The month of October always brings with it not only glorious weather, but some of the most fascinating art shows tend to appear during this month every year, and 2015 is no exception. Exhibition offerings are very strong, and the October issue of aeqai, now posted, is full of reviews, profiles, and manifests aeqai’s growth into new cities: we introduce Elisa Mader, who’ll be covering the visual arts in Seattle for us, this month, as well as Joelle Jamison, who will be covering Houston for us, regularly, joining Anise Stevens, our LA correspondent, and Cynthia Kukla, who has Chicago as her beat. And next month, we’ll be introducing area photographer Kent Krugh, who has become aeqai’s photography editor, and will be selecting photographers’ work from the region, nationally, and internationally and offering our readers photo essays of the work he selects for us.
Both the art museum and the Taft Museum have singular offerings : Keith Banner reviews the Jacob Lawrence painting show, recently opened at The Taft Museum in a strong and passionate review of Lawrence’s work from the thirties, while Jonathan Kamholtz analyzes the one Raphael painting that’s traveling the world right now (which we think’s a terrific idea). Two reviews of recent Contemporary Arts Shows/performances aren’t in yet at press time, but we will post them when they come.
Matthew Metzger returns this month as an aeqai critic, and he went to Antioch College to review a show about the rhyzome, a complex metaphysical idea that the Antioch Curator has adapted into an art show with the most splendid of results, with the assistance of a professor of sculpture there: this is a must see show, and it’s a great time of year to take this short drive to this lovely town so close to us, in Yellow Springs. Zack Hatfield offers a thoughtful anaylsis of photographer Elena Dorfman’s work at The Weston Gallery in The Aronoff Center; aeqai reviewed her work several years ago, and her career seems to be soaring. And Craig Ledoux, who started with aeqai last month, both reviews and offers an overview of the public art/mural scene in Covington, including an interview with both Jay and Cate Becker of the BLDG (building) , who’ve been so responsible for this burgeoning scene in Covington, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year (The Carnegie also offers several shows dealing with Covington’s birthday /anniversary, which is why we asked Ledoux to write this column now).
Hannah Leow reviews an oddly moving show of work by Jane Carver at The Art Academy of Cincinnati; our review of The Michael Lowe Collection of (conceptual) photography will appear next month rather than this month due to extenuating technical problems on the writer’s now old computer. Fran Watson, whose knowledge of prints and how they’re made always amazes us, reviews Frank Hermann’s new monoprints on offer at Clay Street Press, and new aeqai writer Dan Burr takes a look at a small group show at the Women’s Y downtown, called “Color” and featuring work by, amongst others, Paula Wiggins and Susan Mahan. Burr, whom we welcome to aeqai this month, will be reviewing for us regularly, too. And Marlene Steele reviews Cedric Michael Cox’s new work at The Clifton Cultural Arts Center: Cox’s work’s optimism is always refreshing to see in such a dystopian era. And Jennifer Perusek, aeqai’s fashion editor/correspondent, looks at the Alexander McQueen line of women’s clothes this month, after the truly tragic and untimely death of visionary McQueen himself.
Aeqai offers two profiles this month, both of area artists: Mike Rutledge’s profile of Brad Austin Smith, one of our region’s most creative and prolific photographers, who has a new photo in the upcoming Mapplethorpe After 25 Years show at The CAC, opening in November, and Laura Hobson offers a profile of regional draughtsman and painter Marlene Steele, who also writes for aeqai regularly. Marlene Steele also offers a fascinating review/essay on The Letterheads, a group which met here recently and deals with all kinds of aspects of signage, graphics and the like , as well as older design forms including calligraphy, at which Steele herself excels. We hope that you’ll read Steele’s piece as it’s truly fascinating, and most of us know little about these fields.
Aeqai has a slew of reviews from other cities. Our own Jane Durrell was visiting Atlanta, and found a museum at Emory Univeristy which is full of ethnic memorabilia and objects from cultures around the world, but reviews the temporary show there about Native American arts and culture; it’s a fascinating review and there’s much to learn from it. Our LA writer, Anise Stevens, offers two reviews, one of a show of work by African-American geometric abstractionist–all 46 of them–in a show that’s an eye opener. Her other review of new work by NY artist Randy Hage, shows us work in the realistic , almost photo-realistic vein, of storefronts, current and those long gone, in New York, and they’re miniaturist as well as dimensional, too: this show sold out at its opening in LA. The work is sensational, as is her review of it. Our Chicago correspondent, Cynthia Kukla, looks at Charles Ray’s sculptures of mainly male nudes at The Art Institute, and she doesn’t much like the macho bombast which she describes and anaylzes so admirably. Elisa Mader, of Seattle, reviews work by Lisaann Cohn, in a show that shows influences from Surrealism, Egon Schiele and others, that looks fresh and exciting and beautifully rendered. And Joelle Jamison looks at a design show at Houston’s version of our Contemporary Arts Center: Houston has a very active design scene in clothing, furniture, jewelery , and the like: much fascinating art’s coming out of Houston; next month she’ll write about the Houston photography scene.
Louis Z. Bickett of Lexington returns with another of his fascinating photo-essays, this one called “Sam with Broom: South”; these photos are part of a large, ongoing series of deadpan/conceptual photographs where a young man named Sam wanders the Lexington area and throughout the South with one broom. And I offer two book reviews this month, of phenomenal new short stories by Ann Beattie, a truly rare treat, and of a very disappointing new novel by very talented writer Lauren Groff.
We’re also posting with this eblast an invitation to the aeqai benefit party, to be held on Tuesday, November l0, at The Weston Gallery in the Aronoff: tickets are cheap at $40/head, and we’ll have a great art auction, thanks to the vast generosity of regional artists: we hope you’ll come; everything’s tax deductible as Aeqai is a 501c3 nonprofit. Nibbles and wine/beer’ll be on offer, and this event’s aeqai’s major fundraising event, and we hope you’ll come and support it, and if you can’t, please consider sending a tax deductible check anyway.
We’ll return in a month –November’s issue will include a lot of material on the FotoFocus sponsored symposium on Mapplethorpe/lessons learned , which’ll take place on the 23rd and 24th of October at The CAC (their show opens a couple of weeks later). New York FotoFocus Curator Kevin Moore has put together one of the most impressive groups of experts and specialists worldwide for this event, and we encourage you to attend various parts of the symposium as you can. It’s a major event in and for Cincinnati, and aeqai will review the symposium and the show next month.
–Daniel Brown, Editor