CFAM Announces Winter 2021 Exhibitions

January 30, 2021

By Office of Marketing

Rania Matar, (Lebanese American, b. 1964), Mia and Jun, Allston, Massachusetts, 2020, Archival Pigment Prints on Baryta Paper,
Rania Matar, (Lebanese American, b. 1964), Mia and Jun, Allston, Massachusetts, 2020, Archival Pigment Prints on Baryta Paper,Photo by Rania Matar.

The Cornell Fine Arts Museum unveils six exhibitions for its winter season, which opens February 2, bringing together themes of the historical and contemporary.

The Cornell Fine Arts Museum is pleased to announce its Winter 2021 season, which includes exhibitions and programs bringing together the historical and the contemporary. This season's offerings provide opportunities for reflection about the events of the past year and invite visitors to explore how artists of our time—as well as those who lived decades or centuries ago—address poignant issues in their work. From pandemics to social justice, the exhibitions at CFAM underscore the enduring power of art.

Rania Matar: On Either Side of the Window, Portraits During COVID-19

This exhibition of work by Lebanese American photographer Rania Matar brings together colorful photographs that capture individuals and families during quarantine. Matar invited members of her community and adjacent areas in Massachusetts to pose for her while using a window or door as a frame. Matar captured each carefully composed portrait, documenting the sitter's experience of the new relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces. These works encourage the viewer to reflect on how we relate to each other.

After Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen, Germany, 1577-Antwerp, Belgium, 1640), Saint Gregory the Great with Saints Papias, Marurus, Domitilla, and Nereus, ca. 1607, Black and red chalk on Swiss paper
After Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen, Germany, 1577-Antwerp, Belgium, 1640), Saint Gregory the Great with Saints Papias, Marurus, Domitilla, and Nereus, ca. 1607, Black and red chalk on Swiss paper.Photo by Collection of John L. Mica.

Drawing Connections: Inside the Minds of Italian Masters, A Selection from the John Mica Collection

This season CFAM shows for the first time a selection of drawings by Italian Masters from the 16th to the 19th centuries that explore a wide range of subject matter and regional schools. Guest curated by art history professor Kimberly Dennis and students in her Museum Studies Practicum, this exhibition features secular and religious subjects as well as figure studies and architectural and landscape drawings by renowned painters, including Luca Cambiaso, Agostino Carracci, and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.

Ry Nikonova, Mail art to John Held Jr., 1988, John Held papers relating to Mail Art
Ry Nikonova, Mail art to John Held Jr., 1988, John Held papers relating to Mail Art.Photo by Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Pushing the Envelope: Mail Art from the Archives of American Art

This exhibition includes works by a variety of artists active in the second half of the 20th century who looked to the postal system as an alternative means of producing, distributing, and receiving art. Mail art (alternatively called "correspondence art" or "postal art") emerged as a form of artistic practice in which an international network of participants use mail to make art and share it with others. With letters, postcards, and packages—as well as material that tested the limits of what can be posted—mail artists circumvent traditional elite modes of display and distribution, such as museums and commercial galleries, in favor of the more accessible space of the modern post.

Shirin Neshat (American, Iranian, b. 1957), In Deference, 2018, Dye-sublimination on aluminum, 25 9/16 x 40 in., The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond, 2018.1.23.
Shirin Neshat (American, Iranian, b. 1957), In Deference, 2018, Dye-sublimination on aluminum, 25 9/16 x 40 in., The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond, 2018.1.23.Photo by Shirin Neshat.

ReOrienting the Gaze

Inscribed scrolls, intricate architecture, and an iconic portrait come together in ReOrienting the Gaze. Drawn entirely from CFAM’s extensive collection, this exhibition interrogates and deconstructs examples of Orientalism in Western art.

Curated by CFAM's former Fred W. Hicks Curatorial Fellow and art history major Morgan Snoap ’20, this exhibition seeks to challenge Western preconceptions of the Middle East and North Africa by elevating the voices of contemporary artists who examine past and present echoes of Orientalist thought.

