Monday, May 23, 2011

Aloha Means Both Hello and Goodbye:

U·turn Art Space’s Final Exhibition

June 4th—25th, 2011Contemporary Arts Center 44 Video Screening: Saturday, June 4th, 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Opening reception: Saturday, June 4th, 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Finale party: Saturday, June 25th, starting at 7:00 pm

Cincinnati, OH—U·turn Art Space will be closing its doors after its final exhibition Aloha Means Both Hello and Goodbye. Like a good TV show, it’s done everything it set out to do in a few short seasons. In nearly two years’ time, U·turn has exhibited more than seventy artists from the Cincinnati region and around the globe, and produced a run of catalogues to record the history of these endeavors. The gallery collective is grateful for the opportunity we’ve had to share our interests and passions with Cincinnati.

The final exhibition reprises the gallery’s first exhibition concept: to use the space to say thank you. Aloha Means Both Hello and Goodbye features the work of Keith Banner, Paul Coors, Micah Freeman, Mark Harris, Rian Hunter, Justine Ludwig and Bill Ross. These individuals were invited to participate in U·turn’s farewell project as an expression of gratitude for their material and emotional support as U·turn has done things we never imagined were possible for an alternative gallery with such limited resources. Through the collected works of these seven artists, we hope to give visual form to the network of friends, neighbors and colleagues that extends beyond U·turn as an organization.

While this exhibition marks the close of a chapter in our lives and in the life of alternative arts spaces in Cincinnati, we believe that the effects of what U·turn has accomplished in the past two years will continue on. New adventures are beginning. The five of us who have curated and operated U·turn want to thank the community for taking an interest in our projects and for being willing to be engaged.

U·turn has been invited to guest curate one of the Contemporary Arts Center’s Saturday 44 events, a series that presents art and performances on the first Saturday afternoon of every month. For the June 44, U·turn has organized a screening of local video artists—drawing from artists we’ve previously exhibited, others we admire and two that appear in our final exhibition. The CAC is located at 44 E. 6th Street in downtown. The video screenings will take place in the Center’s lobby between 2:00 and 4:00 pm.

The gallery exhibition and U·turn Art Space concludes with a finale party on Saturday, June 25th, beginning at 7 pm. Expect gorgeous refreshments, good music and an opportunity to luxuriate through one more evening with the U·Crew.

Artist Bios

Keith Banner is the cofounder of Visionaries & Voices and Thunder-Sky, Inc., two non-profit arts organizations in Cincinnati. He is a social worker for people with developmental disabilities full-time, and teaches creative writing part-time at Miami University. He has published two works of fiction, The Life I Lead, a novel, and The Smallest People Alive, a book of short stories. He has published numerous short stories and essays in magazines and journals, including American Folk Art Messenger, Other Voices, Washington Square, Kenyon Review, and Third Coast. He received an O. Henry prize for his short story, “The Smallest People Alive,” and an Ohio Arts Council individual artist fellowship for fiction. The Smallest People Alive was named one of the best books of the year by Publisher’s Weekly. His visual art has been in exhibits across the region, and he blogs about visual art and other subjects here.

Paul Coors is a Cincinnati native and Art Academy of Cincinnati graduate. He co-founded the now defunct Publico and managed it for 5 years until 2008. An exhibition chronicling the history of Publico and featuring those artists that helped shape the artist-run space was held at the Weston Art Gallery in 2008. Coors has exhibited extensively in group projects in Cincinnati, Philadelphia and the Joshua Liner Gallery in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include semantics gallery, Clay Street Press and Country Club. Last fall, Coors exhibited alongside Tony Luensman at Aisle. Coors currently does occasional design work and bartends in Northside to fund the artwork he creates in his home/studio in Brighton. See more of Coors' work here.

Micah Freeman is a writer who lives and works in Cincinnati. He has operated several alternative music and arts venues in Cincinnati, including Skull Lab and Murmur. During his time at Murmur, Freeman organized an ongoing reading series that featured writers at different stages of their careers. He has presented performances, readings and artwork in such Cincinnati venues as the Contemporary Arts Center, semantics, Museum Gallery/Gallery Museum and CS13, as well as the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington, KY and the Catherine Hickman Theater in Gulfport, FL. He has released several chapbooks, including Romance Today and No Wonder. Freeman’s recent projects include contributions to U·turn’s Mechanics of Joy catalogue, and to I Was Dreaming When I Wrote This, a book of poems released by Thunder-Sky Inc. that respond to the text-based art of Dale Jackson. His poetry has also been included in recent volumes of WEST WiND REViEW, Abraham Lincoln and Out of Nothing.

