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.
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.
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.