As Eric M. Lee, whose last day as director of Taft Museum of Art is Friday, prepares to lead the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Tex., he leaves behind a smash-hit show: Fashion in Film: Period Costumes for the Screen. “We are trying to reach out to a broader audience with this show and it’s succeeding,” he says. “Our attendance is phenomenal.
David Rosenthal, talking in the bare-bones middle room of his new Northside gallery, says, "I'm hoping to provide a place where photography can be done by lots of people and can reach into different areas in lots of different ways."
Citing diminishing returns, the Cincinnati Art Museum has ended its relationship with Cincinnati World Cinema, a presenter of art films, classics, shorts collections and documentaries that had been using its auditorium since 2007. That has left the future unclear for those who feel Cincinnati needs a non-commercial outlet for such specialized films that otherwise wouldn't play here.
As we enter a new year, my biggest wish for Cincinnati’s visual-arts scene in 2009 is a simple one — that we can hold onto what already is here. Lots of people in the local arts are struggling, along with the greater economy, and that puts what they’re doing at risk.
We go to our American art museums and dutifully pass the Old Masters' paintings, nonchalant about them being on display here rather than Italy, Spain, Germany, England, France, Netherlands or the other European countries where those great painters lived centuries ago.
In what was a tough year all around, the visual arts scene in Greater Cincinnati managed to stay its ground in 2008. The primary presences are our museums, and they all had good years art-wise, although the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) was forced to make some staff layoffs late in the year as the national economy tanked.
Here are the 10 art shows that left the most impact on me in 2008, presented in no particular order and with regrets to the other fine exhibitions that just didn’t quite make this admittedly subjective list.
Museums have not been immune to the nations economic meltdown Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Arts endowment has calamitously plunged and Cincinnatis Contemporary Arts Center had to lay off five people, including its public relations director.
Turning adversity into a virtue is something artists are good at. The adversity of being an artist in a Communist society that forbad direct social criticism steered Anderle into a body of work well suited for comment on the human condition. So prints became Anderle's dominant form of expression through much of his career.
What this means is not at all simple. The papers are painted beautifully in the loose but contained way of a lot of art right now. It's also politically charged. But bringing the two together makes something consuming. We, as viewers, stand face-to-face, surrounded by the criminal acts of our generation.