Exhibit | Keny Galleries

State of graces

Survey celebrates two centuries of Ohio talent

Sunday,  October 19, 2008

By Jacqueline Hall
For The Columbus Dispatch

"A Cultural Legacy: 200 Years of Ohio Art" explores the depth, richness and diversity of the state's artistic heritage. 

The impressive exhibit of more than 100 works in Keny Galleries reveals a remarkable variety of mediums as well as a range of aesthetic styles from the early 19th century to the present.

Gallery co-owners James and Timothy Keny organized and curated the show, with loans from most of the state's major art institutions and especially from the Ohio Historical Society, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Springfield Museum of Art, the Zanesville Art Center and private collectors. They have assembled an ambitious and impressive overview of two centuries of Ohio-produced art.

Paintings, which dominate, illustrate the artists' familiarity with the evolution of mainstream aesthetic movements in Paris, London, New York and other art capitals. Many of the Ohioans are nationally recognized: George Bellows, Charles Burchfield, Robert Henri and Roy Lichtenstein, for example.

Works by lesser-known artists nevertheless can be full of charm, as with the humorous portrait Room for Improvement by mid-19th-century social and political commentator David Gilmour Blythe.

Giving unique personal twists to mainstream aesthetics are the works The Mountain Preacher by James Hopkins and Blue Dairy Cart by William Sommer.

Out of the mainstream are delicate paintings such as the mid-19th-century Fraktur (School of Department Certificate for Abraham Tschantz) from the Sonnenberg Mennonite community and the bold folk work of William Hawkins.

Ohio artists have also been prolific in printmaking. Examples include Crows in March, a dynamic lithograph by Burchfield, and the lovely woodcut Zinnias and Sweet William by Edna Boies Hopkins.

Photography is well-represented, including the photogravures and vintage platinum prints of the early 1900s by Clarence White and the vintage gelatin silver prints of Ben Shahn, from central Ohio.

Superb pottery comes from Rookwood Pottery of Cincinnati and Weller Pottery of Zanesville -- such as Jacques Sicard's beautiful Vase, with its stunning metallic luster.

Blown-glass works include those by Dominick Labino and Russel Wright.

Exquisite examples of American Indian art are represented by Carved Wooden Effigy Spoon from the eastern Great Lakes, with its delicate little bird at the tip of the handle.

Even furniture can be found -- such as the elegant blue Cupboard (1817), decorated with an inscription in German, from the Society of Separatists of Zoar.

"A Cultural Legacy: 200 Years of Ohio Art" continues through Nov. 10 in Keny Galleries, 300 E. Beck St. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Call 614-464-1228 or visit www.kenygalleries.com.



Crows in March
by Charles Burchfield

Justinian and Theodora
by Dard Hunter

Blue Dairy Cart
by William Sommer

by Jacques Sicard



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