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CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER ANNOUNCES 08-09 EXHIBITION SEASON
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2008-09 EXHIBITION SEASON
CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER ENGAGES ARTISTS IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS; CONNECTS THEM WITH THE EXHIBITION SPACE
CAC presents extraordinary series of seven solo shows by international artists, including Maria Lassnig, Carlos Amorales and Aya Uekawa
CINCINNATI—The Contemporary Arts Center announces the 2008-09 Exhibition Season featuring solo presentations of work by seven internationally celebrated, emerging and established artists. In her curatorial debut at the CAC, Alice & Harris Weston Director and Chief Curator Raphaela Platow demonstrates a curatorial approach that emphasizes the creativity of artists in response to the CAC’s architectural environment. This new season brings a series of firsts to Cincinnati in sculpture, painting, film, dance and multimedia, including new and site-related works as well as work from career-defining moments in retrospect.
“Our new exhibition season features artists from around the world working in diverse media who are all in different, significant moments in their career,” says Platow. “We’re pioneering a number of firsts: the first solo exhibition of Viennese painter Maria Lassnig’s latest body of work; the first major U.S. exhibition of Albanian artist Anri Sala; and the first U.S. exhibition of Donald Sultan’s early linoleum paintings. We’re also pleased to announce the first-ever exhibiting partnership with the Cincinnati Ballet, whose dancers will, throughout the exhibition, reposition sculptural works in response to the architecture of the Rosenthal Center as part of a performance by Carlos Amorales. This season marks an important first for Aye Uekawa, an emerging Japanese artist who will have her first museum show here.”
Platow’s approach emphasizes the importance of working closely with artists on exhibitions that integrate with and respond to Zaha Hadid’s architectural design for CAC’s Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Hadid’s first North American building. “Presenting insights into the artist’s mind and sharing the creative artistic process with audiences is at the core of who we are as an institution,” says Platow.
Artists Carlos Amorales, Anri Sala and Ernesto Neto engage their imaginations by creating site-inspired exhibitions within an unconventional building. “The Rosenthal Center was designed to accommodate the plethora of contemporary artistic expression happening today, but it is not a neutral space,” says Platow. “The art works in synchronicity with the unique architecture so that the most exhilarating, unexpected dialogue can come to fruition.”
Hadid herself stated in a 2003 interview, “Instead of seeing the sanctified object fixed in its niche, multiple perceptions and distant views should create a richer, more perplexing experience.”
Platow’s curatorial vision connects Cincinnati to the nexus of contemporary art today through solo-artist exhibitions and several exhibiting partnerships with international institutions. CAC co-organized the Anri Sala exhibition with the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami and works with The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston to bring to Cincinnati what The New York Times called “visually and poetically exhilarating” sculptures by Tara Donovan. Anri Sala opens at MOCA North Miami to art enthusiasts during Art Basel Miami Beach, giving the CAC and Platow’s curatorial vision heightened exposure to an international audience. The CAC presentation of work by Maria Lassnig results from a relationship with the Serpentine Gallery in London. The site-related project with Carlos Amorales features an onsite choreographic collaboration with the Cincinnati Ballet.
Finally, Platow’s debut season at the CAC offers visitors an in-depth look at significant, career-defining moments in the lives of two artists whose work will be recognized as some of the most important of our time. Solo presentations of work by Austrian painter Maria Lassnig and Donald Sultan seek to enrich our understanding of recent art history. “Maria Lassnig has exhibited a fiercely idiosyncratic independence and has persevered in her autonomy – consistently eschewing fashionable trends, while remaining oblivious to her standing in the art world,” states Platow. “Donald Sultan, as an artist working in the late 70s, applied the idea of minimalism while continuing a tradition of figurative painting,” Platow points out.
Contemporary Arts Center 2008-09 Exhibition Season
Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art
September 27, 2008 – January 11, 2009
Organized by the Serpentine Gallery, London
Curated by Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist in association with Rebecca Morrill
This exhibition marks the first solo show for Austrian painter Maria Lassnig in the United States. Lassnig, one of the most innovative and influential European artists working today, continues to produce some of her best work well into her late 80s. Her most frequent subject is her own body, and she describes her artwork as “body-awareness paintings.” Lassnig’s approach to painting as a tool for self-awareness allows her to capture the observation of her internal self and her bodily and sensorial experiences. She expresses this observation through her lush, vibrant style and an astute use of color as a transmitter of feelings and states of being. “Since the early stages of her career,” Contemporary Arts Center’s Alice & Harris Weston Director and Chief Curator Raphaela Platow writes, “Lassnig has exhibited a fiercely idiosyncratic independence and has persevered in her autonomy – consistently eschewing fashionable trends, while remaining oblivious to her standing in the art world.” This solo exhibition features Lassnig’s paintings from 1999 to the present as well as seven animated films she created between 1971 and 1992. This exhibition comes to the CAC from the Serpentine Gallery in London.
September 27, 2008 – January 11, 2009 and through March, 2009
Curated by Raphaela Platow
In this exhibition, choreography and multimedia artwork come together in dialogue with the architecture of the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art. Mexican artist Carlos Amorales’s solo exhibition includes animated films, sculptural objects, performances and drawings. Amorales has created over his career a “Liquid Archive,” an accumulated and growing wealth of digital images of trees, spider webs, wolves, hybrid beings and architectural forms. This archive also serves as a vocabulary of imagery Amorales uses to create sculptures, costumes, animated films and performances. His fascination with horror as both a film genre and as a human emotion informs several recent projects. The CAC will exhibit films and drawings by Amorales as well as a site-inspired installation involving the Cincinnati Ballet in a first–ever exhibiting partnership with the CAC. Amorales is drawing from his archive various shapes of spider webs to create sculptural forms using malleable materials. Ballet dancers will be involved with the installation and engage the sculptures periodically throughout the run of the exhibition, impacting the position of artwork in the gallery. The CAC is producing a catalog to be published in the fall, which will be Amorales’s first catalog printed in the US and the most comprehensive publication of his work to date. The catalog includes essays by Nestor Garcia Canclini, Jose Falconi, Jens Hoffmann, Joan Jonas (in conversation) and Raphaela Platow.
