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Graphic Content

Contemporary and Modern/Art and Design

December 08, 2006 through February 11, 2008

Graphic Content

artist(s)Ellen Berkenblit, Ralston Crawford, Amy Granat, Malcolm Grear, Charles Harper, Edith McKee Harper, William Leonard, Noel Martin, Coletta Martin, Preston McClanahan, III, Ryan McGinness, Dave Miko, Matt Mullican, Maybelle Richardson-Stamper, Margaret Wenstrup

This unique series of exhibitions combines historical and contemporary perspectives on art and design in a constantly evolving gallery setting. The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation and Harriet Rauh Family Galleries will house a rotating display of objects and installations, an extensive Resource Lounge designed to provide support material for all of the CAC's programming, and a series of accompanying lectures and presentations designed to complement the exhibitions.

Mid-century modern design and painting with an emphasis on Cincinnati-based artists will be paired with contemporary works and installations by artists several generations younger. These pairings explore the blurred distinction between artist and designer, suggesting that such a designation has been called into question since at least mid-century. In addition, the selections highlight the unique community of artists working in Cincinnati in the 1940s and 50s. The CAC's own history is fundamentally connected to this group of artists, among them Ralston Crawford, Noel Martin, William A. Leonard, Charley Harper, and Edie Harper. Not only did these artists exhibit their work with the young museum (then called the Modern Art Society) but they also worked as designers and administrators, shaping the structure and graphic identity of the organization through logo design, printed material and catalogues. Recent generations of artists have begun looking back to the territory that was mined by the designers, artists, and modernists of the 20th Century. Graphic Content presents new installations paired with works from the mid-20th Century to highlight the relevance of looking back to the history of artistic and commercial production generated from this region.

The installation and graphic identity of this exhibition will be designed by Todd Oldham. Oldham, one of the most influential and prolific designers working today, frequently branches into areas beyond the traditional scope of contemporary design. His work bridges gaps between design theory and practical applications. With many of his projects Oldham has quoted from the language of modernity, providing new perspectives on mid-century artists and designers. Todd Oldham / Studio is currently in production on a forthcoming series of books with Charley and Edie Harper.

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