Mark Harris currently serves as Director of the School of Art at the University of Cincinnati. Harris holds an MA in Painting from The Royal College of Art, London, an MA in Continental Philosophy from Warwick University, Coventry, and a PhD in Philosophy from Goldsmiths College, London. In 2005 he received an Arts Council England Fellowship with the Long March Project, Beijing. Recent exhibitions of his work include “State Fare” (Wexner Center, Columbus, 2007), “Utopian-Bands,” (2 kolegas, Beijing, 2006, and Weston Art Gallery, Cincinnati, 2008) and “Morning Star” (Country Club Gallery, Cincinnati, 2010). In 2011 his video work was shown in “High Times” the Wellcome Collection, London, and at the Baltimore Contemporary Museum. In 2009 he received a Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital Art Writers Grant. Recent published essays include “Pipilotti Rist's Music” for the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, “Chelsea Hotel, March 14, 2008” on Marcia Farquhar's performance work, and “The City Sings,” on Heather Phillipson’s video work. He has contributed an essay to “The Countercultural Experiment: Consciousness and Encounters at the Edge of Art,” to be published in 2011 by University of Minnesota Press. He has curated exhibitions such as “Educating Barbie,” at Trans Hudson Gallery, New York, 1999; “Bad Drawing—malevolent, misbehaving, misunderstood” (2006) and “Once Upon A Time In The Midwest” (2007) at the University of Cincinnati; “Star Maker,” at E:vent gallery, London, 2009.

For this exhibition, Harris has created a new work, I Made A Big Painting, 131 x 79 inches, acrylic on paper mounted on canvas. About it he writes: Thanks to The Times (Ed Ball’s post-punk band that ran parallel to his Television Personalities) I have a title for this oversized printed acrylic-on-paper painting, eleven by seven feet. Wondering at the motives for art-making, Ball sings of painting across the sky, the largest picture of all. It’s a bit hard to tell as the song cheerfully moves along without making a tremendous amount of sense, but perhaps Ball is thinking of IKB, “patented” when Yves Klein found himself staring at the blue sky while lying on a beach–the ultimate indolent but celebratory painting. Singing, “Through the years I’ve made big paintings of lots of things that made us think… You mean so much to me, far more than any gallery…You’re the reason I feel quite good,” Ball’s motive for painting big is his affection for someone and his feeling perfectly at ease with the world. Over the years I’ve made a lot of big paintings. At the time I understood they were about friendship, poetry, nostalgia, painting, or death, but Ball has reminded me that they were also always to do with feeling quite good about things.

Rian Hunter is from Columbus, Ohio and currently resides in Cincinnati. She recently received her BFA in photography from the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

Artist Statement: My work consists of repetitive actions documented with video. These actions are repeated for several minutes with little variation and only rare climatic events. As the performer, I experience the entirety of what is shown in the video, which gives me a chance to contemplate self-awareness that emerges from activity and interaction with the camera. My realizations about myself most often focus on defects of character rather than positive realizations. Because these perceptions of self can be somewhat elusive, I carefully title each video. Through a combination of language and repetitive action, I hope to allude to consciousness of perceived imperfections of character, such as awkwardness and introversion, and suggest that these so-called flaws could possibly be redemptive traits when acknowledged properly rather than hindrances to normal existence.

Justine Ludwig is the Assistant Curator at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, OH. Her recently curated exhibitions include Rosson Crow: Myth of the American Motorcycle and Shinji Turner-Yamamoto: Disappearances. In 2008 Ludwig spent three months in Mumbai, India immersed in the local contemporary art community, which resulted in the exhibition Shilpa Gupta: A Bit Closer. She has written for the Indian art magazine Art Ect and contributes to The Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art. She is currently working on a group exhibition that explores the contemporary practice and evolution of miniaturist painting from Pakistan as well as the first US solo exhibition of New Zealand artist Francis Upritchard.  Ludwig attended Colby College in Waterville Maine where she studied art history and sculpture. While she now rarely practices sculpture, she finds creative release in Butoh—a Japanese form of dance she has been practicing since 2003. In addition to writing on art, she writes creatively. Her writing has appeared most recently in U·turn’s Brighton Approach. 

