Thumbs-Up-Down

Review: Utrecht oils

It’s hard for me to understand this but until this week I never used Utrecht brand oils.  I’m not sure why this is.  I’ve visited their shops in NYC and Cleveland and ordered plenty of other things from them.  True, I was disappointed with the easel I bought from them, but that was recent and doesn’t explain…

Book review: Heorot Series vol. 1 & 2

I listened to the two books in the Heorot series, The Legacy of Heorot, and Beowulf’s Children on my Audible app. The books were written by the team of Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steve Barnes.  The first book was written in 1987, the second in 1995. Although I go through periods when I read…

Quick review: Brinsley Tyrrell at Busta Gallery

At first sight, I was underwhelmed by Brinsley Tyrrell’s show, Ohio Lands Forever, at Busta. The large-format pieces with their electric colors and ropey splatters struck me as gimmicky and shrill. Tyrrell’s enamel on steel technique threatened to skid out of control–obsession with process has shipwrecked many artists. But after a couple of processions around…

Review: Truppe Fledermaus and the Carnival at the End of the World

The collaborative team of Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick recently filled the Galleries at  Cleveland State U. with posters, postcards, and photos from their magical world of speculative fiction and false history–Truppe Fledermaus and the Carnival at the End of the World. While Kahn and Selesnick’s magic realism reminds me of artists like Magritte, or…

Thumbs Down: Sargent; Thumbs Up: Bouguereau

John Singer Sargent and William-Adolphe Bouguereau are not normally considered together, yet their careers overlapped for several decades. In the ‘Undergrad’s Giant Book of Art History’ Sargent is counted among the progressives, while Bouguereau is thrown in with the anti-progressives–history’s losers (according to the Giant Book). Indeed, in many fables in the ‘Undergrad’s Giant Book of…

Non Reviews

I was going to title this post ‘negative reviews’ referring to non-reviews—shows I’ve visited that did not speak to me, and so no reviews were forthcoming. Silence as a review, so to speak. But, of course, readers have no way of knowing what exhibitions I attend and pass by without comment. Visiting an exhibition without…

The 42nd Student Show at The Galleries at CSU

I enjoy student shows and attend them whenever I’ve a chance. While most student shows are filled with, well, student-grade work, I almost always find a gem or two. So I wasn’t disappointed when the bill of fare for this exhibition at the Galleries at Cleveland State U. proved to be bog-standard stuff, which is to say most pieces…

Jason Milburn at William Busta Gallery

Jason Milburn, who has maintained a studio in NE Ohio since graduating from the Cleveland Art Institute 10 years ago, is showing a passel of large drawings at the William Busta Gallery. The cartoon-inspired ink drawings are populated by vaguely familiar figures in suburban scenarios that are awash with anxiety and menace–‘High School Art Teacher in Hell,’ so to speak. The drawings…