Fine Print: Etchings at the Johnson

What do a 17th-Century Dutch printmaker, the Edict of Nantes and two present-day Ithacans have in common? Quite a bit, actually. So do the political commentary and a urine sample from Louis XIV. Their unifying thread is on display at the Johnson Art Museum’s new exhibition, Romeyn de Hooghe: Virtuoso Etcher, a show of de Hooghe’s etchings in subject matters ranging from the commercial to the political.

Masterpieces and Missteps

The artists of the Bloomsbury circle were at once radical and conservative, intellectually adventurous and promiscuously imitative. The group centered around the writers and thinkers Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes and Lytton Strachey, who dominated English high society around the early years of the last century; the circle sometimes included other luminaries such as T.S. Eliot, Bertrand Russell and E.M. Forster. A current exhibit at the Johnson Museum, A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections, features the often overlooked visual artists who informed the group’s development as a hotbed of sexual and ideological libertinage as well as the bedrock of upper-crust cultural strictures.

Arts in the Ith

So. You’re in Ithaca. You’re in college. What to do now?
When prelims, lab reports and snow aren’t getting you down (read: seldom), there’s a lively arts scene right outside your doorstep to keep you sane. From barn-burning bashes in Barton to art appreciation in the Johnson, there’s something for every taste. Cornell may be known for its cows and gorges, but it’s no slouch when it comes to music, theater, film and fine art.

Foreign Affairs: Photography Abroad

Currently on view at the Johnson Museum, Daniel Nadler’s ’54 photographs of Theyyam Rituals of Kerala offer an extraordinary view into the local religious traditions of the south Indian state of Kerala. These performances, in which a male performer is used a vehicle for the spirit of a god, were captured by chance by Nadler while he and his wife travelled through India in 2004.

Conception, Creation and Contemplation

Is art material or idea, product or process?
This year’s history of arts majors’ exhibit in the Johnson Museum, Unfolding Process: Conceptual and Material Practice on Paper, showcases artwork that leaves a residue of the conceptual labor of creation inscribed on the body of the work itself. The exhibit suggests that the value of an artwork resides in its ability to function as a conduit between the artist’s conceptual and technical struggles and the viewer’s labors to achieve an aesthetic experience, whatever that may be.

East Meets West, Past Meets Present

When considering artwork from Japan, one often thinks of the traditional ukiyo-e woodblock prints that made their way to Europe to inspire the Impressionists. After Hiroshige: A Century of Modern Japanese Prints demonstrates the growing influence in the other direction during the twentieth century — that of West on East. This exhibition at the Johnson Museum emphasizes the push during the Meiji period in Japan for modernization and industrialization, a move reflected in the shin hanga (new prints) and sosaku hanga (creative prints) that became popular during this time. With this new modernization, artists reflected a nostalgia for the past, as well as the growing influence of the West.

Branching Out To Mr. Casanova

Hello Cornellians — the few of you who are still lingering in the corners of campus, clutching Daily Suns and awaiting the burning of the Dragon while all your friends fly for warmer climes. I hope you are doing well. And that you are being artsy. I had quite an artsy week this week. First, I got all my music back! External hard drive: working. 70 gigs: accessible once more. Then on Sunday, I spent two hours wandering the Johnson Museum, from where I headed directly to Barnes Hall for the iO String Quartet concert (the seven or eight of you who regularly read the Arts section may have seen my review on Monday — the concert was amazing!). I also saw one of the best worst movies I’ve ever seen. And I got into some awesome new music.