For U·turn, Ludwig will be creating a body of work that combines curated moments in multiple mediums to wish the gallery goodnight. The work offers the embodiment of the gallery an opportunity to dream—no longer limited by physical restraints. Dance, video and sculptural elements will merge to create a lullaby.

Bill Ross is a cofounder of Visionaries & Voices (V&V) and Thunder-Sky, Inc. A graduate of the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, he has exhibited his work in Chicago, Indianapolis, and Columbus, Ohio, as well as locally here in the Cincinnati area at Designsmith Gallery and 1305 Gallery in Over the Rhine and Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington, Kentucky. He recently was a visiting artist at the Cincinnati Art Museum. He is a social worker for people with developmental disabilities full-time, and oversees a weekend art-making program every Saturday at Thunder-Sky, Inc. in Northside. His paintings and sculptures investigate an otherworldliness that is both innocently garish and garishly innocent: images from storybooks collide with eerie narratives of loss and disjuncture. In 2004, Ross began a series of collaborations with a variety of artists labeled with developmental disabilities (many of whom attend or attended V&V), including Donald Henry, Dale Jackson, Becky Iker, Bill Ross, Michael Weber, and Kevin White. These collaborative works (usually paintings) are about dislocating notions of who is an artist and what art can be and do, and feature Ross’s signature phosphorescent style merged with the signature styles of each of the collaborators. One of the highlights of both his social-work and visual arts career was being able to support and champion Raymond Thunder-Sky, a Cincinnati artist and icon known as “the Construction Clown.”

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Middle of White: Sara Blyth-Stephens + Michelle Grabner

The Middle of White:
Sarah Blyth-Stephens + Michelle Grabner

May 7th—28th, 2011
Opening reception: Saturday, May 7th, 7:00 – 10:00 pm

Cincinnati, OH—U·turn Art Space is proud to present new works by Sara Blyth-Stephens and Michelle Grabner in the May exhibition, The Middle of White. Blyth-Stephens’ sculptures are created on site by pouring and splashing Hydro-cal (a plaster like material) across curtains of plastic that are removed after the works have dried, leaving delicate white records of their active production. Grabner’s works on paper are also accumulations of gestures: straight marks are drawn repeatedly in metal point across sheets that have been primed with black gesso. As the delicate metal lines tarnish, each work takes on a unique character of subtle hues and variation across the page’s surfaces. By calling attention to the materials, methods and gestures they employ, both artists create highly formalist artworks that are humanized by evident handiwork. The predominantly white sculptures and black works on paper come together in a high contrast pairing that shares similar conceptual impulses.

Blyth-Stephens’ use of restraint in her manipulation of a material allows it to be itself profoundly. Whether working with tinkling sheets of aluminum foil hung like curtains in a gallery, creating forms from balloons that deflate over the course of an exhibition or working on location with liquid hydro-cal as she is doing in U·turn, the physical properties of the works and how they can change over time is of primary interest. In 2010, she pushed this method of working to greater scale, creating a number of works that stood taller than average human height, and curved through spaces like parenthetical dividers. These works become architectural interventions, oscillating between object and demarcation of space. U·turn has invited Blyth-Stephens to respond to the gallery’s nuanced space as well as the placement of Michelle Grabner’s series of works.

Grabner’s process of metal point (and sometimes graphite) on black-coated paper or panel has been ongoing for a number of years. While sometimes basing the ordering of the marks on grids and textile patterns, the works often consist of repeated marks made either vertically, or radiating from a central point, practically filling the surface area. The silvery quality of the lines can, at times, be optically suggestive of space. The tarnishing process of the metal itself is a subtle record of the space and conditions surrounding each work. The labor, repetition and variation involved in these works instill a complexity into what is initially a minimal visual encounter.

Artist Bios

Sarah Blyth-Stephens holds a BA in Art History from Indiana University, a BFA from Ohio State University and an MFA from University of Cincinnati. She has worked closely with Museum Gallery/Gallery Museum in Cincinnati, exhibiting there frequently. She has also presented work at semantics, Cincinnati, OH; Urban Arts Space and the Wexner Center, Columbus, OH; Heuser Gallery at Bradley University, Peoria, IL; University of Tennessee Downtown Gallery, Knoxville, TN; and Zanesville Museum, Zanesville, OH. In 2008, she was awarded a residency at the Vermont Studio Center.

