August 15, 2007

Art for the centrally isolated at Cornell

"Recent Acquisitions: Contemporary Art," The Herbert F. Johnson Museum Of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Through Septmeber 30.

Arthur Whitman reports at Big Red and Shiny: "To those well-versed in contemporary art, the selection of work in 'Recent Acquisitions' is likely to have a wearisome familiarity. Many or perhaps most of the artists will be familiar. Most of the art seems to fall into into well-worn modes. And (not unusually for such work) much of the art here walks the line between the endearingly offbeat and the gratuitously twee. (The best example of work falling into the latter category is an untitled figure sculpture by Lucky de Bellevue made out of variously hued pipe cleaners and partially supported by a cane.) But of course, the Johnson is not a big city museum. Located in Ithaca, in upstate New York, the local viewer is five, six, or seven hours away from Boston, New York City and nearly every other regional contemporary art enclave. So, the show serves an obvious pedagogical function--an art of today sampler for the 'centrally isolated.' And there are some modest pleasures for us jaded sophisticates too. " Artists include: Beatriz Milhazes, Notice-Forest (Breakfast Street), Diana Cooper, Mark Fox, Russell Crotty, Ellen Gallagher, Kerry James Marshall and Kehinde Wiley, Julie Mehretu, Cecily Brown, Chloe Piene Read more.