“Disarming Images”

Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati

The purpose of this exhibition, subtitled “Art for Nuclear Disarmament,” is to show that artists as significant and diverse as Laurie Anderson, Robert Arneson, John Baldessari, Janet Cooling, Mary Frank, Red Grooms, Hans Haacke, Robert Longo, Robert Morris, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, and William Wiley have not only been thinking about the unthinkable, but incorporating that concern into their work. Nina Felshin, the show’s curator, found that several of the artists from whom she offered to commission nuclear- related pieces had already done works they thought would be appropriate, and in her catalogue essay she contends that in all cases, “either directly or indirectly,” the nuclear issue is a part of “the ongoing aesthetic concerns of the artist.” It’s not surprising that this body of work exists—after all, our national leaders are actually talking about nuclear war as though

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