Michelle Grabner is a professor and department chair of the Painting and Drawing at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and along with her husband Brad Killam runs the artist-run exhibition spaces: The Suburban, Oak Park, IL and The Poor Farm, Waupaca County WI. Grabner's work is included in the public collections of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; MUDAM - Musée d’Art Moderne, Luxemburg; Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. She has exhibited recently at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL; Leo Koenig Projekte, New York, NY; Rocket, London, UK; Minus Space, Brooklyn, NY; and Green Gallery East, Milwaukee, WI.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pared: Works by Matthew Deleget and Ellen Nagel

Pared: Works by Matthew Deleget and Ellen Nagel

April 2nd—30th, 2011
Opening reception: Saturday, April 2nd, 7:00 – 10:00 pm

Cincinnati, OH—For Pared, U·turn Art Space presents works by Matthew Deleget and Ellen Nagel that consider reduction as a maneuver in painting, sculpture throughout art history. Deleget presents a series of monochrome works on panel, along with a long-term and ongoing conceptual project based in the collection of artist catalogues that have been purchased at deeply discounted prices. Nagel has created a number of brand new sculptural installations for the exhibition. Together, Deleget’s and Nagel’s work continues a line of inquiry into reduction and restraint in which U·turn is persistently invested.

Deleget’s I Love You (2007) is comprised of solidly colored plastic shopping bags that have been mounted onto nine panels. I Love You was inspired by The Beatles song All Together Now (also, a humorous reference to collaboration). In the song, Paul McCartney sings the lines, “black, white, green, red — can I take my friend to bed? — pink, brown, yellow, orange, blue — I love you.” Deleget has quoted McCartney directly, with each of the nine panels corresponding to the mentioned colors and installed in the order found in the song. Deleget uses McCartney’s lyrics to connect his practice of abstraction to unexpected cultural points of reference.

Deleget also presents a collection of books as art objects. All of the books are about living abstract artists—his inspirations—and were purchased at major art museums in New York City at heavily discounted prices. While his works on panel bespeak to Deleget’s own love and commitment to abstract art, this project questions whether the artists and their ideas have been discounted with the prices of these books.

Ellen Nagel’s assemblage sculptures are experiments in elegant restraint. Nagel creates art experiences that occupy the same space as the viewer, at approximately the same scale of the viewer. The avatars she constructs bring together found objects from home life (clothing, shopping bags), the studio (paint, drawing boards) and the cleanly institutional (modular office furniture). While there may be any number of elements in each work, their overall effect is one of absolute subtlety. As freestanding, collaged objects, they call attention to their own physical features: rigidity and slackness, buoyancy and gravity, tension and repose. She balances seemingly incidental elements with formalist choices that are precise and considered. Around their edges, her works evoke myth and metaphor as monuments to the humble and the heroic. Ultimately, they evidence the culture(s) surrounding their making.

Artist Bios

Matthew Deleget is an abstract painter, curator, and writer. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, including solo and group exhibitions in Europe, Asia, and Australia. He is a member of American Abstract Artists, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation’s Artist Advisory Committee, and the board of The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. Matthew has received awards from the American
Academy of Arts & Letters, Brooklyn Arts Council, and The Golden Rule Foundation, and his work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Flash Art, Artnet Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Basler Zeitung, among others.

In 2003, Deleget founded MINUS SPACE, a platform for reductive art on the international level based in Brooklyn, NY. MINUS SPACE’s web site is used by more than 800 people daily from 150 countries worldwide. Deleget has also organized more than two dozen solo and group exhibitions at both MINUS SPACE’s gallery in the Gowanus, Brooklyn, as well as other collaborating venues on the national and international levels. MINUS SPACE exhibitions have been reviewed in Art in America, Artnet Magazine, ArtNews, The Brooklyn Rail, Houston Public Radio, Huffington Post, The New Criterion, New York Magazine, NYFA Current, New York Sun, Time Out New York, and Village Voice, among others.

Deleget holds an MFA in Painting and an MS in Theory, Criticism and History of Art, Design and Architecture from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. He holds a BA in Art and German from Wabash College,
Crawfordsville, IN. He lives with his wife, artist Rossana Martinez, and son in Brooklyn, NY.

