CAC builds new season on construction theme

Wednesday, May 20, 1998

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Gregory Barsamian's 3-D animation, a U.S. debut for Jim Dine's photography, David Mach's cascading sculpture of thousands of pounds of stacked newspapers, and a "Museum of the Lawn" are part of what's planned by Contemporary Arts Center for 1998-99.

Joep van Lieshout's "Sleep/study Skull," a sculpture in polyester and wool.
(CAC photo)
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"We're in a new building mode," says curator David Brown. "At this point, some institutions might have a tendency to hang back, but we're charging forward. This season points to the fact that our aspirations are high. And we're trying to make the space seem really inadequate."

The season:

  • Innuendo Non Troppo: The Work of Gregory Barsamian, Sept. 5-Nov. 1.

  • Steven Sorman: New Prints from Tyler Graphics, Sept. 5-Nov. 8.

  • Theater of Excess: An Installation by David Mach, Nov. 21-Jan. 17.

  • Henry Gwiazda: buzzingreynold'sdreamland, Nov. 21-Jan. 17.

  • Amnesia: New Art from South America, Jan. 30-March 21.

  • The Photography of Jim Dine, Jan. 30-March 28.

  • The American Lawn: Surface of Everyday Life, April 3-June 6.
  • Joep van Lieshout, June 19-Aug. 22.

  • In the Kitchen with Liza Lou, June 19-Aug. 29.

  • Martin Puryear, June 19-Aug. 29.

Three-pronged strategy

Among the differences from previous years, Mr. Brown says, are the presence of five major shows, strong international representation and "connection with the new CAC building flows through the schedule. Ideas about building permeate the shows this year."

Innuendo Non Troppo is a CAC organized touring show curated by Mr. Brown. Mr. Barsamian uses strobe lights and motorized frames to create three-dimensional animated scenes. There will be four new works for this exhibition. Its Cincinnati debut is the beginning of an 18-month U.S. tour.

Printmaker Steven Sorman's work will be on view in association with Cincinnati's celebration of the 200th anniversary of lithography and the Mid-America Print Conference that will take place here in mid-October. Mr. Sorman's featured series, inside weather, has eight lithograph prints including screenprinting, bronzing, collage, relief painting, stenciling and hand-coloring.

Mr. Mach will create a series of new site-specific works for Theater of Excess that will encompass the entire 10,000 square feet of the CAC and use at least 40 tons of material.

Mr. Mach uses stacked and feathered newspapers to create undulating sculptures that resemble floodwaters. Carried along, says Mr. Brown, are all manner of items. "In larger installations, trucks have been swept away."

Mr. Gwiazda, a University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music alum, creates a "virtual audio" installation with an almost 10-minute sound experience surrounding the listener. The title Amnesia, says Mr. Brown, refers to South America "as a land that's been forgotten for the longest time. Everything in contemporary art seems filtered through the U.S. and Europe. We've been hungering to see art from different regions."

Photography "is brand spanking new" for native Cincinnatian Jim Dine, Mr. Brown says. Mr. Dine uses photogravure and computer-manipulated ink jet printing.

Mr. Brown calls American Lawn "scholarly, humorous and engaging. It's an historical, educational and contemporary overview of Americans' obsession with their lawns." Elements include film and television footage and a "Museum of the Lawn" and will completely fill the center.

Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout creates sculptural objects including "mobile units for living." For the CAC show, two "vehicles" will be placed outside the center "maybe in Fountain Square, maybe in the lobby of the Westin, that people can climb into or on top of," Mr. Brown says.

Woman's world in beads

Liza Lou's The Kitchen is a bead-encrusted installation intended to combine glamour with the traditional woman's workplace.

"Every inch, even the dirty dishes, the water in the sink, is covered with beads," Mr. Brown says. "Beads are even imbedded in the bread."

Mr. Puryear's CAC show will include a series of large-scale drawings, many referring to the work process of his recent commission at the Federal Triangle in Washington, and several sculptures of wood, tar and metal.

Throughout next year, the CAC will have a space dedicated to the progress of its new building. The design is expected to be unveiled in late September.

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