As the fall visual arts season starts in earnest, all eyes will be on downtown's Contemporary Arts Center, where Director/Chief Curator Raphaela Platow's plan to move the museum away from problematic group shows to single-artist exhibitions gets its first test.
On Sept. 27, two shows open simultaneously — the first U.S. solo exhibition of work by octogenarian Austrian painter Maria Lassnig, whose subject matter is body awareness, and Mexican artist Carlos Amorales' intriguing blend of site-related installation, films, drawings and performances.
During his show's run, through Jan. 11, Amorales' art will be augmented by special events like Cincinnati Ballet members dancing on his spider web-like installations and special screenings of horror movies that he admires. For more information, visit www.contemporaryartscenter.org.
Hoping to capitalize on a post-Olympics American fascination with China, Cincinnati Art Museum is bringing China Design Now to the U.S. from London's Victoria and Albert Museum and hoping to get national attention for its efforts. The ticketed exhibition opens Oct. 18 and remains on display through Jan. 11.
Featuring more than 250 objects, the show focuses on developments during the 1990s and 2000s in three cities — Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing. It surveys their contributions to contemporary Chinese graphic design, fashion, architecture, film, lifestyles and urban planning.
Additionally, from Sept. 27 through Jan. 3, the museum will spotlight some 80 prints from Czech artist Jiri Anderle, who survived Cold War-era censorship and repression and has emerged now as an internationally collected printmaker. The show, Illusion and Reality: Prints by Jifií Anderle, has been organized by the art museum.
For more information, visit www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org.
And the Taft Museum of Art, whose well-received sleeper-hit Views From the Uffizi: Painting the Italian Landscape continues through Oct. 12, tries to maintain momentum — and complement the Art Museum's China show — with Brush, Clay & Wood: The Nancy & Ed Rosenthal Collection of Chinese Art from Nov. 7 to Jan. 11. The Rosenthals, of the Cincinnati family that once owned F&W Publications, have collected Chinese art for 20 years, and their work chronicles the nation's artistic history from Neolithic pottery to contemporary paintings by the post-Cultural Revolution generation. For more information, visit www.taftmuseum.org.
Among the premier commercial contemporary galleries, Carl Solway Gallery in the West End at 424 Findlay St. ushers in its fall season with two shows, both running Sept. 5-Dec. 13. Lynda Benglis is the first comprehensive survey of her works on paper, while the unusual representational paintings of Tom Shelton are featured in a second show. Visit www.solwaygallery.com.
And in the same building as Solway, Country Club Gallery also opens a show Sept. 5 (through Nov. 22) devoted to a sprawling installation by New York artist Ohad Meromi, Who Owns the World? It is concerned with the legacy of Modernism, and uses sculpture, video and photography. Visit www.countryclubgallery.com.
Over-the-Rhine's avant-garde gallery/performance space Publico has barely been gone, but already it's the subject of the inaugural show of the downtown-based nonprofit Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Gallery's 2008-09 season. Since You've Been Gone,, opening Sept. 12 and continuing through Nov. 8, surveys the five-year history of Publico, founded by brothers Matt and Paul Coors.
There will be performances in the Weston's street-level space, while the lower galleries will have new work and documentation of previous exhibitions by Publico members, including the Coors brothers, Britni Bicknaver, Evan Commander, Beth Graves, Joe Lamb, Russell Ihrig, Matthew Waldbillig and Dana Ward. For more information, visit www.westonartgallery.com.
For a comprehensive list of local art exhibitions and events, see the Fall Arts Calendar here.