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Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman (Review)

Unconventional portraits of notorious 'demireps' from the 18th century

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 29, 2010
In the Cincinnati Art Museum's new exhibition Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman, I learned a new word. “Demireps” were women with less-than-respectable reputations. They were actresses, singers, dancers, courtesans and mistresses who rejected the accepted notions of femininity, made their own money, gambled, left their husbands and — gasp — wore French fashions.  

The 'Gainsborough' Portrait That Got Away

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Cincinnati Art Museum has an important new exhibition on display through Jan. 2 called Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman. Organized by Benedict Leca, curator of European paintings, sculpture and drawings on the occasion of the cleaning/restoration of the museum’s own Gainsborough portrait of “Ann Ford (Mrs. Thicknesse).”  

State of the Arts: What's Missing?

Greater Cincinnati's arts scene is strong, but here are a few ways it can be made even stronger

1 Comment · Wednesday, September 1, 2010
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?  

Fall Arts Preview: Visual Art

Area museums and galleries offer cornucopia of exhibitions this fall

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 1, 2010
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.  

Warhol's Pete Rose Portrait Turns 25

0 Comments · Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's all-time hits record on Sept. 11, 1985, with his 4,192nd hit. It was such a momentous occurrence in baseball (and Cincinnati) history that even the art world took notice. That year, knowing Rose would break Cobb's seemingly enduring record, the Cincinnati Art Museum commissioned Andy Warhol to create a portrait of Rose.  

Life As Art: Thom Shaw

Remembering the maker of provocative, beautiful art with the power to shift perspectives

0 Comments · Tuesday, August 3, 2010
News that a great artist has died always raises the stakes for me; the responsibility of creating moving art and important discussions surrounding it is more immense, because there is one less innovator sharing the weight. Thom Shaw — one of Cincinnati's best known and most admired contemporary artists — passed away on July 6, 2010, due to complications from diabetes.  

Walker Evans: Decade by Decade (Review)

Famed photographer's career gets revised in Cincinnati Art Museum exhibit

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Cincinnati Art Museum's 'Walker Evans: Decade by Decade' opens with a rather bold statement that Evans is "probably the single greatest American photographer ever to have worked in the 20th century." An introduction like that certainly raises the stakes for an exhibition. I don't feel that, taken alone, the show proves he was the "single greatest" of the last century, but I also don't believe that's the show's objective.  

Sampling Culture

Kara Walker, Shepard Fairey and the controversial art of appropriation

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 17, 2010
To see just how extensively appropriation is being used in contemporary art, it's useful to compare and contrast two traveling shows now in Cincinnati: Kara Walker's 'Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)' at the Cincinnati Art Museum and Shepard Fairey's 'Supply and Demand' at the Contemporary Arts Center. The term "appropriation" is used to describe new art that incorporates in some way a pre-existing work into its imagery.  

Martin Puryear's Prints Are Mysterious, Compelling

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 10, 2010
If I were to pick the three best contemporary sculptors working on public art today, they'd be Richard Serra, Mark di Suvero and Martin Puryear. Serra unashamedly trumpets the strength inherent in large steel pieces, but Puryear does something different and especially liberating. A current show of his prints at Cincinnati Art Museum, on display now through June 13, offers insight into his motivations and process.  

William Eggleston the 'Big Star' of CAM's 'Starburst'

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 24, 2010
In the new Cincinnati Art Museum exhibit 'Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980,' a key point is that this work was tough stuff in its time. The art world couldn't understand why the new, upcoming photographers were eschewing artful black-and-white compositions and colorful nature landscapes to concentrate on banal, even grotesque shots of unglamorous everyday life.  

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