freakin' weekend 1/22/10 -->

lots to do!

almost all of the content in this post is taken from various press releases. I would write with more insight if I could, but many of the artists are new to me. These are some of the things i'll be doing (if i don't make it to all the openings that night, i'll be getting to see the shows sometime next week, you can be sure):

FRIDAY / JAN 22 / 2010

4035 Hamilton Avenue CIncinnati, Ohio 45223
Peiter Griga's solo show ICANNOTREMEMBERALLTHATIHAVEFORGOTTEN which features the results of Peiter's longstanding exploration of human memory in photographs, cast wax objects, video and performance documentary. The objects displayed in the gallery incorporate elements of Peiter's reinterpretation of the ancient mellification ritual described in histories of ancient Babylon. In this ritual, corpses were embalmed with honey, entombed and later used as medicine for the sick. Those who ingested this "medicine" were not only healed but also took on the memories of the deceased. Peiter Griga's exhibit will run through March 6. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 10-6 and Saturday 10-4. Prairie follows Peiter Griga's exhibit with solo shows by Phil Spangler in March and Katie Parker in May.

424 Findlay Street 3rd Floor
Cincinnati OH 45214
Hours: M-F 1-4 and Sat by appointment, 241-3403
opening reception Friday Jan 22, 2010 5-8pm
runs thru February 26; Gallery Talk Saturday Feb 6, 1-3 pm
“If Everything Is Possible (we’re all f***ed): Experiments in Humor”
by Andy Marko presents conceptual artwork at the intersection of the personal, the political and the humorous. Digital prints, web-based media, objects, installations and live performance create a gallery space that is a.) a thematically unified installation, b.) an exhibit addressing issues of age appropriate behavior, aging, personal relationships, consumerism and goofiness or c.) a really weird place.
Marko scatters objects across the space challenging the conventions of gallery presentation. Still images are presented sequentially (filmically) or as performance objects. Gag items, prank objects such as an enormous whoopee cushion, a novelty check, talking banana peels and phony doggie doo fill the gallery. Thought and word balloons add a comic element to the exhibit, creating new meanings between the text and the image. This exhibition dances on the third rail of contemporary art practice – humor. Individual performances by Marko and Kirk Mayhew and live clowns at the opening. Cotton candy, fruit punch and hot dogs will be provided.

Studio of Mary Barr Rhodes
424 Findlay Street 2nd Floor
Cincinnati OH 45214
5:00 - 10:00 pm
Mary Barr Rhodes will exhibit a series of sketches, mixed media drawings and paintings exploring the spirit and physicality of wateras consciousness.
Amanda Schrier, performance artist, accompanied by the visual effects of Marc Seimer will express a physical interpretations of the imagery on display.
Performance at 9pm

Carl Solway Gallery
424 Findlay Street, 1st Floor
5:00 - 8:00 pm
Carl Solway presents A New Work by Jay Bolotin: LEAVES FROM A CAST PAPER NOVEL, an exhibition of 33 drawings from an illustrated manuscript, the manuscript itself and an edition of cast paper pieces. This new work is the initial source imagery for THE JACKLEG TESTAMENT: PART TWO, a trilogy. This exhibition marks an association of 35 years between Jay Bolotin and Carl Solway Gallery.

Carl Solway Gallery also presents a selection of black & white photographs by Jerry Uelsmann.He is best known throughout the world as the modern master of the photomontage. His dreamlike composite images are created by printing elements from multiple negatives onto single sheets of paper. His laborious method of hand printing in the darkroom using anywhere from three to ten enlargers, predates the layered imagery of digital photography by decades. His dramatic, surrealistic, style of image- making challenged conventional notions of reality as depicted in photography and was once considered iconoclastic. His body of work is now a part of the classic tradition of photography practiced as an art form.