Andrea Bowers (American, b. 1965), Community or Chaos, 2017, Aluminum, cardboard, paint and neon, 37 x 48 x 7 in., The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond, 2017.6.28.
Andrea Bowers (American, b. 1965), Community or Chaos, 2017, Aluminum, cardboard, paint and neon, 37 x 48 x 7 in., The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond, 2017.6.28.Photo by Andrea Bowers and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York..

Art Encounters: Community or Chaos

Amid recent worldwide protests against racial discrimination and police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis this past May, the works on view in this exhibition take on renewed meaning and urgency.

In the past decade we have seen violence against African American men and women; the killings of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, demand that as a society we re-examine race relations. This moment asks us to reconsider our role in society, acknowledge the hard work we need to do, and do it together, to effect just and positive change.

Wael Shawky, (Egyptian, b.1971), The Gulf Project Camp: Drawing #1, 2019, Graphite, ink, oil mixed media on cotton paper, The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond. 2019.2.11.
Wael Shawky, (Egyptian, b.1971), The Gulf Project Camp: Drawing #1, 2019, Graphite, ink, oil mixed media on cotton paper, The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond. 2019.2.11.Photo by Wael Shawky.

The Place as Metaphor: Collection Conversations

This edition of The Place as Metaphor: Collection Conversations brings together a selection of works from the museum's collection that create a dialogue about notions of place—whether literal, imagined, or a combination of both. The works included range from antiquity to the present day, with special emphasis on diverse media, periods, and cultures. Several new acquisitions are on view for the first time. New works by Egyptian-born artist Wael Shawky trace the influence of fantastical storytelling in the Arab world and include a drawing of the Meccan landscape morphing into gargantuan mythical creatures.

Related Programming

All events can be streamed virtually via CFAM’s Facebook Live.

Tuesday, February 9 | 6 p.m.
LECTURE: Pushing the Envelope: Understanding Mail Art through Engagement with Archives

ARTE Y CAFÉ CON LA CURADORA (Art and Coffee with the Curator) | 6 p.m.

Tuesday, February 16: Pushing the Envelope: Mail Art from the Archives of American Art

Friday, February 19 | 11 a.m.
TOUR: Rania Matar: On Either Side of the Window, Portraits During COVID-19

Tuesday, March 2 | 6 p.m.
LECTURE: ReOrienting the Gaze

ARTE Y CAFÉ CON LA CURADORA (Art and Coffee with the Curator) | 6 p.m.

Tuesday, March 9: ReOrienting the Gaze

Friday, March 12 | 11 a.m.
TOUR: Pushing the Envelope: Mail Art from the Archives of American Art

Friday, March 19 | 11 a.m.
TOUR: Drawing Connections: Inside the Minds of Italian Masters, A Selection from the John Mica Collection

Tuesday, March 23 | 6 p.m.
ARTIST TALK: On Either Side of the Window: Portraits During COVID-19

ARTE Y CAFÉ CON LA CURADORA (Art and Coffee with the Curator) | 6 p.m.

Tuesday, April 6: Rania Matar: On Either Side of the Window, Portraits During COVID-19

Tuesday, April 13 | 12:30 –1:30 p.m.
STUDENT TALKS: 2021 Senior Studio Art Exhibition

Friday, April 16 | 11 a.m.
TOUR: Art Encounters: Community or Chaos

Tuesday, April 20 and 27 | 6 p.m.
2021 Faculty Exhibition Talks

Friday, April 30 | 11 a.m.
TOUR: ReOrienting the Gaze

ARTE Y CAFÉ CON LA CURADORA (Art and Coffee with the Curator) | 6 p.m.

Tuesday, May 4: The Place as Metaphor: Collection Conversations

Friday, May 14 | 11 a.m.
TOUR: The Place as Metaphor: Collection Conversations