In this period of self-quarantine and limited social gatherings, The Sculpture Center offers safe, outdoor, tangible art experiences in three cities in Ohio: Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. Each tour, curated by artists and scholars of note, Art in Our Midst, brings attention to outdoor public sculpture in our communities and cities. We hope to provide recognition of the role large scale art plays in public spaces, and how the combined visions of artists, city planners, private institutions, and residents can enlighten our sense of place in our own backyards.
The downtown core of the city of Cincinnati is defined in part by its magnificent late 19th century architecture, a result of its golden age of industry and the arts between the American Civil War and WWI. On the other hand, the campus architecture of University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University is decidedly contemporary, designed by luminaries such as Frank Gehry and Bernard Tschumi.
This drivable sculpture tour focuses on works of outdoor contemporary sculpture that benefit from the architecture that surrounds them. For example, the sharp angles of Albert Paley’s Progression are in conversation with the dynamic lines of the Perkins and Will designed structure behind it. Each of the three art museums in Cincinnati are represented by sculptures on the tour: Jim Dine’s Pinocchio welcomes visitors to the Cincinnati Art Museum, Nam June Paik’s Metrobot points the way to the Contemporary Arts Center, and Patrick Doherty’s Far Flung defines the front lawn of the Taft Museum of Art. Each of the sculptures is a formative one for its artist, representative of the artist’s overarching oeuvre. On this tour architecture and art together create a memorable aesthetic experience.