The art scene around the country is blossoming just as Nature provides her own new life and growth in this time of renewal, regeneration and hope. The March issue of Aeqai provides a range of reviews and artist profiles consistent with a newly politicized interest in social justice, race, gender, and class, and an examination of power relationships.
Bret McCabe, Aeqai’s Baltimore correspondent, reviews a splendid show of quilts by African-American artist Stephen Towns at The Baltimore Museum of Art, while Chris Carter examines “Not to Scale” at The Carnegie in Covington, Kentucky, wherein the artists whose work is on display have a long connection with the residents of The Eastside community there, and the show suggests different and empowering narratives about that area, with work by Anissa Lewis showcased in particular. Saad Ghosn’s “Letter from Lebanon” examines portrait shows/artists he saw and met there on a recent trip, and he examines those portraits through the lens of modern and postmodern ideas about gender and class in particular in his usual passionate manner. Dan Burr’s review of self-portraits by Ukrainian-born painter Ellina Chetvorikova lends itself to issues regarding both gender and power, at Cincinnati’s Clifton Cultural Arts Center. Two of Ekin Erkan’s three reviews this month also integrate all sorts of postmodern ideas, in both his review of Malcolm Cochran’s work on all levels at The Weston Gallery in The Aronoff Center in downtown Cincinnati, as well as in his analyses of the work of Marcos Novak, who looks at architecture and design in non-gravitational ways, in his video installation at The Reed Gallery on the campus of The University of Cincinnati.
Joelle Jameson’s review “Our Internet, Our Selves” , a look at a series of shows about art and technology in Boston, raises much-needed questions about the interrelationships of art with high tech stuff and the internet. And Megan Bickel attended a day’s gathering of critics and curators in Lexington, sponsored by our friends at the online journal “UnderMain” in Louisville, and discusses what she heard and offers some of her own analyses and questions about “Critical Mass II”, which examined the role of art criticism, held at Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts, in today’s changing art world. Bickel’s other Louisville review, “Sweet Dreams” at Sherazade Gallery in Louisville investigates a new type of space, open 24/7 in someone’s garage. Chelsea Borgman reviews a recent performance at Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, titled “Jack &”, which is about how fifties sit-coms and the like psychologically entirely excluded people of color.
Traditional media, also known these days as object-based art, still flourish as well. Three shows examining art history and its influences include Cynthia Kukla’s exuberant review of the show of drawings by Michelangelo at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and Karen Chamber’s review of Tiffany Glass at The Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati. Tony Huffman, who’s moved from Lexington to New York (Brooklyn), offers his first review in months with his analysis of Abstract Expressionist paintings by Hans Hartung at Perriton in Brooklyn. Jack Wood offers two pieces this month, one a fascinating conversation between himself and artist Jes Cannon about their collaboration for a show in Texas–this conversation lets our readers into the thinking that goes on between artists collaborating for a show (paintings, in their case). Wood also offers a fascinating profile/interview with artist Rachel Hellerich, whose work will be on display soon at Artspace in New Haven, Conn.
Jane Durrell offers a profile of Cincinnati artist and Aeqai writer Marlene Steele, mostly a Classical painter, whose work, along with that of Cincinnatian Ray Hassard, is currently on exhibition at The Richmond Museum of Art in Richmond, Indiana; many of Steele’s paintings document the restoration/renovation of Cincinnati’s Union Terminal. And Steele herself offers an insightful review of work by Roger Heuck, at Greenwich Gallery in Cincinnati’s Hyde Park/O’Bryonville area; it’s a retrospective of Heuck’s mostly representational landscapes. And Ekin Erkan offers a brilliant analysis of new paintings and sculptures by Cincinnati artist Matthew Metzger, on display at Miller Gallery in Cincinnati, too. Annabel Osberg reviews work by longtime LA artist Ed Moses, in what turns out to be his last show while living, at Ernie Wolfe Gallery in Los Angeles, and Anise Stevens returns this month with a lovely review of botanical work synthesized into mandalas, by Karen Hochman Brown, at Crain Art Gallery in San Marino, California. Martha Dunham reviews minimalist work of great beauty by Kathryn Thiebault at 4Culture in Seattle.
Journalistic pieces appear by Laura Hobson, who gives a short feature of The Underground Railroad/Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and architectural critic Stewart Maxwell gives an analysis of the pros and cons of three sites in Greater Cincinnati that are or were being considered for the FC soccer stadium in this region. And our Tokyo correspondent, George Saitoh, returns with a combination review/essay about the work of Japanese artist Tatsuya Tatsuta at The National Art Center in Tokyo.
I offer two book reviews this month, of new fiction by Iranian-born, Israeli citizen Ruby Namdar and by American Jamie Quatro.
I hope that our readers find much to stimulate them in our March issue; we welcome your comments and feedback, and we’ll be back near the end of April with our April issue of aeqai. To go directly to the site to the new issue, please click onto www.aeqai/main.