Pages of History: 80 Years at the Taft was on view Aug. 10-Jan. 6, and I saw it on the last day. I found it so fascinating — and such a role model for a show about a cultural institution — that it’s worth discussing even though it’s over.
If you drive to Columbus by Dec. 30, you can see a photography show — Annie Leibovitz
— that serves as the culmination to the journey through
celebrity/fashion photography begun by three FotoFocus-related museum
Why are Hollywood glamour photographs on
display at the Taft Museum of Art? FotoFocus isn’t reason enough; the
Taft likes to establish a tie between the renowned permanent collection
and temporary exhibitions. So what is Myrna Loy doing here?
As the mercury begins its steady ascent
and the humid days give way to sultry nights, the climate-controlled
environs of Cincinnati’s art galleries beckon. But with the spring
season nearing its end and several galleries paring back their
programming, despite best efforts to beat the heat, this summer’s
hottest works are going to be found outside.
The fall season’s museum show that has attracted the most advance interest — because of its ambitiousness and its timeliness — is the Contemporary Art Center’s Realms of Intimacy: Miniaturist Practice from Pakistan, which opens Sept. 23 and continues until an as-yet-not-finalized January date.
One of the prize paintings in the Taft Museum of Art's permanent collection is Francisco Goya's oil "Portrait of Queen Maria Luisa of Spain," circa 1800. It's the only painting by the Spanish master — one of art's greatest innovators — in Cincinnati. The face with its powerful gaze, the dark hair holding glittering jewelry and the gauzy and delicate bodice all speak to the confident and astute way Goya could paint. Or does it?
Francisco Goya produced his famous series of etchings, 1799's 'Los Caprichos,' at a time when narrow-minded religious extremists and other authoritarians were striving to control politics on the one hand while on the other the rise of the Enlightenment represented society's attempt to shift to reasonable thinking. Sound familiar?
Let's hope you won’t be too busy during December preparing for and celebrating the various holidays to get to area museums and galleries for their art exhibits. There are quite a few good ones. Here are my recommendations, based either on seeing them or being familiar with the artists/subject matter.
Brian Joiner, an esteemed local artist, passed away Oct. 8 after being diagnosed with liver cancer several months ago. He always tried something new in his work and as an African-American artist often addressed tough issues regarding race, politics and spirituality with irony and humor. For his ever-joyful presence, boundless energy and seemingly unlimited generosity, he will be missed by all whose lives he touched.