Ellen Nagel is a Cincinnati native, where she continues to live and work. She received a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 2010. Nagel appeared in U·turn Art Space’s first exhibition Brought To You By, and the gallery collective immediately sought a reprisal of Nagel’s work in a more ambitious installation. Nagel has previous participated in multiple exhibitions at the Art Academy’s Chidlaw Gallery. In 2010, she was one of several artists to create a site-specific installation in the Cincinnati Art Museum. Entitled Let Fall, the interactive work invited viewers to look behind heavy black curtains to experience a series of post-minimal painted shapes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Amateur Night at the Chuckle Hut: An Evening of Stand Up

Afraid you may have missed your opportunity to see our March exhibition, People Who Make Us Smile? Well, here at U∙turn, we don’t believe in missed opportunities. We believe in MORE opportunities! Please join us this Saturday, March 19th, at U∙turn Art Space for an evening of Stand Up Comedy. Yep, that’s right, Stand Up Comedy!

March weather has been uncompromisingly unpredictable and we certainly don’t blame anybody for staying on the countless rainy days watching reruns of 30 Rock on Netflix; BUT, we are determined to share this exhibition with the community! So stop on by, share some drinks and share some laughs as we bring together some of Cincinnati’s most creative and most humorous people.

Emcee’d by the lovely and talented Russell Ihrig, aspiring and established local comics and artists will test out some new material on your funny bones against the backdrop of the exhibition.

Doors will open at 7:00pm with performances beginning at approximately 7:30pm.

People Who Make Us Smile is a group exhibition featuring Meg Duguid, Charley Friedman, Russell Ihrig, Jonathan Juravich, Cary Leibowitz and a collaborative project by Loraine Wible and Chris Reeves. Through sound pieces, sculpture, photography, video, installation, screen printing and a collaborative project designed especially for and executed by U.turn, these artists present works that are quirky, upbeat and dryly self-deprecating. We anticipate nothing short of this from the evening’s performances.

Please stop in! We’ll make each other smile! Rain or Shine!


U∙turn Art Space

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

People Who Make Us Smile

People Who Make Us Smile
March 5th—26th, 2011

...U·turn Art Space is pleased to announce People Who Make Us Smile, a group exhibition featuring Meg Duguid, Charley Friedman, Russell Ihrig, Jonathan Juravich, Cary Leibowitz and a collaborative project by Loraine Wible and Chris Reeves. Through sound pieces, sculpture, photography, video, installation, screen printing and a collaborative project designed especially for and executed by U·turn, these artists present works that are quirky, upbeat and dryly self-deprecating. Certainly contemporary uses of humor in Art have its origins in the history of Pop Art, but these artists use punch lines and visual comedic timing in a direct way that critically asks, What is funny? Is that funny? and much more broadly, How can humor be used effectively in an art gallery to touch upon subjects without frivolity? Often, the answers these artists come up with relate to the iconography of celebrities, shared pop cultural knowledge and eager (or else effacing) means of addressing the viewer directly. People Who Make Us Smile is an exercise in admiration, a blame game that reveals why we see the world the way we do. As a gallery, these are the artists who make us smile. But the artists themselves defer to another cast of characters: family relatives, Liza Minnelli, Bart Simpson and Gandhi are but a few of the depicted, with whom we share our glee.

Artist Bios

Meg Duguid was raised in Columbus Ohio. She received her MFA from Bard College in 2005 and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. She has exhibited and performed at the DUMBO arts festival, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Suburban, Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, Flux Factory in Queens, 667 Shotwell in San Francisco, and the 3rd Ward in
Brooklyn. Duguid also runs Clutch Gallery, a 25 square inch white-cube located in the heart of her purse. She lives with her husband and three cats in Chicago, Illinois. More about Duguid at her website.

Duguid presents a sound work entitled “Laugh Track” that will play in the space. The 2005 piece features the artist forcing herself to laugh for several minutes on end.

Duguid’s artist statement: My work is about relationships—relationships between me and the viewer, a viewer and a video, a photograph of the viewer and the video. I am not a painter, a photographer, a sculptor, or a performance artist; however, any of these handles might serve to describe my practice when necessary. I strive to reinterpret the nature of performative practice and its relationship to more traditional media such as drawing, video, and photography. I have a love for the fleeting, the ephemeral, and the comic. I craft objects and moments that are rooted in my own sense of humor and stylized around what I find funny. My physicality calls for props like high-heeled clown shoes, and my sensibility calls for the use of stylized props such as a cartoon ladder, a fake stove, or a large mustache. Like a joke, my work is meant to live beyond its first telling, and each retelling is different. My work is imbued with the performative and crafted to be documented. The method used to record the work is tailored for the work’s next iteration. Each iteration cannot be treated merely as documentation, but as the next telling of the work.

