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Big Questions in Local Artist's New Exhibit at NKU

Here are artist Cedric Michael Cox’s Big Questions: How do I see outside myself? How do I grow?
 
Gallery-goers can consider the questions – and possible answers – in Architectonic Lyricism: Paintings and Drawings by Cedric Michael Cox, the opening exhibit of Northern Kentucky University’s Gallery season. 
 
Architectonic Lyricism, on view Aug. 18 - Sept. 19, is a 15-year retrospective of Cox’s career featuring early, large-scale abstract drawings from his student days at University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), continuing through an exploration of the urban cityscape and on to recent paintings depicting rhythmic movements in nature – a sunburst seen through a stand of trees, figs dancing in a forest.
 
If you don’t know what “architectonic” is – don’t worry about labels, Cox advises. 
 
“If you see something in my work – it probably means the same thing to me,” he said, even if there are deceptive mathematics involved in his fanciful and intricate ribbons that seem to play music as they flow across a canvas as autumn moonlight or a frolic in a forest.
 
If you’re a regular museum- and gallery-goer, chances are you’re familiar with Cox’s geometrics. His area solo exhibits include Contemporary Arts Center, Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, and the Weston Art Gallery at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.

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At NKU, a particular treat is the expansive gallery space that accommodates large and small works. 
 
You’ll see a definite change in style in 2012, inspired by a gallery talk Cox gave in conjunction with an exhibit of work by American landscape painter George Innes at the Taft Museum of Art. .
 
“He was an artist who interpreted the landscape hundreds of times. He would change brush strokes, format – but the subject matter didn’t change,” Cox said.
 
Cox made a conscious decision to alter his dense style into something “more fluid, more rhythmic, more atmospheric. More concerned with color than form. It’s like I re-
discovered myself.”
 
No matter what the style, Cox's goal is “making what I say universal.” Cox, who lives in Over-the-Rhine, is also a teaching artist and his art is always about “building bridges.” He wants his work to speak to people who wouldn’t normally be comfortable in a gallery setting and “invite them in.” Much of the art on view will be shown with Cox’s notes and even images of his inspirations. 
 
Cox asks himself another Big Question: Where am I going right now? He doesn’t have an absolute answer but, “I have lists of plans and ideas.”
 
And just because he’s exploring in a new direction doesn’t mean he is abandoning the path that brought him here. The next discovery, Cox ponders, could be to return to form over color. 
 
On view in the Third Floor Gallery: X Marks the Spot: Work by Melinda Rosenbergwhich focuses on the ‘X’ form created from recycled wood with painted pigment. 
 
Rosenberg recently received an “Award of Excellence” at the Best of 2014 at the Ohio Craft Museum. 
 
A free artist reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 4 from 5 – 7 p.m. Parking for guests is available in the Welcome Center Garage. 
 
Architectonic Lyricism, through Sept. 19, Main Gallery, Fine Arts Center, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights. Gallery hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays. Free. 
 
For more information: Click Here
 
Written by Jackie Demaline, Arts Contributor
 
Photos provided