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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?  

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.  

Water and Stone (Review)

Pat Steir's new exhibition paints on the CAC itself

1 Comment · Tuesday, June 15, 2010
In her new installation-sized project done especially for the Contemporary Arts Center, artist Pat Steir attempts to unify her splashy, drippy vocabulary of painting techniques with the cool, detached personality of Zaha Hadid's architecture. Steir manages to expand the basic language of the building, but one doesn't feel directed through the entire experience. I watched a number of viewers make it only halfway down the space before stopping, as if unmoored and lost at sea.  

A Contemporary New Season

CAC's 2010-11 lineup includes exhibits featuring Keith Haring, Shinji Turner-Yamamoto and local artists

1 Comment · Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The Contemporary Arts Center's just-announced 2010-11 season continues its support of emerging artists — including Cincinnati-based ones — in a series of shows mostly curated by Director Raphaela Platow. But it will also feature a tightly focused retrospective of the work of the late Keith Haring as well as a group show with an A-list of contemporary artists, courtesy of a Mexican collection.   

Aloha with Pomegranates and The Buried Wires

April 23 • Contemporary Arts Center

0 Comments · Monday, April 19, 2010
In the studio, Aloha has tended to focus on an Ambient vibe, while their live sets have become known for their more relentlessly visceral presentation, a Prog/Punk/Pop amalgam that touches similarly atmospheric nerves as R.E.M. and Radiohead. This show is also the 2010 MidPoint Music Festival kickoff event, where attendees will find out the latest MPMF developments.  

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.  

Hope and Glory

Shepard Fairey's grassroots success empowers other artists to make a statement

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 16, 2010
When it was announced last year that Shepard Fairey's traveling solo show Supply and Demand would stop at Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center, it immediately seemed a masterstroke for the museum. Once it opens Friday (continuing through Aug. 22), we'll see if the attendance and community interest live up to expectations.  

C. Spencer Yeh's Standard Deviation

In visual art and sound, local multimedia artist defies conventional boundaries

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The cumulative impact of C. Spencer Yeh's loosely connected multimedia works at the CAC forces one to experience the world through his unique, sometimes alienating perspective — an approach the artist has investigated more prominently in his vast and various musical projects over the last dozen-plus years. Yeh's best-known musical entity is Burning Star Core, whose moody, cinematic soundscapes can be described as everything from avant-garde Free Jazz to experimental Noise Rock to the sound of the world caving in on itself.  

What 21c Might Mean for Art in Cincinnati

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Since Louisville’s 21c Museum Hotel has announced a planned expansion into downtown Cincinnati, the discussion has centered on two issues: What does snagging an award-winning boutique hotel mean to local economic development and what will happen to the low-income residents of the Metropole Apartments? Important questions, but as an arts writer they're not my bailiwick. I can, however, offer some insight into what 21c might mean for the visual (and other) arts in Cincinnati.  

Fashion Abstraction

1 Comment · Wednesday, October 7, 2009
With the opening of 'Chewing Color,' the new exhibition of the subversive, questioning, unnervingly intimate and maddeningly beautiful fashion photography of Marilyn Minter, the Contemporary Arts Center now has three simultaneous exhibitions that prominently feature video work. That should tell you something about where contemporary art is going.  

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