Focused on social justice and civic engagement, five new fall exhibitions at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum open on September 18.
Kota Ezawa, (Cologne, Germany, b. 1969), National Anthem (Washington Redskins), 2019, Duratrans transparency and lightbox, 26 x 47 in., The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond, 2019.2.20. Image courtesy of the artist and Howard Yezerski Gallery.
The Cornell Fine Arts Museum is excited to announce its fall season, a collection of five timely exibitions that focus on social justice, civic engagement, and activism. A variety of related programming will take place alongside the exhibitions in which current events will be examined in their historical context.
Andrea Bowers, Community or Chaos, 2017, Aluminum, cardboard, paint and neon, The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond, 2017.6.28. Image courtesy of the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery New York.
Amid recent worldwide protests against racial discrimination and police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis this past May, the works on view in this exhibition take on renewed meaning and urgency.
In the past decade we have seen violence against African American men and women; the killings of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, demand that as a society we reexamine race relations. This moment asks us to reconsider our role in society, acknowledge the hard work we need to do, and do it together, to effect just and positive change.
Marcus Jansen, Ε Pluribus Unum, 2008, Oil enamel, mixed media and collage on canvas, Lent by Teddi and Scott Dolph, 2020 Marcus Antonius Jansen, Artists Rights Society, New York.
The Cornell Fine Arts Museum is pleased to present the first solo museum exhibition of Marcus Jansen in the U.S. Based in Bronx, New York, and Fort Myers, Florida, Jansen creates powerful, monumental canvases that address poignant social and political themes. Using an arresting visual language characterized by colorful and expressive brushwork, and references to contemporary and historical issues, Jansen invites viewers to reflect on the human condition.
Dynamic and gestural, these images are visual metaphors for the chaotic landscapes Jansen encountered as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces while deployed in conflict zones during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, among others. For him, the power of art is personal: “Painting was always a visual, mental, and intellectual combat to me, an exercise that could lead to closure.”
Zanele Muholi, Sebenzile (Parktown), 2016, Gelatin silver, The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond, 2017.6.33. Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York and Stevenson Gallery.
What do women want? Political, economic, social, and cultural equality. This year, 2020, marks the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States and the amendment that granted white women the right to vote. Though an extremely significant moment in history, activists around the world have since worked to enact social reform and equal opportunity for all.
A range of women’s movements evolved over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries to unveil, confront, and challenge the private and public faces of sexism. The art world continually echoes and shapes the progression of these movements through limitless artistic expression.
This exhibition, drawn from CFAM’s Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, features self-portraits by artists Carrie Mae Weems, Shirin Neshat, Zanele Muholi, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, and Dana Hoey. These artists engage deeply with history and the present to disrupt the established gender norms and construct new definitions of women in society.
Unknown Pre-Columbian, Standing male figure, 200 BCE-400 CE, Terracotta and pigment, Gift of Mr. Bernard Bennett 1978.15.
After a devastating fire destroyed the original Rollins Museum in 1909, the College made a broad public appeal via letters, posters, and newspaper ads for donations of “museum-quality” specimens in hopes that the museum could eventually be re-established. Individuals and institutions across the country responded generously, and by 1920 almost 10,000 objects of cultural, historical, and natural significance had been received. These donations would form the nucleus of what came to be called the Thomas R. Baker Museum of Natural History, a campus and community fixture until its closure in the 1970s.
Storied Objects: Relics and Tales of the Thomas R. Baker Museum relates the story of the eclectic Baker Museum collection by highlighting the life histories of a selection of its cultural artifacts, which collectively span five continents and more than 5,000 years of the human past.
The exhibition is the culmination of a collaboration between anthropology professor Zack Gilmore, art history professor Robert Vander Poppen, and students from their Public Archaeology, Museum Studies Practicum, and Digital Methods in Archaeology courses.
Hellen van Meene, (Dutch, b. 1972), Greta Thunberg, Stockholm, 2019, Chromogenic print, 15 3/8 x 15 3/8 in., The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond, 2019.2.21. Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson, New York.
Ideas of place can range from a physical location or imagined setting to a state of mind or a constructed memory of an experience. Visual representations of place invite reflections on identity, faith, and daily life. How do our surroundings affect the way we see ourselves? Are we defined by the land we inhabit? How do politics or religion shape our ideas of certain parts of the world?
Featuring a selection of collection favorites and new acquisitions, this exhibition examines the multiple meanings of place through diverse representations across time and region. Two new works that address environmental concerns—Mel Chin’s L’artique Est Paris, a video piece from 2015, and Hellen van Meene’s photographic portrait of climate change activist, Greta Thunberg (2019)—encourage viewers to reflect on their interactions with the natural world.
Wednesday, September 9 | 12 p.m.
Virtual Town Hall
The Carceral Landscape: Art as Activism
Police brutality and mass incarceration are among the most crucial legal and social issues of our time and their study illuminates the ways in which “We the People” conceive of ourselves and our societal responsibilities. Art is an important vehicle for civic participation, and this town hall initiates a dialog on art and mass incarceration between Omari Booker, an artist participating in the upcoming NEA-sponsored exhibition, Illuminating the Darkness: Our Carceral Landscape, at the UCF Art Gallery, Gisela Carbonell, curator at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, and Keri Watson, associate professor of art history at UCF. This town hall is a UCF and Rollins College collaboration in partnership with For Freedoms.
Tuesday, September 22 | 6 p.m.
Arte y Café con la Curadora: Art Encounters: Community or Chaos
Tuesday, September 29 | 6 p.m.
Artist Talk: Antonio Martorell: Puerto Rican Art Here and There During the Pandemic
Tuesday, October 6 | 6 p.m.
Exhibition Tour: Storied Objects: Relics and Tales from the Thomas R. Baker Museum
Friday, October 9 | 11 a.m. & Tuesday, December 1 | 6 p.m.
Marcus Jansen: Examine and Report
Tuesday, October 13 | 6 p.m.
Arte y Café con la Curadora: What Women Want
Tuesday, October 27 | 6 p.m.
Artist Talk: Marcus Jansen: E Pluribus Unum
Friday, November 6 | 11 a.m.
Exhibition Tour: Art Encounters: Community or Chaos
Tuesday, November 17 | 6 p.m.
Arte y Café con la Curadora: Marcus Jansen: E Pluribus Unum
Friday, November 20 | 11 a.m.
Exhibition Tour: What Women Want
Friday, December 4 | 11 a.m.
Exhibtion Tour: Marcus Jansen: E Pluribus Unum