Donald Sultan: 1976-1983
February 7, 2009 – May 11, 2009
Curated by Raphaela Platow
During the late 70s and early 80s, American artist Donald Sultan laid the groundwork for his paintings that successfully merged conceptual and figurative approaches with industrial materials. This first exhibition of Sultan’s early linoleum paintings demonstrates the artist’s formative years, when he set himself apart from his contemporaries by creating works that reconciled figuration with Modernist painting using unconventional materials. To create these unique paintings, Sultan glued linoleum on Masonite hardboard and covered the linoleum with tar and rubber. He created imagery by cutting through to reveal the linoleum layer, using the surface material to define negative space in the paintings, or by simply painting on top of the linoleum. His process preserved painterly qualities and surface texture, resulting in sophisticated, minimalist works made from familiar and accessible materials. Donald Sultan: 1976-1983 explores the ideas, materials and scale of this intriguing body of work during this important time in the artist’s early career. A publication accompanies this exhibition.
February 7, 2009 – May 11, 2009
Organized by the Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston
The exhibition is organized by Nicholas Baume, chief curator at the ICA, and Jen Mergel, assistant curator at the ICA
This exhibition is the first major museum survey of the American sculptor Tara Donovan. With sensitivity to texture, volume and the inherent physical properties of materials, Donovan transforms large quantities of mass-produced items—toothpicks, adhesive tape, straws, buttons, pins, plastic cups and Mylar—into stunning sculptural objects and installations. Utilizing the detritus of a culture of mass production, Donovan creates large-scale sculptures that imply organic growth or a random-order arrangement. Her methodology of building sculpture through accumulation and meticulous assembly of quantities and amounts of identical items offers the viewer the experience of complexity and infinity. A monograph accompanies the exhibition and will be available in the CAC Store.
March 28 or April 18, 2009 – October, 2009
Curated by Raphaela Platow
Brazilian sculptor Ernesto Neto is considered one of the most influential artists of his generation. Neto’s dynamic sculptural installations with amorphic, large-scale forms transform spaces into surprisingly tactile, ethereal environments rich with tension and gravity. Diversely colored, sewn nylon-textile forms filled with Styrofoam pellets, exotic spices or powders become globules, beads and droplets extending from ceiling to floor. The spices and powders emit aromas and leave residue, enhancing the experience through different textures and scents. Neto is creating a built environment specifically for the CAC, converting the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art into a rich, multi-textured, multi-surfaced space.
* This exhibition subject to change
May 30, 2009 – September 2009
Curated by Raphaela Platow
This exhibition features new work in painting and drawing by emerging, New York-based Japanese painter Aya Uekawa. In her paintings, Uekawa combines Flemish figuration with the decorative and folk arts. Working in various media, from acrylic on wood panel and stretched canvas to pencil on paper, Uekawa creates work that is also reminiscent of Renaissance master drawings and medieval altarpieces. Sweetly melancholic facial expressions in Uekawa’s paintings accompany perfectly coiffed hair and formal clothing that adorns the figures. In several works, virtually symmetrical and elaborately braided hair often forms intricate headdresses or crowns or, as in the case of Automatic General Hat, militaristic prison bars concealing the subject’s identity.
Curated by Raphaela Platow
Co-organized by the Contemporary Arts Center in the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art and Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
May 30 – September 6, 2009
Opening in Miami during Art Basel, this first major exhibition of the Albanian artist Anri Sala’s videos, films and photographs in the United States is carefully calibrated with the architecture of the Rosenthal Center to present a spatial and time-based multimedia experience. Sala’s presentations can be understood as choreographed installations in which the artist carefully considers the dialogue between the works and the space. In addition to the onsite presentation of Sala’s work, CAC will present a performance created by Sala. Sala’s first US publication, an illustrated catalog with essays by Svetlana Boym, Michael Fried, Raphaela Platow, Bonnie Clearwater, MOCA, North Miami Executive Director and Chief Curator and others will accompany the exhibition. Following its presentation at MOCA North Miami, the exhibition will be on view at the CAC during Spring 2009. Though both institutions share the exhibition, in reality the installation should be considered two subsequent, separate volumes, as each presentation is intended to occupy and respond to the respective spaces.
About the Contemporary Arts Center
Founded in November 1939 as the Modern Art Society by three visionary women in Cincinnati, Contemporary Arts Center was one of the first institutions in the U.S. dedicated to exhibiting the art of our time. In May 2003, the Center relocated to its first free-standing home, the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, designed by Zaha Hadid. Throughout its distinguished history, the Center has earned a reputation for stimulating thought and introducing new ideas by presenting the work of diverse artists from around the world, including hundreds of now-famous artists such as Laurie Anderson, Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson, Nam June Paik, I.M. Pei, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Kara Walker and Andy Warhol. CAC focuses on new developments in painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, performance art and new media, presenting eight to 12 exhibitions and 20 to 40 performances annually.
The CAC receives ongoing support from: Fine Arts Fund; Ohio Arts Council; City of Cincinnati; The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, City of Cincinnati Arts Grant Recipient.; The Kettering Fund; and the generous contributions and grants of individuals and corporations and foundations, CAC memberships, facility rentals, special events and sales from the CAC Store.
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