The March issue of aeqai has just posted, and , like last month’s issue, it’s a large one. Spring brings more art shows and more people going to them. Our reviews this month start with Karen Chambers’ astute look at “Utopia Parkway Revisited”, at ThunderSky Gallery in Northside, wherin regional artists reexamine and reinterpret the work of Joseph Cornell, once considered a truly “outsider artist”, whose miniature worlds inside of boxes became some of the most noteworthy works of art of the twentieth century. The curators at ThunderSky, Keith Banner (who writes for aeqai, as well) and Bill Ross have a history of exhibiting outstanding work, and we think that this current show is one of their finest. The relatively new Wash Park Art in OTR offers an insightful look into LBGTQ issues, and is admirably reviewed by Hannah Leow. Julie Gross, who often reviews shows in Lexington or Louisville for us, has written a truly outstanding review of work by Natalie Baxter at Institute l93, one of Lexington’s best nonprofit exhibition spaces; this show represents artistic interpretation of gender issues brilliantly. Fran Watson reviews the etchings exhibition at The Cincinnati Art Museum, which parallels the Daubigny, Monet, VanGogh show at The Taft Museum (the etchings also include work by Daubigny and others of the later part of the l9th century, and include work by Cincinnatians such as Mary Louise McLaughlin, one of the founders of Rookwood Pottery. It’s a magnificent show, and Watson, a printmaker herself, understands and teaches us how etchings are made and why they seem so luxuriant.
Matt Metzger reviews a large show also in Lexington, at their Lexington Art League; we reprint it from UnderMain, Lexington’s fine online journal of the arts. The exhibition is a look at a large amount of contemporary art from area collections in Lexington/Louisville, and was curated by Julien Robson, a distinguished curator there. Jonathan Kamholtz reviews a complex show at The Weston Gallery in the Aronoff downtown, their twentieth anniversary show; The Weston’s Director/Curator Dennis
Harrington asked twenty artists who’ve shown there over the years to make work for this group show, which Kamholtz reviews admirably: some of our region’s finest artists are represented in this show. And Marlene Steele reviews a show of woodcuts, also admirably explained technically by her, at the Lloyd Library downtown, which has become a superb venue for art shows, due to the fine eye and leadership of Anna Heran.
FotoFocus brought LA photographer JoAnn Callis (originally from Cincinnati) to speak at the art museum, and Jonathan Kamholtz conducted an extensive interview with her, and also reviews her work, in an outstanding essay/review this month. And Cheslea Borgman, who curates the shows at Brazee Studios, and now also writes for aeqai, offers her very creative and insightful thoughts on how millennials (she is one) view contemporary art/the state of the arts, and how they use social media and cooperation as models for artmaking and for living in this truly fascinating essay.
We offer two photo essays this month , one from our regular friend Louis Z. Bickett in Lexington, and the other, Kent Krugh’s choice this month in his monthly photo essay for aeqai. Kim Rae Taylor and James Oberschlake are interviewing national artists recognized for their figurative work, in this second part of a regular series on figuration in contemporary art.
Laura Hobson continues a new series of features on area small museums/institutions of interest, with an excellent look at The Kenton County Public Library, widely known for the variety and excellence of their varied programs and art collection. Aeqai introduces Tim Karloff, who’ll be covering the increasingly important field of design for aeqai, with his introductory essay on design itself. And Jennifer Perusek returns with a look at The House of Machino under the artistic directorship of Jeremy Scott.
Jane Durrell’s profile of CCM Professor Tom Umfrid, who teaches stage/set design there, is aeqai’s profile this month. Durrell also offers her “Letter from New Orleans”, a virtual model of superior travel writing, based upon a recent visit she had for a week there. And Saad Ghosn is back from Lebanon, and wrote us a fascinating “Letter from Lebanon”, where he started a version of his well known SOS shows he’s been curating for our region for several years now. His “Letter” really gives us insights into what living in that war-torn country is like right now, through the insights of artists living there.
Three reviews from around the country include Anise Stevens’ analysis of magnificent paintings by Nurit Aversar at the Neutra Institute and Museum, and Elisa Mader’s strong review of a show about Identity at a gallery in Seattle that’s two galleries combined into one, recently , known as Prographica. And aeqai welcomes New York writer/critic Kyle Dacuyan, with his very literary review of paintings by Patrick Shoemaker at Anna Zorina Gallery in New York. He will be reviewing shows from Greater New York for aeqai regularly now.
Steven Havira’s movie review offers insights into the current raging racial debate within and outside of Hollywood; Maxwell Redder offers us three of us best new poems, and Louis Z. Bickett of Louisville a very short, very pithy, Lydia Davis-like short story. I offer one extended review of three new novels, all of which have a gay man as subject/narrator/protagonist, as well as my tribute to the late, great English novelist (and art historian) Anita Brookner, who, in my view, wrote 23 flawless novels, and whom I consider the most underrated novelist of the second half of the twentieth century.
So our March issue is a big one, varied and reflective of the sheer range of exhibitions and the creativity that creates them, both from this region and from around the country. As always, your comments are welcome, and we’ll be back with another issue of aeqai in April. Click www.aeqai.com to go directly to the site.
Daniel Brown, Editor