Charley Friedman is an artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a BFA from Macalester College, St. Paul, MN, and an MFA from SMFA Boston/Tufts University, Boston, MA. His recent project Gallery Diet has been shown and tailored in multiple venues in Miami, FL and New York, NY. In 2007, Friedman was the subject of a ten-year survey at the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln, Nebraska. His work and performances have appeared in such venues as PS1/MoMA (Long Island City, NY), White Columns (New York, NY), Barbara Mathes Gallery (New York, NY), Parsons Hall Projects (Holyoke, MA), Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA), and many others. Friedman’s practice is not bound to a single medium; rather, he employs sculpture, installation, photographs, videos, drawings and performances in his cross-disciplinary practice. He will present work in photography and video for this exhibition at U·turn. Charley Friedman’s website.

Russell Ihrig was born in Alexandria, KY and currently resides in Bellevue, KY. He received his BFA in Fine Art from The Art Academy of Cincinnati in 2003, and also took part in the New York Studio Program in 2002. He has has shown locally at various galleries and was a member of the artist-run gallery, Publico. He has also exhibited work in Philadelphia at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Black Floor, and Vox Populi. An inventory of Ihrig’s previous works can be found here.

Ihrig has designed two installation sculptures for the exhibition. One is a non sequitur, a cup embellished with drawings and filled to its brim with orange juice. The other is a sculptural recreation of a scene he discovered in a pawnshop: an absurd juxtaposition of different collections of objects.

Ihrig’s artist statement: I don't set out to make work that is funny. I'm usually just trying to explore some theme or idea, but as I generate possible ways to explore that idea, I always come up with something that makes me laugh. Invariably, this funny option wins. I suppose I trust humor because I know something is working; there's some sort of underlying absurdity or irony that is actually affecting me on a physical level. I'll probably never take your breath away with a work that is beautiful or sublime, so I'm willing to settle for a chuckle.

Jonathan Juravich (Pittsburgh, PA, 1982) lives and works in Columbus, OH. Juravich is an artist teacher at Liberty Tree Elementary School, north of Columbus. His work reflects upon school life with humor, while also exploring the concept of identity. Currently a Masters student at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, he is a graduate of Otterbein College. Visit Juravich’s website for more information.

Juravich presents recent works in screen printing. Using modes of presentation borrowed from his experiences as a school teacher (lunch boxes, track jerseys), he subverts the givens of design and branding as means of communication and direction.

Juravich’s artist statement: As an art educator and coach, my work is all about relationships. I am exploring and illuminating the identities of children and their role as members of our vast visual culture. I have found that with humor I am able to interpret the unpredictable words and ideas of young children.

Screen-printing is traditionally an art form used as a vehicle for mass communication. T-shirts, advertisements, team uniforms, student backpacks, and lunchboxes… are all decorated with purpose, to convey something about the identity of the individual. In my screen-prints I am making a statement about the unseen, unique identities that lie behind uniforms and elementary lunchboxes. Though we as a culture may conform to fit in, there are intriguing differences that define us as individuals.

Cary Leibowitz is a New York-based artist who has been at the center of an art genre dubbed variously as “Loser Art” and “Pathetics Aesthetic.” For more than 20 years, Leibowitz has produced a wide range of artworks that include painting, prints, multiples, unassuming performances and a wide range of stylized one-liners that employ self-deprecating point of view to deal with such topics as the realities of being an artist, questionable taster, queer culture and Jewish humor. Leibowitz has often produced work under the moniker “Candyass.” He has exhibited regularly throughout the U.S., Europe, Japan and Canada. He has work in such prestigious collections as the Jewish Museum (New York, NY), the Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, DC) the Robert. J. Shiffler Foundation (Dayton, OH). He is currently the Director of Contemporary Editions at Phillips de Pury & Company.

For this exhibition, Leibowitz conceived of a project that refers back to a topic he has returned to multiple times in his oeuvre: Liza Minnelli. Per his instructions, the U·turn collective members will be creating a kind of performance at the Cincinnati airport. Documentation of this project will be made into an edition of digital photographs that will be sold to benefit U·turn Art Space. The gallery is very excited to be working with Leibowitz, and grateful for his playful and generous idea.

Chris Reeves,
It was a cloudy Wednesday afternoon, about 341 months ago when Mrs Reeves gave birth to who we now know as Christopher Bunson Reeves. Of course all were glad that the family got extended, however no one in the picturesque town of (Middletown) knew yet how this brand new human being
was about to challenge our world in unexpected ways...