Museum Gallery/Gallery Museum
1218 Sycamore, OTR
6:00pm - 11:00pm
"Huxy: Modes of Masculinity"
Our intention is to initiate constructive discourse on the controversial subject of maleness. This show examines the roles, stigmas, and stereotypes of what it means to be a man in the 21st century. We engage artists, scholars, and the common person in a creative re-description and re-interpretation of patriarchy, feminism, and postmodern gender construction.
Artist List: Andy Au, Nicki Davis, Matthew Dayler, Ricki Dennis, Michael Everett, Jeremy Flick, Richard Eyman, Richard Groot, Sara Mulhauser, John Mosher, Nick Paparone, Kyle Penunuri, Josh Pfeifer, Matthew Shelton, Jeff Smith, Brad Schwass, Kevin Thayer, Ryan Young, Matt Wiseman, Charlie Woodman
In addition to their works, the opening will include live performances by Bill Brown, Doug Couper, Jake Eisenhower, Mark Harris, Nicolas Perkins, Jason Philips, Reid Radcliffe, and Matt Shelton, as well as a real poker game featuring a group of men who have been playing together for more than 20 years. The poker chips they will be using were specially designed by Ryan Young.

JANUARY 22 – APRIL 10, 2010
Country Club is pleased to announce the opening of the group exhibition, Shapeshifter. Co-organized with Linda Schwartz, this exhibition features seven artists subtly manipulating concrete and abstract resources. These artists elevate mundane materials or employ traditional or simple processes to create objects that speak to a variety of complex issues. Jimmy Baker, Keith Benjamin, Beth Campbell, Stephen Irwin, Tony Luensman, Letitia Quesenberry, Chris Radtke.
Paul Coors: Neon Firs = Biggie's Pot
This exhibition features a selection of editioned works dealing with issues such as protest, consumption and agency. The title of the exhibition rearranges the letters of Coors 2009 exhibition ("Before I Start Singing") with Semantics gallery in Brighton where several of these works originally appeared. All works in the show involve the process of screen printing on paper, distilled into formal and conceptual investigations that challenge traditional approaches to printmaking.


SATURDAY / JAN 23 / 2010

Encore Tenthaus performance
U.turn Art Space
2159 Central Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45214
Performance begins at 8 pm.
In conjunction with the current exhibit, COLONY, U.turn is happy to announce an encore evening by the performance collaborative, Tenthaus. Tenthaus is made up of Abby Cornelius and Wyatt Niehaus. Cornelius is currently a student at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, while Niehaus is studying in the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program. In their projects, they stage ambient, playful performances that blend music and theatrical shadow play by employing a camping tent as a barrier between the activity and the audience. Working with loop pedals and a mixture of traditional instruments and less clearly defined noises, Tenthaus’ performances are delicate and whispering, like a musical round of ghost stories. Tenthaus has performed around Cincinnati and Columbus, including the Art Damage Lodge in Northside and the historic Arnold’s Bar and Grill in downtown Cincinnati.

The photographic work of Adam Longbonz, as well as the videos and wall collages by Maidens of the Cosmic Body Running will also be on display in the gallery space.

1219 Sycamore Street, OTR
Super Desserts + Busman's Holiday- concert
$5 helps touring bands do big thangs
8 PM sharp
At their core - or, more appropriately, their warm, gooey center - Super Desserts are a pop band, just like any other. But besides those pleasing combinations of chords and melodies, there's nothing conventional about this band. Instruments? They've traded drums and amplification for banjo, sitar and bass clarinet. Packaging? Their CDs come in 7-inch vinyl sleeves stuffed with elaborate handmade liner notes. Performance? They're known to play at living rooms, libraries and sidewalks across Columbus. Song titles? One of them is "The Sorcerer's Wife Admits That the Magic Is Gone from Their Marriage and Files for Divorce."

MUSIC: www.myspace.com/superdesserts
VIDEOS: http://vimeo.com/8006007
and Busman's Holiday (Bloomington, IN)
MUSIC: www.myspace.com/busmansholiday
VIDEO: http://vimeo.com/5120614

Outsiderness' Prolonged Beyond Its Usefulness

"While culture and society have made it a great deal harder for Kevin to be seen as a significant artist, focusing on his outsiderness only prolongs that narrative beyond its usefulness. Even worse it often simplifies our responses to his art as charity or pity. As a working artist, Kevin has earned the freedom to step away from the old "outsider art" narrative and orthodoxy, and move into a realm where his art can do the talking for him. His art seems to be saying, It's not what you think."

that's from Keith Banner, Thunder-Sky, Inc. co-founder, writing about Kevin White's work that can be seen in Out Of Order, the first exhibit at Thunder-Sky, Inc. not by and/or about Raymond Thunder-Sky. I think that Banner brings up some interesting thoughts about integrating the multiple artistic dialogues at work in our community and in the arts generally. Especially the point about pity, which has left me, well, disturbed in the past as I've heard viewers talk about artists at Visionaries and Voices. Keith Banner offers a clear, simple vision: "Outsiderness" may be prolonged beyond its usefulness.

