The November issue of Aeqai has just posted. We’d like to both thank and commend all of those at FotoFocus, who have offered all of us in the Greater Cincinnati area (and those in Lexington, Louisville, Dayton and Columbus, too), for an outstanding series of exhibitions in this biennial festival of photography. It’s been a feast both for the eyes and for the brain, and the numerous interpretations of the theme “Open Archives” have been creative and didactic. Our November issue of Aeqai contains quite a number of FotoFocus related reviews, and we hope that our readers have enjoyed our extensive coverage of this FotoFocus.
Susan Byrnes’ review of “Nuclear Fallout” at The Herndon Gallery at Antioch College leads our issue this month. This show is an absolute model of how art can bring the most serious issues to our attention aesthetically, and may be considered part of contemporary art’s investigations into the larger issues of Social Justice, and Byrnes’ sensitivity to these issues is clear. Two exhibitions at The Contemporary Arts Center are reviewed this month, both part of FotoFocus: Jonathan Kamholtz reviews “No Two Alike”, a fascinating look at what we might generically call nature photographs, but both old and new, into the digital world; his underlying knowledge of the field of photography is most impressive. And Annie Dell’Aria reviews the work of Akram Zaatari at CAC, too, which examines some of the most cogent issues raised by the “Open Archives” theme. Will Newman took a look at a one night, pop up show of work by area photographer Judi Parks, who was part of a punk rock band in San Francisco in the 1970s, in a show called “Search and Destroy”. These photos are an amazing group, documenting the brief beginnings of punk rock in San Francisco.
Hannah Leow reviews the show “Truth or Dare” at the 21 C Hotel in downtown Cincinnati, and Chris Carter’s most timely review looks at photographs at the UC Meyers Gallery in a show called “Finding Kenyon Barr”, a look at many building which were destroyed in the once vibrant West End neighborhood near downtown, virtually ruined by “developers” (that neighborhood may or may not be facing similar issues with the new soccer stadium about to be built there, so this show, and Carter’s brilliant analysis of the photographs in it, serves as a cautionary tale, as well. Jane Durrell reviews two shows at The Lloyd Library downtown, which are also a part of FotoFocus; her review should help more people to discover this wondrous library and its treasure trove of information about plants worldwide. Kent Krugh’s monthly FotoFolio essay shows us work by area photographer Suz Fleming, too. Cynthia Kukla reviews the fascinating photo work of African-American artist Mickalene Thomas at The Dayton Art Institute; the influence of the artist’s mother’s modeling career is much in evidence in her work.
Our two journalistic/features this month are a feature by Laura Hobson about Cincinnati’s Clay Alliance, concurrent with an exhibition of work by their members at the Studio St. Giuseppe Gallery at Mount St. Joseph University. Russell Hausfeld interviews artist Sophie Lindsey, who’s about to become artist in residence at Wave Pool Gallery in Camp Washington, whose mission involves community building through the arts.
Annabel Osberg’s review of shows by three artists at three different venues in Greater Los Angeles is also a cautionary tale about our current love affair with technology, and she analyzes the work of these artists in that context, offering cultural as well as art criticism and commentary. Joelle Jameson does much the same with her utterly fascinating review of work by quilter/fabric artist Anna Von Mertons at The Radcliffe Institute in Cambridge, Mass., whose work interprets early astronomical investigations by an African-American amateur, whose early work in a kind of photography is the prototype for this artist’s work; Jameson’s piece also combines cultural and art criticism and commentary, like Osberg’s. Martha Dunham’s review of work by Margie Livingston comes to us from the Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle.
Megan Bickel’ s review of new paintings by Keltie Ferris at The Speed Museum in Louisville is an outstanding look at the young painter’s work by another young painter, and you’ll not likely read a finer analysis of a painting show than Bickel’s. Dan Burr reviews the work of folk artist Tres Taylor at Caza Sikes Gallery in Cincinnati. Marlene Steele, another of our area’s fine painters, reviews the Plein Air painting show at Manifest Gallery. Karen Chambers’ review of the “Fabrics of India” show at Cincinnati Art Museum is a brilliant analysis of the work; she also offers useful commentary on all the aids used in art exhibitions these days in her column.
Annabel Osberg gives us her second film review, analyzing “The Price of Everything”, a look at how the art markets and auction houses keep the prices of certain works of art high; her column also questions the total commodification of art in the art world these days, wherein art is viewed much as stocks are on the stock markets. I offer four book reviews this month, of new fiction by Hubert Mangerelli, Andrew Martin Esi Edugyan and Jean Thompson. My annual “best fiction of the year” list will appear in the December issue of Aeqai.
The November issue is a large and comprehensive one. We end our coverage of “FotoFocus” with this issue, and believe we’ve offered the most comprehensive analysis of FotoFocus shows in the region, and hope our readers have been stimulated by our many reviews of photography shows in the past three issues. We’ll be back in December, and then will offer one combined January/February issue as many shows don’t turn over until February. As always, we welcome your comments and thoughts. If you’d like to offer a year-end donation to Aeqai, which is a nonprofit organization, just contact us at [email protected]. We’d appreciate any help you might want to give us as we continue our coverage of the visual arts into 2019. To go directly to the new November issue, click onto www.aeqai.org.