Charley Harper Update and Todd Oldham

todd oldham, charlie harper, charles harper, charlie harper prints, charlie harper artist, charley harper, charlie harper prints, charlie harper artist, charley harper, CBS, Charles Harper, Charley Harper, Charlie Harper, Modern Art, Painted Bunting, Todd Oldham

Jack Meanwell. John Nartker. Paul Chidlaw. Charley Harper. They are the ghosts of Cincinnati art past and present as we head into a month of showings of work by late artists.

The Nartker studio is back in business for two days, while Meanwell's studio will be revived for a bit longer. A Chidlaw exhibition has opened and a Harper one is slated for later in the month.

Nartker (1930-1998), a professor of art at the College of Mount St. Joseph for 30 years, was a painter, printmaker and ceramist. His wife, Cecilia, also a ceramist, has kept his studio intact in the basement of their home and will host a two-day Open Studio there.

Ceramic pieces such as candle holders, vases and wall tiles made from original molds and featuring his designs will be sold. Also look for original serigraphs and collagraphs, and giclee reproductions.

Nartker's work was bright, breezy and modernist. He created many large-scale ceramics, but garnered the most attention for an enormous clay chess set.

Meanwhile, Hyde Park gallery owner Mary Ran is now the official art dealer for the Jack Meanwell estate. In that role, she's opening a Meanwell studio at Essex Studios to sell his remaining work.

Meanwell's children inherited his paintings and he was so prolific that Ran says there are at least 3,000.

When Meanwell died in 2005 he was 86 and still painting. Art was his second career and he jumped into it with gusto. His abstracts - many of them landscapes - were expressive, robust and thick with paint.

They're moving the furniture he had in his Ludlow studio to the space to make it feel more like home. It will be open Friday and Saturday as part of the Essex Art Walk. After that, hours are by appointment.

Paul Chidlaw (1900-1989) was as slap-happy with paint as Meanwell and equally enamored with color. Hyde Park's Miller Gallery is now exhibiting a cache of abstract paintings, drawings and prints by him.

He was a studio painter first and foremost. As a young artist, he studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati but bolted town in the 1920s in favor of Europe.

He returned home in 1935. A decade later, he became a fixture at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He taught there from 1946-1963 and the main gallery was named for him until the school's move from Eden Park.

Last year easily could have been called the year of the Harpers. The work of the entire Finneytown family, Charley, Edie and son, Brett, was shown in exhibitions around the area.

Even so, the real focus was on Charley, who died in June at age 84 and was nationally known for his minimalist wildlife paintings, prints and posters. One of his fans is Matt Distel, a former Contemporary Arts Center curator who now co-owns Country Club gallery.

That's where an exhibit of Harper works on paper from 1961-1970 will be shown. It will be heavy on original paintings and illustrations from the "Golden Book of Biology," "The Animal Kingdom," Sohioan Magazine, Ford Times and other publications from the time.

Distel's been working closely with Brett and this is likely to be the first of many shows of Harper originals.

No comments: