The June issue of aeqai is now ready for your aesthetic pleasure and intellectual enjoyment. We are just beginning that time of year when the pace of the arts and urban culture relaxes a little, so this is a smaller edition of aeqai.
Two of the most important shows at area museums have just recently opened, and our reviews are in this issue: Jonathan Kamholtz gives an analysis and overview of four paintings by Thomas Cole, an American painter of The Hudson River School, and attendant material at The Taft Museum of Art. The Hudson River School painters are among America’s most renowned and revered, and most American landscape and/or environmental work refers to these l9th century painters’ experiments with light and with the ideas of the grandeur of nature; Cole’s paintings are both specificially and metaphorically Christian in orientation and symbolism.
The Cincinnati Art Museum’s long awaited exhibition of prints by German Expressionists just opened, and we offer our review by aeqai writer Keith Banner. The artistic period between , roughly, the beginning of WWI and the intrawar years gave us some of the most sophisticated and often emotionally wrenching works of art in all of art history. Museum print Curator Kristin Spangenberg shows off her curatorial expertise and elegant taste in this superb selection of prints: this is a must-see show.
Other reviews in the June aeqai include two , by the departing artists -in-residence at Manifest Gallery (Plunkett and Mancini) by aeqai writer/artist Marlene Steele. Karen Chambers offers a sensitive and occasionally romantic look at the photos of Michael Wilson depicting musicians from this area, in the show of his work at Iris Book Cafe, curated by William Messer.
And Fran Watson takes us through artists’ books from the Loeb Collection at the Hamilton County Public Library downtown, and a splendid show it is, with work by Matisse, Gauguin, Chagall and others.
Aeqai is beginning to profile some regional artists this month, and we start with an interview with Ft. Thomas native Beverly Erschell, whose ebullient often Matissean paintings grace many a private home in this area, Georgia, and Florida, and one with Classical glass sculptor Margot Gotoff; the Erschell piece is by Laura Hobson, and the Gotoff by new aeqai writer Liz Teslow. Erschell and Gotoff have both had successful careers in their chosen mediums and are two of our most respected artists.
Matthew Metzger meditates about the differences, and, more interestingly, similarities between the making of a painting and, say, a piece of furniture, and how, to him, the underlying intellectual/aesthetic processes are remarkably alike; perhaps Japanese culture absorbs these seeming contrasts the most holistically. Saad Ghosn’s monthly “Art for A Better World includes work by visual artist Andrew Au, and literary artist Pauletta Hansel.
We have three of our best ever “Letters from….”, one by Kevin Ott, who explored Charleston, S.C., for us; one by new aeqai writer Judity Fairley, whose “Letter from Fredericksburg, Texas” is a virtual model for this kind of writing, and one from intrepid aeqai writer/traveler Jane Durrell,. who sent us a missive from mid-Atlantic, on her way to England: she tells us what kinds of art she found on the ship, The Queen Mary II, she took to visit her son in London.
I offer my monthly essay, a cautionary piece on whether popular culture has now taken over the visual arts entirely, and whether we are seeing too many “favored” artists in our nonprofits. I also offer two book reviews, of recent
novels by English writer Tessa Hadley, and a small masterpiece by American Anthony Doerr. Maxwell Redder sent us three poems from his momentary haunt in Bali; he is now en route to Sweden.
We’ll be back in August for our one summer issue, July/August, and then resume our regular coverage in September. Thanks for your thoughts when you write to us, and we hope that you have some cheer during this summer.