The November issue of aeqai has just posted. November was a very busy month in the visual arts, with some FotoFocus shows still going strong, and fine offerings from many nonprofits and commercial galleries. We offer, again, a wide swath of the arts community in this issue.
Jonathan Kamholtz completes our FotoFocus coverage with a thoughtful, brilliant analysis of the “Night and Day” exhibition at The Taft Museum of Art, full of modernist photography , with exceptionally insightful thoughts about the interrelationships of modernism and photography, and of how modernist photography has a lot in common with its pictorialist predecessors. Karen Chambers offers two reviews this month, one of the Marcus Ratliff design exhibition at Carl Solway Gallery, and the other of a glass show at the new, larger Neusole Glass, now located in Forest Park. Jane Durrell offers a thoughtful look at the work of six area artists , interpreting the urbanscape, at The Clifton Cultural Arts Center; the show includes work by aeqai writers/artists Marlene Steele and Emil Robinson, amongst others.
Mike Rutledge returns to aeqai with two pieces as well, one a review of the collection of Leslie and Abigail Wexner, in the Wexner Center for The Arts, which Wexner is responsible for building; the collection is filled with Picassos, Giacomettis, Dubuffets and other examples of mainly modern art from Europe. Rutledge also offers a fine profile of artist/retired professor Stewart Goldman, one of our region’s most creative and prolific artists. Aeqai offers three different looks at Tom Wesselmann’s art at the art museum and Solway Gallery: Kevin Kelly, a former employee of Wesselmann’s , offers a brilliant analysis of his work at the museum, while Keith Banner offers a more critical view of the same show. Aeqai enjoys offering multiple points of view of a show from time to time. Katie Dreyer looks at the Wesselmann show at Solway Gallery, with less enthusiasm, too.
Hannah Loew reviews all three shows at Manifest Gallery, under the overarching theme of portraiture, and her insights are exceptional. Marlene Steele, a fine figurative (and urbanscape) artist herself, reviews a show at the Sharonville Arts Center which is figurative in execution and in symbol. Aeqai offers brand new photojournalistic work by Lexington conceptual photographer Louis Zoellar Bickett: he has captured a protest march in that city following the Ferguson , Missouri verdict, and we show these photos as a different kind of ending for FotoFocus, work that is not aestheticized and thus minimally mediated for us; the images capture much of the raw emotion generated by the grand jury’s decision not to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown. Photojournalist work will remain one of photography’s main purposes long into the future.
Sue Ann Painter writes a very intelligent and astute piece called “What Is an Icon?”, mainly about Union Terminal, which the voters here just decided to pay to repair. Painter is a widely known writer/volunteer in historical preservation/conservation/urban planning circles. She also gives a brief analysis of those works chosen for awards in design recently. New to aeqai this month, essayist/novelist/poet Huck Fairman, of Princeton, New Jersey, wrote an essay about our lack of leisure time in America, its causes and its results. We will feature more writing by Fairman in future issues of aeqai.
Laura Hobson offers a fine portrait of recently retired UC/DAAP photography professor Jane Alden Stevens, and Saad Ghosn returns with his “Art for a Better World” column, featuring visual artists Kelly Phelps and his twin brother Kyle and literary artist Karen Arnett. I offer a condensed version of my recent conversation with the art museum’s new executive director Cameron Kitchin, in whom we have very high hopes, and whose ideas are fresh, well thought through and we hope will help transform the museum into this new century. I also offer two book reviews, new fiction by Jane Smiley and stories by Paul Theroux. My annual list of best fiction of 2014 will appear in our next issue.
We hope that you find our issue stimulating and thought provoking, thank you for reading us, and hope you all have good holidays. Please send any comments/letters/thoughts you may have our way.