FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Sandy Todd 407.646.1595 or firstname.lastname@example.org
March 13, 2012
Winter Park, FL – The Cornell Fine Arts Museum is pleased to announce its exhibitions for the Spring 2012 season. British & Modern: Art by the Bloomsbury Group and Their Contemporaries; Dust and Shade: Drawings by Charles Ritchie; Likewise, as technical experts, but not (at all) by way of culture; and Sam Gilliam: Contingencies opened to the public on Saturday, January 28, 2012.
British & Modern: Art by the Bloomsbury Group and Their Contemporaries showcases paintings and drawings from the Cornell’s Collection by Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, and others working in the United Kingdom in the early twentieth century. “On or about December 1910,” Virginia Woolf has famously written, “human character changed.” Woolf, along with her sister Vanessa Bell, and others like Duncan Grant and Roger Fry, formed the core of what would become known as the “Bloomsbury Group,” a loose confederation of early twentieth-century writers and artists, affiliated more by attitude and approach than by any recognizable, unified style. The works in this exhibition, by members of the Bloomsbury Group and other modernists working in the United Kingdom, evidence the wide range of visual responses to contemporary life after the temporal tipping point that Woolf so presently announced.
Through outright gift, posthumous bequest, or provision of funds for purchase, Kenneth Curry Ph.D. ’32 generously bestowed all of the works in this exhibition to the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. This body of material—the result of Dr. Curry’s fascination with artists who were writers and writers who were also artists—now constitutes a real strength of the museum’s growing collection. Rollins College is grateful for the vision and munificence of this magnanimous benefactor.
Dust and Shade: Drawings by Charles Ritchie reflects more than twenty-five years of artist Charles Ritchie’s recordings of a series of sites in and around his suburban home. His drawings reflect passing time through changing motifs and through dates and dreams inscribed upon his works. Lifelong projects underpin the artist’s program; a series of journals begun in 1977 now numbers 136 books; a drawing started in 1986, Landscape: Dust and Shade, continues. The artist has said, “After years of scrutiny, my subjects have continually accrued greater meaning and mystery for me. As I evolve with them, I aim to come to deeper levels of awareness and to more fully interpret the magic and mystery behind the surface of things.”
Charles Ritchie, whose works are in the collections of The Baltimore Museum of Art, Harvard Art Museums, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and Yale University Art Gallery, was awarded a grant in 2005 from the Franz and Virginia Bader Fund and is the five-time recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council’s Individual Artist Award. In the fall of 1999 the artist was given a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. In spring 2013 he will travel to Ireland on a Ballinglen Artists Fellowship. The Silver Spring, Maryland artist is represented by Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, and BravinLee programs, New York.
Likewise, as technical experts, but not (at all) by way of culture, an installation by contemporary artist Leigh-Ann Pahapill, represents a project that arose from conversations among members of Rollins College’s Academic Initiatives Committee, a consultative body comprised of museum staff and interested faculty members from assorted departments and programs, from archaeology to mathematics. The on-site installation is the first in what is envisioned as an ongoing series of such synergistic collaborations across disciplines.
“With her current installation…Pahapill takes us literally inside a picture and a place. Pahapill’s sculptural objects each reference visual artifacts from the Bertolt Brecht archive, returning us, via their photographic reproductions, back to this place—the Brechtian stage—where spectacle and spectator were under perceptual negotiation…The experience of Pahapill’s installation, then, facilitates a process of recognition for each spectator, coming to an awareness of the aesthetic responses historically conditioned by exhibition spaces. Pahapill’s sculptures literally and metaphorically push out against the boundaries of the gallery space. From wall to wall, between floor and ceiling, the artist explores the limits of this space, her objects framed between the repeated pattern of track lighting and a thin brown carpet” (Lisa Zaher, Dept. of Art History, University of Chicago).
“More often than not, Pahapill’s work appears as a kind of stage or scene, a set-up for the action of the spectator, objects, images and discursive references. Here, the scene is set with a line from Walter Benjamin’s Understanding Brecht:…not at all by way of culture…” …Brecht’s avant-garde innovation was his effort to make the individual elements of the theater more separate from each other, to stand out or apart from each other…[Pahapill is] an artist very aware of what she’s doing as she burrows through the indeterminate layers of objects that constitute our reality” (David Court, Independent Artist and Writer, New York City, NY).
This exhibition was made possible with the support of the MacDowell Colony, the Claire Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation, the Toronto Arts Council, and The Canada Council for the Arts and is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Rollins College’s Thomas P. Johnson Distinguished Visiting Scholars and Artists Fund subsidized the costs associated with Leigh-Ann Pahapill’s several campus visits.
Sam Gilliam: Contingencies represents the culminating research project by Cornell Fine Arts Museum’s 2011-12 Fred Hicks III Fellow, Ana Engels (’12). One of the most renowned African American artists working today, “a dynamic element sets the work of Sam Gilliam apart from other contemporary art: contingency. It can be seen in how the artist applies the paint as well as how the art is displayed on the wall. Gilliam has always embraced experimentation, taking risks and breaking with tradition. Risk taking embodies the uncertainty of contingency, an open-ended situation dependent upon chance or factors unknown. In trying to reimagine painting, Gilliam frequently adopts investigational processes that rely on contingency. Gilliam states, “My formula has always been one of change…. It’s really a matter of confidence and of gut instincts. I’ll take a chance on losing everything in order to gain something else. As a result, I usually gain, because all of my experiences and methods are cumulative.” The art exhibited in Sam Gilliam: Contingencies is a selection of pieces that evidence how contingency has played a significant role in Gilliam’s oeuvre” (Ana Engels, ’12).
Held over by popular demand from the Fall 2011 season, A Room of One’s Own: Women Artists from the Permanent Collection features two dozen works of women artists from the Cornell Fine Arts Museum’s collection. This show provides an overview of the important art historical contributions women have made, featuring paintings by Grandma Moses and Jennie Augusta Brownscombe; prints by Georgia O'Keeffe, Faith Ringgold, and Nancy Graves; and sculpture by Anna H. Huntington among other pieces from the collection.
GENERAL MUSEUM INFORMATION
Located on the campus of Rollins College near downtown Winter Park, the Cornell’s gallery hours are: Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m. Admission is $5.00 for adults. Free to CFAM members, Rollins College faculty, staff, and all students with current ID, and children. For additional information, please call 407.646.2526 or visit cfam.rollins.edu
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