The January issue of Aeqai has just posted, as the season in the visual arts begins to heat up (though ‘heat’ may be an odd choice of words with the weather as it is). We’re excited to bring you a number of excellent reviews and profiles, and to introduce you to two new writers, Chelsea Borgman, whom some of you may know as the woman who runs the C-Link Gallery at Brazee Street Studios, and Steve Havira, our new film critic.  Chelsea will be doing dual duty: she’ll be profiling younger, emerging artists , and also will be writing essays about ideas coming from younger, particularly millennial, generations.  Look for columns by Borgman and Havira monthly.

Aeqai helps to celebrate the grand reopening of The Miller Gallery on Hyde Park Square, long a mainstay of Cincinnati’s commercial galleries, with Jonathan Kamholtz’s review of their opening show, paintings by Matthew Metzger (also an Aeqai writer) and by Jonathan Queen.  Metzger’s particularly complex and sophisticated paintings, combining aspects of American abstraction and Chinese painting, amongst others, are truly superior; the new Miller space has been opened up and is much roomier and more contemporary in feel.  Another regional artists whose paintings impress are those by Emil Robinson (in a two-person show at Wave Pool Gallery), who also writes for Aeqai,  reviewed this month by Keith Banner. One of our region’s most versatile artists, Robinson’s work always surprises, and his high intelligence is always present in his work.  Karen Chambers reviews the new fiber show at C-Link Gallery at Brazee Studios, an overview of artists working in that medium presently.  And Aeqai writer/area artist Marlene Steele took a journey to Springfield, and reviews what sounds like a phenomenal show of regionalist painters from Ohio, mainly from the forties, at The Springfield Arts Center: she’ll be returning there next month to take a look at Cincinnati artist Jimi Jones’ one-person show at the same venue.  Craig Ledoux reviews a two-person show at ThunderSky Gallery in Northside, paintings by Cincinnati artist Tom Towhey and Adrian Cox, one of ThunderSky’s regularly outstanding shows.

And Marta Hewett, whom we’ve learned originally was studying the fields of conservation and preservation of artwork, interviews Chief Conservator Urry at The Cincinnati Art Museum, and explains how an eighteen panel Spanish painting from the mid l400s is being, and will be, restored, in an exhibition open to the public, who can see these panels restored at various phases throughout the run of the show; how paintings are restored is a relatively little know aspect of the visual arts, but an increasingly important one.  It’s a fascinating process and column.

Aeqai offers three profiles this month: Jane Durrell’s of Tom Towhey, who’s also showing his work this month at ThunderSky Gallery in Northside; Laura Hobson interviews Cincinnati painter Trish Weeks, and new Aeqai writer Chelsea Borgman does a profile of Lizzie Duquette.  These three profiles alone manifest the widely differing types of talent we have in this region.

Kent Krugh, our photo editor (let me explain: Krugh’s role is to select the work of one photographer from anywhere in the world, whose work he finds to be particularly important, and share those with our readers).  His choice this month are photos by Cincinnati Symphony player Matt Zory, whose very strong black-and-white photos are showcased in this issue. Jennifer Perusek, Aeqai’s fashion critic, turns her attention this month to menswear, an increasingly large part of the fashion world/market, with a description and analysis of work by Dolce and Gabanna, the Sicilian team so well known for their provocative ads.

Our Los Angeles correspondent Anise Stevens’ review just came in, of a very important show of work by African-American artists whose work looks at the original Watts riots in l965, so that this show is an important addition to the overview of American life and culture in the fifty years since the original civil rights struggles began in The South. Elisa Mader reviews a fascinating show in Seattle, work by artist Daphne Minkoff in a two-person show, interpreting neighborhoods in Seattle that she remembers from their original ‘incarnations’, and that she saw nearly destroyed, and which are now making a comeback: her art is particularly evocative.  (Our Houston correpondent, Joelle Jameson, and our Chicago writer, Cynthia Kukla, will return in Feb: Kukla has her own show just opened at The Korean Culture Center in Chicago).

Steve Havira’s first movie review for Aeqai’s The Big Short, which explicates the world of American banking/investment banks , and tells us how they maniuplated the banking system into the world’s economic crisis of 2008, while wrecking the housing markets in the deal.  Louis Z. Bickett offers us one stellar poem, and Maxwell Redder returns with three new poems.  Craig Ledoux offers us his analysis of the much discussed novel City on Fire in a book review, and I offer reviews of three books, M Train by Patti Smith; My Name is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout, and The Mare, by Mary Gaitskill.

As we go to press, we’re waiting for Katie Dreyer’s review of the photography show at Iris Book Cafe in OTR, curated by William Messer. We’ll add the review when it comes in.  The offerings this month are very strong, and very diverse.  Next month The Taft Museum opens its spectacular and long planned painting show “Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh”, which we expect will be one of the most outstanding painting exhibitions in decades: check out The Taft’s site now, as tickets will be needed to see the show.  And the art museum will open its splendid etchings show, which parallels, in time frame, the Taft’s show (nineteenth century).  Etchings, I’m told, are making a comeback in the visual arts, and the museum’s show, too, appears to be a splendid one.  We’ll also be reviewing the next three performances offered by The Contemporary Arts Center. And we note almost new and brand new galleries opened in OTR, and wish them both luck.  The Weston at The Aronoff Center will be celebrating its twentieth anniversary, too, with work by twenty regional artists, commissioned for this anniversary, which also looks very exciting.

We hope that this new Aeqai will provide stimulating reading during this freezing weather , and we welcome, as always, your comments (and donations). We’ll be back in a month with another issue of Aeqai.

–Daniel Brown, Editor


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