Cornell’s Artistic Window: Highlights from the Collection

From Picasso to Piranesi, Cassatt to Cunningham, the Johnson Museum’s Highlights from the Collection: 45 Years at the Johnson showcases a wide variety of art. The scope is immense in both historical and geographical breadth. Upon entering the exhibition, I found myself face-to-face with a cow with its head turned to the side, eyeing some distant pastoral horizon as though musing over the kinds of deep insights only cows are sensible of. Its front legs are posed as though aware of an audience — Constant Troyon’s 19th century bovine scene is at once striking and peaceful, unique and unobtrusive. Past the cow is a row of medieval Asian art where a bronze 12th century Ganesha is adjacent to a 15th century Burmese tile depicting two elephant-headed warriors.

How We Roll: Printing at the Johnson

Minna Resnick is a local artist who has been printmaking and drawing for over 30 years. She was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1980, one of many other honors she has received throughout her career. Her work is currently displayed at more than 50 public and private collections, both nationally and abroad. She has taught and lectured at many colleges across the nation, and was even an art instructor at Cornell for a few semesters.

Infinite Intricacies: Digging Deeper

At first glace, Merrill Shatzman’s work seems to convey some sort of message, carrying traces of symbols and patterns that appear to be jumping off the page, just waiting to be decoded. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes clear that any message she attempts to convey is infinitely multi-faceted, as increasingly more layers of etchings and connections reveal themselves. In a statement, she says her work “… questions and examines the ‘universal language’ created by signs, symbols and pre-imagined images … us[ing] surroundings as both an idea and an artifact.” She describes her muse as graphic communication, markings and forms that have the ability to convey meanings through simple rearrangements and displacements of lines and curves.

Fine Art Around Town

Eyes of the Flaneuse: Women Photographers of New York City
Johnson Museum of Art
Thursday Mar. 12, 5:15 p.m.
In conclusion of the Johnson’s exhibit “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History,” Prof. Mary Woods, a professor from the College of Architecture, Art and Planning will be speaking about a series of female photographers from the early 20th century. Woods’ brings a critical eye towards the stereotypical understanding of architecture and urbanism through her interest in photography, film and other representations of American culture. Give this timely union of art and feminism a spin; it’s Women’s History Month, after all. — A.L.

Haudenosaunee Project
Ithaca Ink Shop
Mar. 6 – Mar. 27

Ithaca Arts Update: Fancy Femmes

History would have you believe that the rise of women was hard-fought and radical; we remember the hunger strikes of Emmeline Pankhurst and the man-hating manifestos of Valerie Solanas. But before either of them, women were working tactfully through opportunity and ingenuity to establish themselves in the male-dominated art world. A new show of prints at The Johnson Museum, appropriately titled “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History”: Innovative Women Artists on Paper, sheds new light on the little-known legacy of these innovative women artists.

Johnson Exhibit Examines Flirty Japanese Art Form

While collegiate flirting usually consists of recycled Comedy Central jokes and (barely) politically correct comments about our less-than-perfect friends and lovers, the Japanese literati of the Edo period wooed one another with art and poetry. On exhibit this week at the Johnson Museum of Art is Colored in the New Year’s Light, a show featuring Japanese surimono — color wood block prints produced as holiday tokens. Surimono were traditionally commissioned by poetry societies; they were distributed at New Year’s as gifts of love or friendship. Rather than that drunken text message at midnight we’ve all sent and received, the ancient Japanese cognoscenti sent one another delicate images of fish, elegantly clad women and mythical beasts by the ocean side.

Calligraphy Exhibit Explores the Power of Written Words

On a day when Ithaca was putting on its best impression of Seattle, and most Cornell students were returning to campus on (achingly long) bus rides, I was at the Johnson Museum for the second time in a week. My focus was placed solely on the calligraphy exhibit on the bottom floor. Thus, ignoring my natural tendency to run up the steps and check out the sculptures on the museum’s top level, I instead leaped down two sets of stairs to find the Gold Gallery, home of the Art of the Written Word: Calligraphy in Asia exhibit.