Launching into summer, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum opened their new exhibition, Women and Abstraction.
The exhibition celebrates an art style which is often left unexplored and artists who are not celebrated nearly enough. Women and Abstraction features art across various different mediums. The art is in sculptures, paint, photography and even videos.
The special thing about this exhibition is the artists whose works are featured are exclusively women. The work ranges from the beginning of the Expressionistic era to work completed a few months ago.
One piece is a large series of cardboard flats, with drawings of cubic images that represent the fragility of tenement living. This work was done by Rollins professor, Dana Hargrove. In the same space, dangling in mid-air with two bright lights highlighting its tiny details, is a metal copper sculpture by Ruth Asawa. As Amy Galpin, curator of the museum, expressed that she wanted these images in the same room so that you can appreciate the difference in their size, yet one can also appreciate the similar impacts they have on the viewer’s emotions.
In the midst of all this, you have such captivating works done by the famous artist, Georgia O’Keefe, side-by-side with photographs of erasers hanging from wire. The wide range of colors and images leave you transfixed, even when your eyes aren’t entirely sure what they are seeing.
The work continues in the Alfond Inn where the work sits, greeting visitors with colorful shapes and forms. One painting in particular, by Rosemarie Castoro, features blue and green Y shapes on an orange plane. At first, it seems to just be an interesting pattern. Yet, the more time you spend looking at it, the more details and forms you find. The painting becomes hypnotic, bringing even more light to the already bright and beautiful lobby of the Inn. The Inn also features work unrelated to the exhibit, such as paintings of favorite books of professors at the college, large pop art drawings by Pawel Przewlocki and a stop motion video by William Kentridge.
The work is sometimes colorful and sometimes monotone. Whatever the style may be, the work yearns to recreate an emotion or a mood rather than represent a specific image on canvas. Every time you turn around, a new color and feeling faces you and leaves you staring longer than you realize.
Right next to the main room of Women and Abstraction is the senior showcase which features beautiful work so captivating it only makes sense that such students work be featured right next to the masters of expressionism.
Woman and Abstraction runs until August 2.