Out of Order: Paintings & Other Creations by David Jarred & Kevin White opens February 26, 2010, with a reception 6 to 10 pm, at Thunder-Sky, Inc. Also that evening, Milan DelVecchio's animated short film based on "Out of Order" works will be screened, and poetry and short stories written in response to the exhibit will be read by creative writing students from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio). Thunder-Sky, Inc. is located at 4573 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45223.


Top ten art experiences of 2009

Happy 2010!

If you haven’t gotten a chance to read my picks for best shows in (mostly) alternative galleries in Cincinnati from 2009, check it out

I hesitated to compose my list of favorite shows in 2009 until I had seen everything, and that was down to the wire, as we traveled to Washington D.C. at the very end of the year, and I had a feeling that one or more of those experiences would make it onto my list. The first five or so were easy, the latter half, more competitive (I might mention the Surrealism and Beyond exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum or PS1’s Between Spaces group exhibition as close runner-ups). But here are the shows settled on for the top 10 best art experiences I had in 2009:

1. Roni Horn a.k.a. Roni Horn, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
The Whitney’s two-floor retrospective survey of Roni Horn’s work was a spacious, poetic arrangement of the artist’s multi-disciplinary (and very pluralist) practice that susses out the semiotics and subtexts of identity. Lest her luminous, post-minimalist sculptures be construed as purely formal and mechanical, they are coupled throughout the exhibition with suites of photographs that are at different turns highly personal (such as the room of self portrait couplets surrounding the twin-sheets of hammered gold on the floor) or else emotively charged. No matter what her medium or execution, Horn excels at delving into and revealing unexpected depth in cast glass, brooding portraits, or black-on-black text embossed into rubber floors.

2. Anne Truitt: Perception and Reflection, Hirshhorn Museum + Sculpture Garden. Washington, DC
After preparing myself to engage with this exhibition for over a year, I finally got over to see it at the very end of the year (and the very end of the exhibition). Truitt’s nearly life-size (and in some instances, soaring clear above everyone’s heads) wooden forms are vehicles for the psychology and poetry of her deftly-controlled and chosen colors. The objects are nearly monochrome, with discreet bands of second or third colors interjected into their compositions. Based in Washington, this painterly aspect of her work has traditionally situated her between the Minimalist and Color Field camps of the day. But in her preoccupation of surface treatment, Truitt stepped outside of the desubjectivizing impulse in Minimalism, and also began the work of psychologically felling the columns that she built. A key set of works in exploring Truitt’s significance to this discourse is the four Dryad sculptures from around 1975. Renato Danese, her longtime gallerist, said of Truitt’s sculptures, “They became almost translucent,” which is precisely the point. When Truitt’s early champion Greenburg observed “It was hard to tell, in Truitt’s art, where the pictorial and where the sculptural began and ended,” he was starting to recognize that the sensitivity to introspective rumination that propelled Truitt’s decision making also tweaked the objects so that finally the physical thing acted as a container and a portal to the landscape of memory from whence it came.

3. Ree Morton: At the Still Point of the Turning World, Drawing Center, New York, NY
This much-deserved look into Ree Morton’s revealed her as broadly applicable to myriad contemporary approaches to abstraction, humor and a penchant for detaching her languages of symbols and marks from their reference points. The openness and the practicality of her drawings and installations surpass her Post-minimalist contemporaries (such as Eva Hesse) in panache, sly wit and specificity. Throughout the exhibition, it becomes clear that Morton often began a body of work by using a recently studied text—philosophy, botany—as a departure point for works that free float into highly personal abstractions that return to the zest, confidence and joy of the Rococo.

