The April issue of aeqai has just posted, and it’s a very full issue: you may have noted that each issue of aeqai is getting bigger, and that’s because we’re getting a lot of national attention, as well as regional, and we’ve been finding superb writers in many other cities: we’re now covering Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, occasionally Austin, and New York, as well as Lexington/Louisville. We believe that artists who live and work in The Greater Cincinnati region have much to gain with an exchange of ideas and thoughts with artists from around the country, and vice versa. Aeqai will, however, always remain regionally based.
Highlights of our April issue include Keith Banner’s insightful, interdisciplinary review of the “30 Americans” show at The Cincinnati Art Museum; Zack Hatfield’s brilliant observations and contexts for the Paul Kohl photography show at Iris Book Cafe, curated by William Messer; Emil Robinson brings his own painter’s background to new paintings and watercolors by Cincinnati maestro Frank Herrmann’s new work at Marta Hewett Gallery; Matthew Metzger’s aesthetic-philosophical thoughts on new work by Shinji Turner-Yamamoto at The Weston Gallery in the Aronoff, downtown; and Chelsea Borgman’s urgent plea to our readers to help save The Clifton Cultural Arts Center as an art center: her article explains the challenge in the air from Cincinnati Public Schools about the use of this building.
Cincinnati artist and writer Joe Pennington joins aeqai this month with a wonderful personal essay on his teenaged-years’ forays into the world of graffiti art, and we’ve paired his essay with Houston critic Joelle Jameson’s essay/review of the new Graffiti and Street Art Museum just opening there.
Other reviews from the Greater Cincinnati region include Fran Watson’s astute analysis of Hunt Slonem’s paintings at Miller Gallery; Dan Burr’s review of new work from both Kay Hurley and Jens Rosenkrantz, based on their very recent trip to Cuba; the show includes Hurley’s first publicly exhibited photographs. Later in the issue, we include Burr’s wonderful Letter from Cuba, based upon his own recent visit there. UC educator Laura Sams also joins aeqai this month; her first review is an astute and often witty look at Mel Grier’s photos in the show “White People” at Art Beyond Boundaries. Julie Gross returns this month with an exemplary review of a performance in Louisville by Cher Von: her reviews of performances, along with those by Katie Dreyer, really show how well performance art can be reviewed and analyzed.
Our two profiles this month: Emil Robinson interviews sculptor/installation artist Matt Jones, and Laura Hobson offers a profile of The Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park, with thoughts on Lynn Carden’s botanical art, on display at a new local gallery.
We have a lot of “Letters from……” this month. Susan Byrnes’ “Letter from the Mother Road” is a wonderful description of her trip and the art she saw in various parts of The American West; Jonathan Kamholtz was in Chicago and reviews The Van Gogh show (paintings of that artist’s bedroom in various incarnations) for us; Jane Durrell, who’s been out for awhile, offered us a travel piece from 2005, when she went to see the new MOMA and the billowing fabric installation by Christo and wife Jeanne in Central Park; we were too delighted by the piece not to print it. Dan Burr’s “Letter from Cuba” is in this section, along with Kevin Ott’s “Letter from Columbus; Ott drove up to see the recently reopened museum and discusses new galleries and terrific new installations of their contemporary artwork in particular.
Aeqai photo editor Kent Krugh’s photo folio choice this month: photographs by Sal Taylor Kidd provide some visual stimulation near the middle of this issue. And Laura Hobson went to listen to a lecture at The Mercantile Library, where Cincinnati miniaturist Robert Off gave a lecture on a new roombox (his word for his art) based on a book by Raleigh, N.C. author Huler about The Beaufort scale; both men spoke that night, and the book and roombox were linked through Off’s art. And aeqai fashion critic
Jenny Perusek offers her observations and analysis of new fashion from The House of Versace, and how fashion increasingly looks to the empowerment of women in clothes, rather than have women be another object in the fashion repertoire.
Out of town reviews come from all over; new to aeqai, former Cincinnatian and grad school student Jack-Arthur Wood comes with reviews, one from Austin, Texas, and one from Portland, Oregon: the latter (Binary Harmonies) was a printmaker’s convention of sorts, and Wood’s a printmaker, so if you’re interested in contemporary prints, you’ll find Wood’s analyses stimulating and his knowledge of the field astute; his remarks on digital work are particularly fascinating. The show in Austin, “Hard Luck Honky Tonk”, featured work from Flatbed Press and Gallery in Austin. Wood will be writing for aeqai regularly. Anise Stevens’ offering from LA this month is about “Concrete”, a bicoastal artists’ collective; she focuses mainly on the work by female artists, noting with delight that half the work in this show is made by women, a rarity even it today’s more enlightened times about gender equity. And Elisa Mader, our Seattle correspondent, returns with a review of “Abstract Alternatives”, drawings by Jeff Mihalyo at Dendroica Gallery
in the Capitol Hill district of Seattle (the artist is better known as a painter, but his drawings are exquisite).
Maxwell Redder returns with three new (magnificent) poems, and Steven Havira offers a fascinating essay/film review about the recently released film based on the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings where Anita Hill accused the newly nominated Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harrassment in the workplace; Havira looks again at those hearings, now fictionalized, but also creates a series of metaphors and questions about the overall cultural relevance of those hearings today.
I offer four book reviews this month, all of new fiction by Dana Spiotta; Hannah Tennant-Moore; Roger Rosenblatt, and Sunjeev Sahota: recent fiction’s been looking unusually fine in the past few months, if you choose your books very carefully.
We hope that you find the April issue of aeqai stimulating and diverse, and we welcome your comments, as always. And we’ll be back in a month with another issue of aeqai.
–Daniel Brown, Editor