, the Taft Museum of Art embarked on a new series of exhibitions called Keystone Contemporary. The goal is that each exhibition would feature one local emerging artist who's been invited to respond (directly or abstractly) to the Taft's collection, the historical house, its interior décor or perhaps even other special exhibitions on view at the museum. Local artist Kristine Donnelly has installed the latest example.
Photography is the artform that has most in common with comedian Rodney Dangerfield. Historically, it got no respect. Late-19th/early-20th-century Pictorialist photographers pushed the idea of photography-as-art, and the new Taft Museum exhibition plants their flag immediately with its title, 'Truth/Beauty,' echoing a phrase from poet John Keats' 'Ode on a Grecian Urn.'