As a child Christopher (or Chris as he is called familiarly) was extremely creative. For Christmas 1991 he received a Lightbrite and for his 8th birthday he asked for a paint by number kit. He couldn't stop making and copying. [Copying is a key element to understanding the creative process of Sir Chris
Reeves]. One of his biggest inspiration was of course everything surrounding him, especially his friends and life on Earth in general (Chris Reeves considers himself a citizen of the World before any other cultural group). Once he reached 13 years of age, he decided he was going to dedicate his life to the sacred activity of Fun-Having. He therefore started rejecting anything and everything that would potentially be boring or too solemn.

As you probably expect it, Christopher had an intense teenagehood. He spent his time trying to make sense of life and figure out what he was supposed to be doing on this planet. He was constantly surrounded by his clique (or his apostles how he sometimes like to call them). Him, and his smala were constantly playing a ultra-powerful game named “Ping-pong joke” which consisted in making jokes about a previous joke which itself was a joke about another joke, which was about a previous joke etc...
It was a never ending dynamic creativity. To this day, nobody has dropped the ball so the “Ping-pong joke” game that started 15 years ago is still being played. The last person standing will be the winner but that's not for any time soon. Unless we are hit by an Asteroid or a Pandemic. Which could happen.

Chris Reeves is part of a generation whose adolescence lasts much longer than previous generations. At 22, he was still a teenager. At 24, he was still a teenager. At 26, he was still a teenager. At 28, he finally started to become a serious adult by joining a highly important and serious organization called Museum Gallery/Gallery Museum. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's get back to Reeves' early college years. Obviously, he decided that he had to get a college education because even though he lives in a free country where everyone is free to go through life dumb as a broom and proud of it, he thought that maybe he could get something out of this experience even if it was only a chance to make fun of some teachers. Since he was a stereotypical rebel wannabe-cool late teenager he joined art school. He was smart enough to know that art school would be by far the most entertaining academic program offered. However after a few years he got hit by some sort of epiphany of rationalization, he changed his major to focus on the history of art (AKA the stories of art) because he knew that in the very judging society that we live in, he would be less considered a “slothful weirdo” which is what the active population thinks of the “artist class”.

After a very well deserved bachelor degree, he decided that 10 years of college wasn't enough so he directly jumped into a MASTER OF ART HISTORY in order to become a master in understanding Manet's mood swings. Or not, depending on what teachers are on sabbatical. But what really made CR an illustrious element of Cincinnati contemporary art mafia, was his enlighten decision to join Cincinnati art based fake museum MGGM. Since his enrollment in the organization, he has gained a great deal of experience in experimenting with artists' patience and creative remodeling...

Chris Reeves's ten-year-long career has been filled with puns, jokes, funny characters, cute mustaches, bird loving robots, irrelevant parodies, repetitive plagiarisms, pataphysical questioning, anachronistic poetry, social network mythology, Pingu study, post-modern revery, gay bar dance parties and illegal internet streaming.

Loraine Wible
Dropped at a great height from a tiny bundle nestled in the mouth of the majestic beak of Toonekurg, the great King Stork, into the chimney of a chateau in the Paris Left Bank, Loraine Wible made her debut, as a fair complexioned, but ultimately inexpugnable bundle of hardihood. Honing her creative and intellectual prowess as a child with the company of her Leonberger, Hervé Jean-Pierre Villechaiz, in the open fields and fresh air of the Latin Quarter, Wible quickly accelerated through enseignement primaire, and enseignement secondaire.  Midway through her schooling, Wible became inspired by the non-retrogradable rhythms of composer Iannis Xenakis’ orchestral piece Metastasis, the theory on Calabi Yau manifolds by theoretical physicist Edward Witten, racewalking, and mullagathanni soup. Drawing on these inspirations, Wible dedicated herself to the domain of new media (sometimes referred to as “new media”), spending the last fifteen years of her life attempting to translate the poetic villanelle into a video art piece entitled Trioxygen: Art Thou Greater than Thy?. Her favorite quote is “As long as you live, keep learning how to live” – Seneca. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Literary Art Crowd

Tonight is Literati Glitterati, U.turn's version of a fundraiser. We hope you will be joining us, lots of wonderful surprises have been prepared for you. One being the beautiful full color exhibition catalogues we have been working on for quite awhile now. Of the exhibitions U.turn has mounted to date we currently have 14 publications available for purchase through our Lulu storefront.  We plan on continuing to produce little volumes to accompany each of our future shows as well.

