Dear Readers,

Fotofocus provides the content for nearly all of the October issue of AEQAI. This first celebration of photography’s central place in contemporary art and culture is responsible for approximately 75 exhibitions in the Greater Cincinnati region. The shows range from the regionally acclaimed, the nationally, and even internationally renowned artists. AEQAI is one week late this month, so that we could cover the most exhibitions possible; opening nights ranged from mid-to-late September and were still opening as of October 19.

When possible and or relevant, several AEQAI critics review several shows together. Keith Banner compares Herb Ritts’ photographs at CAM with Edward Steichen’s at The Taft, and examines some underlying ideas about American culture manifest in these shows. Jane Durrell wrote a splendid and spontaneous essay on the opening night of the Starn Twins’ installation at the Holy Cross Church in Mt. Adams, while Chris Reeves brilliantly analyzes and reviews it. The show is also offered by CAM. Maria Seda-Reeder’s review of the Tony Luensman show at The Weston Gallery at The Aronoff Center is astute and smart, as is her penetrating analysis of the work and its implications as art and cultural signifier.

Emil Robinson examines the work of Laurel Nakadate at The Art Academy of Cincinnati’s Convergys Gallery, sensitively describing and analyzing the images and their cultural import. He indicates how her work transcends her gender and speaks to us all, the mark of outstanding artwork . Gender and sexuality are some of the major themes in quite a few Fotofocus exhibitions.

Regan Brown’s extraordinary abilities as an art and cultural critic explore the different themes and cultural constructs and contradictions inherent in Tyler Shields’ photographs at The Miller Gallery. Fran Watson does the same with the entirely different work by Tony De Varco at Marta Hewett Gallery.

New AEQAI writer (as of last issue) Stephen Slaughter reviews and meditates upon the last exhibition of the smart and savvy MuseumGallery/GalleryMuseum in Brighton. AEQAI deeply regrets the demise of this place and of its clever aesthetic and philosophical underpinnings but welcomes some of its artists as writers at AEQAI. We hope that the changing and evolving city finds room to accommodate more of , not less of, such alternative spaces and voices.

AEQAI gives extensive coverage to the Sol LeWitt exhibition at Carl Solway Gallery. Maxwell Redder reviews the print retrospective. Karen Chambers examines and analyzes the two photographers at Solway, Stephen Berens and Elizabeth Bryant, whose work interprets LeWitt’s art photographically.

Dance maven Kathy Valin’s review of photographs by former ballet dancer Peter Mueller at Cincinnati Ballet School is refreshing and intelligent. Valin’s keen understanding of light and movement from her dance life make for a particularly inspired review of Mueller’s photographs of dancers.

Jane Durrell covers Cincinnati veteran photographer Gordon Baer’s show at Baker Hunt in Covington, and an overview of the word of four photographers (Connie Sullivan and Jane Stevens are two of the four, both very important area photographers with distinguished exhibition and teaching histories. AEQAI is pleased to see Sullivan’s return to area galleries; she is also showing at Xavier University).

Dustin Pike’s beautifully lyrical review of the work of another area veteran, Barry Andersen, reminds us of the Romantic tradition in Western painting and of the relatively rare use of color photography , until very recently, in ”fine art” photography. The show is at Notre Dame Academy in Northern Kentucky. Andersen has been awarded a lifetime achievement award for his photography; he has just retired from teaching at NKU. Shawn Daniel gives a fine overview and analysis of work in the documentary photography show at NKU.

New AEQAI writer Christian Schmit offers an exegesis of a lecture recently given at The Art Academy by Dr. Joe Fig. Schmit’s elegiac meditation on the recreation of the Paris studio of modernist sculptor Brancusi raises all kinds of issues, aesthetic and historic, about art, modernism, and the new interest in keeping artists’ studios intact after their deaths.

AEQAI also offers two of my own book reviews, and three new poems by Maxwell Redder for Maxwell’s Poetry Corner, a new regular AEQAI feature.

We think that our October issue is one of AEQAI’s strongest ever, and that our critical voices are becoming clear and intelligent and very necessary. We want to be your “smart” publication. Please send comments to us, as you wish, and just click “subscribe” on the site, so you will always be informed when each new issue is about to be posted. There is no charge for any of these services. And please also note that AEQAI is posting calls for entry and items of interest to artists all throughout the month; send them to [email protected] and check the site regularly for news and updates.

Daniel Brown

Editor, AEQAI

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