Art: Outside the Ordinary at the Cincinnati Art Museum

Outside the Ordinary: Contemporary Art in Glass, Wood and Ceramics from the Wolf Collection is a don’t-miss-it stunner at the Cincinnati Art Museum. It accomplishes exactly what it set out to do — show that crafts, when freed of their need to be function

The Cincinnati Art Museum has launched so many new exhibitions this summer — large and small — that it’s hard to keep up with them all.

But Outside the Ordinary: Contemporary Art in Glass, Wood and Ceramics from the Wolf Collection is a don’t-miss-it stunner. It accomplishes exactly what it set out to do — show that crafts, when freed of their need to be functional or merely decorative, can be fine-art sculptural objects.

Sometimes they are accessibly beautiful and sometimes conceptually confounding, just like all contemporary sculpture, but they exist as art for art’s sake. (A couple are perhaps too cute, a risk when artists toy with an object’s conventional purpose.)

The exhibit, which is up now through Sept. 13, contains 67 objects (by almost as many artists) chosen by Amy Dehan, CAM associate curator of decorative arts and design, from those collected by Cincinnatians Nancy and David Wolf during the past 35 years.

Get Steve Rosen's review and more Big Picture here.

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