Sunday, February 2, 2003

Artist Ay-O sees rainbows in a different light



By Melissa Knific
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Happy Groundhog Day!

When we went to press we didn't know whether the groundhog would see its shadow, but we're pretty sure winter will last six more weeks.

Don't worry. We found a way to brighten your day no matter what that groundhog sees.

Rainbow-inspired art by the Japanese print-maker Ay-O should do it.

Beginning Feb. 13, you can see Ay-O's bright and colorful works at Cincinnati Art Museum. Fourteen of his pieces will be on display until March 23.

"We wanted something colorful for the dead of winter," curator Kristin Spangenberg says. "And you can't get any more colorful than this."

Known as the legendary "Rainbow Man," the artist has been creating his signature artwork for almost 40 years.

Ay-O uses a screen print process to create the bands of color. His work encompasses a variety of subjects, from cavorting animals to metaphysical shapes.

Inspiration for his work began in 1964 when he noticed the spectrum of colors in a drop of water and began experimenting with its concentric lines.

According to Spangenberg, the most fascinating piece on display is "White Rainbow," where Ay-O has taken a spectrum of colors and cut an arc through a sheet to create the effect.

Other works in the exhibit include "Wright Brothers," "Rainbow Mt. Fuji"and "Peaceable Kingdom."

"This show will really brighten up everyone's attitudes," Spangenberg says.

Ay-O's prints are part of the CAM's Howard and Caroline Porter Collection. The exhibition is included in the museum's general admission ($5, $4 seniors). Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday (till 9 on Wednesday) 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.

E-mail mknific@enquirer.com




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