4. Trace, Carmel Buckley at the Weston Art Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
Carmel Buckley evoked the spirit of place with an installation constructed from sculptural objects, drawings, monotypes and video. In creating this exhibition, Buckley set forth a project for herself as an artist-cum-archeologist by using objects and specific qualities she has discovered in the house and surrounding woods that she moved into with her family when they relocated to Ohio. She honed in on the specific idiosyncrasies of the place, and, rather than trying to recreate the environment inside the Weston’s lower level gallery, she offers a series of fragments that allow a blending between the place to which she refers and the place in which the viewer encounters her work. The psychological tone of these layered, partial spaces was palpable.

5. Gedi Sibony: My Arms Are Tied Behind My Other Arms, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO
Gedi Sibony’s exhibition invited an interlude of profound intimacy between viewer and museum by way of a series of provisional installations, using humble gestures as an access point to familiarizing oneself with the specific qualities of the space. Most profound were the moments in which the artist’s nearly imperceptible sleight and subtlety brought me deeper into the rooms themselves.

6. 18th Century French Drawing everywhere. The Frick Collection, New York, NY; the Morgan Library, New York, NY; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
I have felt repeatedly reassured for my ongoing commitment to the Rococo through a series of exhibitions around the country that have started with Antoine Watteau and built exhibitions of his and other drawings from French masters and students from the 18th Century and some before or since. These are frothy and decadent, sometimes startlingly scratchy and inelegant. Liaisons, parties, sex, cooking, gardens, seashells, goddesses: their reservoir of subject matter precede so much of my own art research. I grew this year because of these exhibitions.

7. Luc Tuymans, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH
Tuyman’s photo-based works offer that the romance of painting is not within the materials of the medium itself, but lies in the fact that a painting is not a photograph. While photography has entered and exited the realm of fact and believability, paintings have remained defiantly fictitious, a quandary of objective (detached) and subjective (invented) sensation. The translation of images from world events, popular culture or the artist’s personal life into manipulated paint displaces the topics at hand, inviting a rare opportunity for the associative and the imaginative to work themselves out in a viewer’s search for meaning.

8. Purchase Not By Moonlight, Anri Sala at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH
Anri Sala’s multimedia exhibition is conceived as a spectacle fully integrated into the sweeping, angular galleries of this particular museum. Projected films, photographs, and sculptures perpetuate a dusky state of partial comprehension as delicately reconfigured fragments, eroded narratives, communication breakdowns, and an all too lifelike blending of opposites consume exhibition spaces that have been painted in gradually darker shades of gray as one proceeds through two floors of work. Throughout the exhibition, means of communication are contrasted, often portraying a poignant disruption between parties. For Sala, the beauty is in the collision, in the rare potential for something new to emerge from an unsuspecting discourse.

9. Cy Twombly: The Natural World, Selected Works, 2000-2007, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
One of the first gods in my artistic pantheon graced us with a multi-disciplinary display of sculptures, paintings and photographs that were all connected through nature as a thematic element. Over and over, though, the works’ takes on ‘nature’ felt purely imaginative, prismatic, at least reduced from the huge expanse of the natural world. Flowers became huge, six-foot tall affairs in paint; oceans and bays were flattened by the scribbles with which Twombly responded to them; and the menagerie of his sculptures recalled funeral barges, ornamental trees, and a sense of sparkling rarity, like someone catching a Unicorn.

10. Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Having heard a great deal about this exhibition the year before, as it caused a storm of reviews and enthusiastic reactions from friends in New York, I was afraid I would be disappointed with this body of work. The opposite was true. These works don’t translate into descriptions and printed images in magazines well. They are a Wonderland of confused perceptions, a Willy Wonka science-experiment that uses light, color, mist, organic materials and interactivity to push and pull at how we think we see and experience space around us. Beauty (1993), the oldest work at the MCA version of the survey, will be remembered as one of the most spectacular visual experiences I have ever had. The exhibition would be higher on my list if I wasn’t bothered by the theatrical constructions that the museum had to be transformed into so that the effects of Eliasson’s works could be experienced. I found it distracting and distrusted the displacement it forced from real, natural light, day-to-day looking.