Welcome to the March issue of ÆQAI. We have again attempted to reflect the widest possible swaths of the visual arts scene in Greater Cincinnati. This issue includes reviews of exhibitions at our major institutions, commercial galleries, alternative spaces, and newer arts venues. Since art activity is taking place in so many different neighborhoods, the March issue of ÆQAI attempts to give readers a kind of overview of these various strains which we believe reflect the many types of creative thinking occurring in Greater Cincinnati at this time.
The Cincinnati Art Museum’s Monet Exhibition, curated by one of America’s most creative and brilliant young curators, Dr. Benedict Leca, not only reverses the tired concept of the blockbuster, but shows the viewer how a superb curatorial idea, combined with just the right selection of paintings, may tell us more about one painter like Monet than the old multistoried, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink exhibition of yore. Leca’s Gainsborough show at CAM last year was selected as one of the ten best art exhibitions in America by the Los Angeles Times, and we will not be surprised if the same occurs with Leca’s very astute Monet exhibition. Jane Durrell leads the March ÆQAI with her equally thoughtful review of Leca’s show. Later in the issue, Cynthia Hoskin and her garden-wise husband Richard give us their exclusive interview with James Priest, the current Chief Gardener at Giverny. Priest was here to give two lectures about Giverny, where Monet spent the last period of his life painting these gardens.
Both The Taft Museum and the CAC also offer rich rewards this month: Fran Watson examines and analyses The Taft’s small but elegant Turner exhibition, while Maria Seda-Reeder looks at two exhibitions at the CAC. Seda-Reeder helps us understand many of the cutting edge artists and issues raised in their work for a sometimes baffled audience; she does this with such grace and aplomb that we must, yet again, applaud her analytical abilities.
These three exhibitions remind us of how lucky we are to have three such different major visual arts institutions, as they set the tone for other programming in the area. Our strength is in their differences.
We give you a plethora of gallery exhibitions from Emil Robinson’s review of David Miretsky at The Phyllis Weston Gallery to Karen Chambers’ touching analysis of Alex Pixley Young at PAC; to Keith Banner’s exceptional examination of Jennifer Purdham’s mixed media work at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center to Jane Durrell’s short but pithy analysis of Sara Pearce’s clever and witty collages at 5th Street Gallery downtown.
Dustin Pike begins his series of essays and reviews regarding design issues with a philosophical/metaphysical/spiritual analysis of his personal journey towards the understanding of the geometry of design, reminiscent of Plato’s original thoughts on the same issues; Pike will be joined by other design specialists in April. A.C. Frabetti continues to review topical exhibitions in Louisville, and gives us a look at a gallery there specializing in “green” ideas and issues at The Green Building Gallery. David Schloss, ÆQAI’s film critic, gives us a lot of his thoughts on the new 3D effects in film while examining other current films thematically. My own book review this month looks at Roberto Bolaño’s The Third Reich. The book was recently discovered by his heirs as a fully developed manuscript after his recent death.
ÆQAI is as proud of Carl Solway’s 50th anniversary in business as the whole art world, but we also discovered that The Miller Gallery in Hyde Park also just turned 50. I conducted an interview with Laura and Gary Gleason, the current owners of the gallery, who give us an overview of the gallery’s history and of where it is headed today.
This month’s selection of a work of art from the permanent collection of CAM is area painter and draftsman Marlene Steele’s analysis of a painting by Helen Frankenthaler. Dan O’Conner gives us an in depth look at David Kassan at Manifest including Kassan’s workshop demonstration there. And Shawn Daniel reviews the Art of Food at the Carnegie Center in Covington, the host of our benefit celebration.
Daniel Brown
Editor, ÆQAI

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