The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) Announces 2011-2012 Season

The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) in Cincinnati, Ohio—one of the nation’s oldest and most celebrated contemporary art institutions—announces the 2011–2012 season of exhibitions featuring both single artist and group shows.

The CAC—renowned for the opportunities it gives to international artists at various stages in their careers, and the contribution those opportunities make to the artists’ practice—has once again invited both established and emerging artists from around the world to use the CAC galleries to further artistic investigation.

In addition, the season includes a groundbreaking group show of contemporary miniaturist painting and a look at the changing visual language and art of music videos. Raphaela Platow, the CAC’s Alice & Harris Weston Director & Chief Curator, remarks, “In keeping with the CAC’s global reputation of being a place for artistic innovation, the exhibitions planned for next year offer many ‘firsts’—the first solo U.S. museum show for Dasha Shiskin, Francis Upritchard and Jannis Varelas; Saira Wasim’s first foray into animation and the first large-scale installation by Faiza Butt; and the first major exhibition exploring music video as an art form.” The season also features exhibitions by internationally renowned curators, Xenia Kalpaktsoglou and the Flux collective. As Platow explains, “this correlates directly to the CAC’s interest in providing diverse approaches and a global view by presenting curatorial perspectives and artists from around the world.” She goes on to comment, “I am particularly proud that the CAC continues to be an industry leader providing an exciting platform for artists to take risks and commit to projects long dreamed of.”

Realms of Intimacy: Miniaturist Practice from Pakistan • September 2011–January 2012

This exhibition spotlights contemporary Pakistani artists coming out of the National College of Art in Lahore, Pakistan (NCA), living and working abroad, who use the methods of miniature painting to explore issues of geographic separation. Featuring work by Ambreen Butt, Faiza Butt, Imran Qureshi, Nusra Qureshi and Saira Wasim, the show highlights how the NCA has revived the ancient Mughal practice of miniaturist painting by infusing it with individual thought and contemporary subject matter, and produced globally important contemporary artists along the way. The exhibition and its catalogue will address the ability for artistic methods conventionally thought of as geospecific or temporally tied, to adapt to different environments and exist as a language with universal relevance.

Julião Sarmento • September 2011–January 2012

This exhibition deals with books as a theme—exploring Sarmento’s own relationship with specific books and authors, the book as a visual object and how lives can be changed by the act of reading literature. Works include screen prints of altered book covers and portraits of Sasha Grey—star of Steven Soderbergh’s film ‘The Girlfriend Experience’—reading. Sarmento (b.1948), Portugal’s most influential and celebrated artist, studied at the University of Fine Arts in Lisbon but lives and works in Estoril, Portugal. He represented Portugal at the 1997 Venice Biennale and his work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Guggenheim and the Centre Pompidou, among others.

Flux • February–August 2012

The creative project known as Flux, facilitated by Jonathan Wells and Meg Grey Wells, will curate an exhibition exploring the changing landscape of music video. Music video has left an indelible mark on the visual language of modern cinema. Some of today’s most innovative filmmakers—David Fincher, Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Mark Romanek—honed signature styles and techniques through music video experimentation; and artists from Michael Jackson to Madonna, Bjork to the Beastie Boys, used the medium to define their public identities. Now, a new wave of artists and directors including Chris Milk, Kutiman and Masashi Kawamura, are redefining music video by introducing new forms of interactivity and viewer participation. Flux has curated and produced programming for TED, the Hammer Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, as well as many other projects around the world. Before establishing Flux, Jonathan Wells founded the global touring film festival, RESFEST, and was the original editor of RES Magazine.

Dasha Shishkin • February–May 2012

This is the first solo exhibition for Russian artist Dasha Shishkin, who utilizes two-dimensional media—drawing, printmaking and painting—to create elaborate fantasy worlds that take utopian communist aspirations to an extreme. Shishkin’s work straddles both the narrative and the abstract through hypnotic patterning and mark-making. Mischievous figures and creatures inhabit lush, psychedelic environments, echoing Egon Schiele, Brice Marden, Henry Darger and even masters of Japanese woodblock prints. Shishkin (b.1977) received her MFA from Columbia University. She has shown at Kunsthalle Wien and MoMA. Her work is in the Dakis Joannou Collection in Athens, Greece.

Jannis Varelas • May–August 2012

Guest curated by Xenia Kalpaktsoglou, co-founder of the Athens Biennale, Jannis Varelas’ first solo exhibition in the U.S. will employ the story-telling methods of theatre—particularly the Theatre of the Absurd. The exhibition will combine stories and artistic genres that share common ground, and experiment with both the narrative form and the disintegration of narration. Varelas is known for his large-scale multimedia drawings that address the relationship between the individual and society, and critically comment on venerable notions such as sexuality, race, nation and religion. Varelas (b.1977) lives and works in Athens and Vienna. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts, University of Fine Arts in Barcelona and The London Royal College of Arts. Prior to being the co-director and curator of the Athens Biennale, Kalpaktsoglou was the director of the DESTE Foundation, Centre for Contemporary Arts, and is currently a member of the curatorial collective XYZ.

Francis Upritchard • May–August 2012

The first U.S. exhibition for New Zealander Francis Upritchard will merge previously created pieces with new work for an installation specifically tailored to the CAC’s gallery. The artist is known for her small meticulous figures of techno-color painted clay, positioned in nonsensical poses—walking the line between fine art and kitschy sculpture. Upritchard describes these figures as “holy fools” seeming to take part in actions that are devoid of meaning. They often exist under glass domes or on furniture, emphasizing both their diminutive scale and their whimsical character. Upritchard (b.1976) is currently based in London. She represented New Zealand at the 53rd Venice Biennale and has shown extensively in the UK.

Press images and inquiries: Molly O’Toole 513.345.8404 [email protected]

About the Contemporary Arts Center
Founded in November 1939 as the Modern Art Society by three visionary women in Cincinnati, the 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 CAC relocated to its first free-standing home, the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, designed by Zaha Hadid. Throughout its distinguished history, the CAC 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. The CAC focuses on new developments in painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, performance art and new media, presenting six to 12 exhibitions and over 20 performances annually. The CAC receives ongoing support from: ArtsWave; Ohio Arts Council; The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, City of Cincinnati Arts Grant Recipient; The National Endowment for the Arts; the generous contributions and grants of individuals, corporations and other foundations; CAC memberships, facility rentals, special events and sales from the CAC Store.

Gallery hours:
Monday: 10am–9pm (FREE after 5pm)
Tuesday: Closed (CAC Store open 11am–6pm)
Wednesday–Friday: 10am–6pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11am–6pm

Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art
44 East 6th Street, Cincinnati, Ohio

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