Some of the best shows in town have surfaced in November, following the blitz of photography shows known as fotofocus.
The commercial galleries, in particular, seem to be showcasing a lot of their top talent. Keith Banner offers a rave review of the Jonathan Queen/Rob Jefferson show at The Miller Gallery. I seem to have asked two writers tocover the Leslie Shiels’ painting show at Cincinnati Art Galleries, and have decided to offer them both to our readers. Karen Chambers is a critic, while Marlene Steele is an artist who also writes criticism, and the subtle differences in their approaches to this same exhibition are very engaging, although their conclusions are roughly the same. Cole Carothers opened a new painting show at the 5th Street Gallery in the Netherland Hotel downtown, and aeqai welcomes critic Jonathan Kamholtz, who reviews that show. The artists mentioned so far are widely considered to be amongst the strongest we have in this region.
Fran Watson, a printmaker/artist and critic, reviews the splendid Toulouse-Lautrec print show at Cincinnati Art Museum; all the work in the exhibition come from the museum’s own holdings, and we see not only superior printmaking at work, but , looking with contemporary eyes, note how this artist was fascinated by the popular culture of his era, late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Paris.
Aeqai also welcomes Kevin Ott as a writer/critic, and he reviews a performance at The Emery Theatre, “13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests” for us. This show ties into the Warhol polaroids show at the Contemporary Arts Center, and also gives us a peek into the kind of future uses to which the beautiful and versatile Emery Theater may be put. Ott will write for aeqai regularly.
Dustin Pike continues his series, G.O.D. (Geometrically Ordered Design), wherein he explains the relationship between numbers and design; the number 6 is up this month. Laura Partridge Yoo has returned to aeqai after a brief hiatus with a stunning review of the Body/Object photography show at Carl Solway Gallery, which was added to the Solway schedule last month. Jane Durrell writes an enthusiastic profile of photographer Kent Krugh, who is relatively new to the art scene here, but whose splendid photographs won best of show both at The Clifton Cultural Center and at The Carnegie in Covington, quite a feat.
Stephen Slaughter reviews the exhibition “Chocolat” at Prairie in Northside, a tribute to the late Brian Joiner, and Shawn Daniel does an analysis of the Apocalypse show at semantics. Larry Watson gives a sensitive look at the exhibition at Thundersky , Inc., also in Northside, which coincides with the celebration of Native American month.
A friend of mine sent me a short story which was written for a class assignment for seniors at The Seven Hills School here. We introduce the story and the writer, Margaret Cummins , in this issue of aeqai. Ms. Cummins has written a superb story on a seemingly typical American Thanksgiving dinner, replete with chaos, control issues, a desire for perfection, an astute analysis of guests and , presumably, her parents. No matter: it is a tender and funny story which should resonate with lots of us, and we are privileged to be the first to publish Ms. Cummins’ writing. We publish it in the spirit of the season….
David Schloss has returned with a super film review; Maxwell Redder offers us new poems for his Poetry Corner, and I offer three book review: two novels and a new art book from England on English Graphics.
We think that the communities here benefitted from fotofocus, but suggest that, if the event is indeed to become a biennial, perhaps less, indeed, is more: the 75 exhibitions were too much for most of us, and we would suggest that the next fotofocus consider less exhibtions . We also suggest that this event be held in January/February, not in October, as the fall is the best season for commercial galleries’ sales , and, by losing most of that month, those galleries’ economics became even more fragile. Fotofocus would be an enormous energizer after the holidays, and sales are not its primary focus. The two most discussed exhibitions, we think , are the Starn Twins at the Holy Cross Church in Mt. Adams, sponsored by the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the exhibition “Taint”, by Tony Lunesman, at The Weston Gallery in the Aronoff Center. Interest in these two shows, in particular, was very high and generated good conversations; so did the Tyler Shields show at The Miller Gallery. Aeqai thanks all those involved with creating and implementing fotofocus; the community has been enriched by it.