Over the thirty plus years, I have been visiting the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, I have appreciated many excellent exhibits and events. Somewhere along the way, the museum collection has become increasingly trivial and superficial. My impression is that this devolution began with the move to its new building (more about that later). Many of the exhibits are clever exercises in technique rather than meaningful and affecting works of art. They ultimately left an empty feeling. Once you've seen them, they're easy to forget. Maybe that's the inevitable direction of contemporary art...disposable. The current exhibit on the music video will probably attract new visitors but it seemed like something you could have downloaded and played at home on a big screen TV.
I'm not in love with the building. It cost a fortune. The interior is cold and empty and warehouse-like with a staircase that is awkward to use. We visited shortly after the museum moved to this much-touted building. We noticed that already the drywall was scuffed and dented and that the cheap carpeting was coming unglued and fraying.
My rating is really a 2.5. The 3 is for good memories of exhibits past and the hope that the museum will seek exhibits with greater depth and meaning. The museum staff we encountered were gracious and very helpful.
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