The October issue of Aeqai has just posted, and we have covered as many shows as we can find open, within reason, for your reading pleasure and stimulation. Aeqai does not review online shows, because our writers cannot see and thus review the installations in question, and computers notoriously distort color. So we’re sticking to live shows at this time.
Jonathan Kamholtz’s review of “The Splendid Century” at The Taft Museum begins our issue; this exhibition is a tribute to the 200th anniversary of the building of the house that eventually became The Taft’s and ultimately a gift to the people of Cincinnati. It’s filled with fascinating paintings, decorative arts, and other wonders that Kamholtz reviews with his usual acumen and astute eye. Susan Byrnes went up to Dayton to the Dayton Art Institute to review photographic interpretations by Dornith Doherty of seeds from one of the world’s largest seed banks, in Norway, and is such a hopeful show that it may bring even greater pleasure because of the COVID, that anti-life virus pervading our lives. You’ll be interested in comparing and contrasting Byrnes’ review with that of Steve Kemple, who examines work by Marjolijn Dikman at The Contemporary Arts Center; the artist’s wallpaper on the first floor at CAC is a riff on electronics, on the insides of gadgets we use every day now. Both seeds and machine-like parts are part of our lives, now, and the two shows do make a fascinating contrast, as their conceptual underpinnings are much the same.
Deb Johnson reviews what would have been a FotoFocus show at Indian Hill Gallery, curated by Casey Dressell, called “Stillness and Receptivity”; the group show examines both paintings and photographs and finds amazing similarities between the two mediums; the show may pay homage to the Pictorialists at the beginning of the twentieth century when photography began to compete with painting as a medium, particularly in works about/from exotic places at that time. Karen Chambers’ takes a look at “Think Square 3″ at The Cincinnati Learning Collaborative; this wonderful show consists of artwork only 5″ by 5″ (framed 12” square); each piece sells for just $100 and the show’s a plethora of superb offerings in widely varying mediums. Annabel Osberg returns from a slowly reopening (for the moment) LA, with a review of abstract paintings by Lesley Vance at David Kordansky Gallery.
Our two journalistic pieces this month are both excellent: Laura Hobson examines some smaller nonprofits and free-lance curators who look towards the Social Justice movement and/or issues dealing with race/gender/class and power relationships in their shows; she focuses on Elementz, Wave Pool, and curator/educator Maria Seda-Reeder. Jane Durrell offers a fascinating profile of photographer/gallerist Jymi Bolden, who’s been running “Art Beyond Boundaries” for nearly fifteen years now; we were also interested in his thoughts about being a Black artist in this region for nearly fifty years now.
I offer two book reviews this month, deliberately suggesting a comparison: Mary Gordon’s new novel “Payback”, and Marilynne Robinson’s “Jack”; Gordon deals with moral and ethical concerns, and Robinson more the religious ; I argue that Gordon’s novel is the more successful.
Please do send us your comments; we’ll return near the end of November, but before Thanksgiving. A reminder: Aeqai’s one annual benefit party/art auction will take place on November 12 at The Annex Gallery in Over-the-Rhine; we’re sending all our readers the press release about that benefit along with this e-blast. We hope that either you can come or , if not, you might consider a donation for Aeqai, a nonprofit that’s about to enter its fifteenth year of operation in 2021. We only ask for your help once a year, and hope that you’ll consider a donation to help keep us afloat (see press release for details).
We hope you find the October issue stimulating and insightful. To go directly to the site, click onto www.aeqai.org.