This is a great boon for us as a collective. At the outset of U.turn the five of us involved envisioned a catalogue project, and it is so rewarding to see one of our goals realized. Each publication was written, designed, and layed out with the original concepts pertaining to the particular show in mind. The resulting books are quite honestly the gems in our gallery crown (if our gallery were to have a crown).  

Each catalogue in our Lulu store is available for purchase in two formats.  First for the lovers of the printed page, our catalogues come printed paperback in full color glory in a lovely hand held 7.5 x 7.5 size (the catalogue for One Solid Mutiny is available in a larger 8.5 x 8.5 size) with saddle-stitch binding. Additionally, each of the carefully organized books is attainable as a .pdf download one can read on an e Reader. 

We will have one copy of each of the catalogues so far produced on hand this evening for the curious, as well as information how you can procure your own copies.  Hope you can make it!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Literati Glitterati (Where the Beautiful People Will Be)

Literati Glitterati: A U·turn Fundraiser

$10 suggested donation at the door

Cincinnati, OH—In little more than a year and a half of consistent monthly programming, U·turn Art Space is proud to have exhibited sixty artists from our region and from around the world. Now we are asking for your help. But don’t worry; we put the ‘fun’ in fundraiser. On the evening of the 19th, there will be books, buffets and beauty. Along with a delic...ious homemade meal, we will be offering beer for sale, live poetry readings and intermissions filled with a playlist designed especially for the event.

The evening will double as a book release night. Here are a few of the exciting releases planned:

-Brighton Approach Gold Edition- A special edition of Brighton Approach, U·turn’s art and literature periodical, will be available for sale. A number of the writers included in the book will be reading their work throughout the evening, including Keith Banner, Jennifer Glaser, Michael Hennessey, Meg Prichard, Nick Story and Dana Ward. These books have been printed full color, with art and writing contributions from Cincinnati and all across the country. As a Gold Edition, the book has been themed around alchemy, the pursuit of transforming the mundane into something precious. As an alternative arts space, we readily identify with such a goal.

-The U·turn Folios- The gallery has created four sets of full color digital prints, featuring work by the collective, as well as over twenty other artists that have exhibited with the space since October 2009. Three small folios have been curated and each will be available for $15. A larger folio that includes all of the prints from the smaller collections will available at a discounted price. All folios will include a certificate of authenticity from the gallery. These will be printed in a limited run for the event.

-Exhibition Catalogues- Since the beginning of 2010, the gallery has been designing print-to-order catalogues for every exhibition. A full run of these books will be unveiled, with information about how to order them from our online store (if you’d like to preview some of these books, visit the our Lulu storefront. This run of catalogues include essays and poems by Christopher Backs, Keith Banner, Shawnee Barton, Craig Damrauer, Micah Freeman, Hollis Hammonds, Isaac Hand, Justine Ludwig, Matt Morris, Patricia Murphy, Zachary Rawe, Eric Ruschman and Dana Ward.

A little about the cost of running the space:
U·turn is comprised of five members, all working artists with day jobs. The gallery takes no commission off of the sale of artwork in the space, wishing instead to pass all profits back to the artists. So far, we have financed the space with our own incomes.
It costs an estimated $585 a month to operate the gallery. This includes rent and energy as well as costs for producing an exhibition, such as wall paint, lights, reception refreshments, postcards and the cost to ship work back to artists. For a professional art gallery, this is amazingly economical. In the winter, our heating bills are much higher. We hope that this fundraiser will help us offset these expenses and make our spring exhibitions easier to produce.

This event coincides with our remarkable current exhibition, Marcia Hafif: Glaze Paintings. The renowned Hafif has designed a spacious installation of 8 small monochrome paintings that activate the entire room.

Steve Rosen reviewed this exhibition recently in CityBeat.


Our friends at the alternative arts space CS13 will be presenting a 24-hour long exhibition called The Today Show that begins at 5 pm on Friday, February 18th and culminates in a reception on the evening of Saturday, February 19th, from 5-7 pm. A number of the artists included in their exhibition have shown or will be showing at U·turn in the coming months. The artists will mount an exhibition in which all of the work is conceived, created, installed, documented, written about and presented to the public in a 24 hour period. CS13 is located at 1420 Main Street in Over-the-Rhine. Make it an evening all about alternative spaces in the city: start at CS13 at 5 pm and then join us for dinner and a poem or two at 7 pm.