As the fall season really heats up, both the number of exhibitions soars, and the number of high quality ones appear as well. Aeqai’s September issue attempts to do justice to so many fine shows which have opened both regionally and nationally (and internationally, in one case) in September. We’re offering a big issue this month.
Annie Dell’Aria traveled around Europe to three different art fairs, including the major one in Venice, and she offers her perspectives and analyses on these three as Aeqai’s opening article. It’s clear that the focus in Europe generally is on social justice, issues regarding immigration, and the environment. Contemporary art is definitely moving in these directions, as you’ll also read in Annabel Osberg’s review from Los Angeles, where The Getty Museum offered funding to all sorts of places showing work by Hispanic-Americans. Anise Stevens’ LA review gives us insight to artists working on and interpreting environmental issues, as well. Lexington critic Tony Huffman went to a lecture at the 21C hotel there (all their hotels/art programs offered similar lectures that day in September), and he summarizes/reviews the conversation between two critics, and builds an excellent case about artists moving more into social engagement with their art. Kim Rae Taylor interviews an artist named Sarah Boyts Yoder, who lives and works in Charlottesville, Virginia, for her ideas on the recent unrest in that city and how she perceives artists can and should respond to white Supremecists and others of that ilk. Cynthia Kukla reviews the one-person show of work by Nigerian artist Njideka Akunyli Crosby, whose work bridges the gap between identity politics and social engagement. And Louisville critic Megan Bickel reviews an evening of neo-Dada poetry and performances curated by independent curator and aeqai critic Tony Huffman in Lexington. One more review about an artist with other ideas about social engagement of specific types is Susan Byrnes’ review of new work by Joseph Winterhalter at the UC/DAAP gallery.
Several other shows address social and political and environmental issues, as well. Susan Byrnes reviews a three-person show at Underground Gallery in OTR, whose title “Ebb and Flow” speaks to some environmental issues addressed in that show. Karen Chambers’ review of the newly opened exhibition of area artist Ana England’s work , titled “Kinship”, finds relationships between the natural world and the humans who inhabit it; England’s work is mostly made from clay/earth, so even her medium of choice speaks to these relationships. Chris Carter’s review of new work by Tony Luensman speaks to political issues as well as to the artist’s restlessness within a nearly closed aesthetic/curatorial base, which seems to be why Luensman moved from Cincinnati to Phoenix. And Jane Durrell’s review of a group show of area artists at the gallery at Mt. St. Joseph University also takes note of natural forms and their interactions with other elements of the world.
Other exhibitions look at other issues, and other types of work. Marlene Steele reviews two of them for this issue, new paintings by David Mueller and Mary Beth Karaus at Eisele Gallery, which address older painterly issues in contemporary styles, and a curatorially similar show of new work by Leslie Shiels and Brian Burt downtown at Cincinnati Art Galleries. Jane Durell looks at Stuart Fink’s new sculptures, and attendant drawings, at Brazee St. Gallery, and Chelsea Borgman offers an ebullient look at equally ebullient new paintings by (aeqai critic) Jack Wood, at HudsonJones Gallery in Camp Washington. Hannah Leow reviews a show called “UnFunction” at The Weston Gallery downtown, which seems to be both whimsical and serious concurrently. Jonathan Kamholtz has astute observations and analyses about a “Nude” show at Manifest Gallery , too. I offer a review of a landscape show, mostly featuring work by Santa Fe painter Rich Stevens, at The Miller Gallery. Jennifer Perusek, aeqai’s fashion critic, looks very favorably at The Cincinnati Art Museum’s show “Fashion and Technology”. And Dan Burr reviews a wonderful show of lyrical abstract paintings by Caroline Pyle, Jr., at Art Beyond Boundaries.
We welcome new critic Martha Dunham, who’ll be covering The Pacific Northwest for aeqai; her first review, of paintings by Tracy Boyd at Vermillion is astute and informative. Other writers new to aeqai this month include Amy Bogard, who reviews a lovely two-person installation at Kennedy Heights Arts Center, and architect Stewart S. Maxwell, whose review of the renovated Music Hall appears this month; Maxwell will be aeqai’s architecture critic in future, as well. Retired architectural historian Walter E. Langsam offers a personal essay involving Baudelarian observations from his new digs in OTR; the first one, this month, is called “Two Cathedrals”. And Jonathan Kamholtz did an interview with me, Editor Daniel Brown, as I’ve recently won a Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis, the editors and publishers of Who’s Who in America; Marquis is making a magazine out of 5% of the winners of this award, and I will appear on the cover (with a photo taken by Brad Austin Smith).
Journalist Laura Hobson offers two small features this month, one about a new art/art supplies store on The West Side, opened and owned by area artist Amanda Hogan Carlisle and her husband. Hobson’s other feature is about two new galleries recently opened in this region, Caza in Oakley, and 124 West Pike Street in Covington, the latter curated by long-time art friend and dealer Susanna Terrill, who’s returned to town after a 27-year absence. I offer four book reviews this month (we haven’t published since our one summer issue), including a first novel by area writer Cynthia Osborne Hoskin.
We thank all of you who supported the aeqai benefit party/art auction on September l4 at Cincinnati Art Galleries; if you’re interested in donating to Aeqai, please send queries to [email protected]. Some work that remained unsold will be posted on the Aeqai site in the very near future.
We hope that you find this issue of Aeqai to be exciting and stimulating, and we’ll be back in a month with another full issue. We welcome your comments, as always.
–Daniel Brown, Editor