During my time as a Curatorial Intern here at the CAC, I have been preparing artwork descriptions and artist bios for wall text for the upcoming 2020 Benefit Auction. Well, “wall text” is perhaps not the correct wording for these labels. This year, due to the current global pandemic, the CAC is hosting the 2020 Benefit Auction virtually. The Auction is currently live on Artsy.net. (All “wall text” can be viewed on the virtual walls of Artsy’s website.)
While moving the Auction to a virtual platform was a difficult decision to make, we at the CAC are excited about the 2020 Benefit Auction, this year titled “Art Where You Are,” for a number of reasons. The first reason is that we have tons of great artwork for you to check out. Second, anyone, anywhere, will be able to participate in this year’s auction, furthering the CAC’s mission of making art accessible to the public. Additionally, private in-person viewing of artworks in the auction is available with certain levels of sponsorship.
The Annual Benefit Auction helps fund the CAC’s extensive programming. Should you choose to purchase a piece, or otherwise provide financial support, you become a part of our mission, and help keep the CAC accessible by sponsoring remote-access educational programs. These internet-based educational programs are for all ages. Additionally, the CAC will be supporting several social justice causes through this year’s Auction. We hope you will participate in the bidding, and maybe even win a piece!
While this year’s Auction holds over 60 artworks, here are a few that I am particularly excited about.
Robert Colescott: Zeus! for Christ’s Sake! , 1992, Pastel and acrylic on paper, 44-1/4 x 35-1/2 x 1-3/4 inches
In Zeus! for Christ’s Sake! the renowned (and controversial) painter Robert Colescott (1925-2009), whose work was recently the subject of a major retrospective that started its travels at the CAC, makes a play on the Western art historical canon. The Greek god Zeus preys upon a woman who may be Semele. Colescott’s Zeus looks upon the woman stoically. While in Colescott’s depiction we are left unsure of Semele’s fate, the ancient story tells us that she perishes in flames from Zeus’s lightning bolts. While drawing upon the so-called “classics,” Colescott’s cartoon-like depictions and messy mark making create a highly charged image of the two characters.
Swoon: Braddock Steel, 2014, Block Print and Acryla Gouache on Paper Mounted to Wood, 96 x 60 inches
Caledonia Curry (b. 1977), A.K.A. street artist Swoon, often focuses on cities and their inhabitants in her printmaking meets installation meets social practice work. In Braddock Steel, the multi-dimensional artist puts the spotlight on Braddock, PA, a city that represents a quintessential example of a middle American post-industrial landscape. The city’s famous Edgar Thomson Steel Works contributed to the wealth of the city for more than a century. Although the steel mill created an industrial hub and great economic success, it also contributed to the numerous racial inequity issues and ongoing health problems that the city still struggles with today. Here, Swoon’s attention is on the workers of Edgar Thomson, highlighting their efforts and actions as the backbone of the success of Braddock’s steel industry.
Graciela Iturbide: Casa de Frida Kahlo, Coyoacán, México, 2007, Silver gelatin print, 8 x 10 inches
Graciela Iturbide (b.1942), one of Mexico’s most esteemed photographers, provides us with a sneak peek into the life of Frida Kahlo through Casa de Frida Kahlo, Coyoacán, México. This photograph captures an intimate scene from the inside of Kahlo’s former home, Casa Azul, a space Diego Rivera, the Mexican painter’s husband, had kept closed for about fifty years after his wife’s passing in 1954.
Lorena Molina: Ofrenda, 2020, Digital Print, 24 x 18 inches
Art Where You Are Poster Set
For this project, we asked ten artists with past or future connections to the CAC to create a poster in response to the times (especially the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the current political climate). Sales of the posters will support Cincinnati-based social justice organizations and local artists. 10% of the sale proceeds generated by the posters will be allocated to Cincinnati-based social justice organizations; 10% of the sale proceeds generated by posters will be allocated to the Cincinnati Artist Relief Assistance Fund (CARAF); and the remaining proceeds will be allocated to the Contemporary Arts Center’s annual fund, benefitting art education and programming for all ages. Posters can be bought individually or as a set.
Julia Lipovsky: Rock Collection and A Loving Embrace, 2015, Silkscreen, 24 x 18 inches each
Last but certainly not least, Cincinnati-based artist Julia Lipovsky (b. 1993) provided us with two prints, titled Rock Collection and A Loving Embrace. Lipovsky describes the duo of prints as “a small doodle and that doodle dismantled.” The two characters in each other’s arms in A Loving Embrace become camouflaged by a bright pink gradient in the shapes of rocks in Rock Collection. The prints are simultaneously classic and contemporary, refined and flashy, and sophisticated and fun.
Art Where You Are will run through August 31stat 8 pm. You can view the art up for auction here.
Art Where You Are is presented by Bartlett Wealth Management.
Thank you to all the below sponsors who have made Art Where You Are possible.
Rosemary and Mark Schlachter
Ron Bates and Randy Lasley
2020 AWYA Poster Set Sponsors:
Emersion Design & Jim Cheng
David and Gale Beckett
James L. and Linda F. Miller
Peggy and David Cave
Diane and Scott Durban
Alice Fegelman and Leo Munick
Jens Rosenkrantz and M. Katherine Hurley