Cornell University: ‘Measures and Meaning’ exhibition features AAP alums, faculty

Past, present and future are contemplated in “Measures and Meaning,” a College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP) exhibition featuring work by alumni and faculty from the departments of Architecture and Art, which respectively are celebrating their 150th and 100th anniversaries.

Curator Sean Anderson, B.Arch./B.S. ’96, associate professor of architecture, selected contemporary pieces by 18 artists and architects whose views of the built environment defy temporal or disciplinary boundaries.

Louise Lawler, “The Princess, Now the Queen” (2005).
On display from June 6 through Sept. 2 in four AAP galleries, the Milstein Hall stairwell and Sibley Hall lawn, the exhibition reflects transformations over time not through a retrospective, Anderson said, but through works that simultaneously respond to the past and imagine new meanings.

“Measures and Meaning” also strives to embody the Cornell ethos, he said, by presenting a more inclusive story about AAP’s leadership in discussions shaping the built environment and artistic practices.

“Each of the works in the exhibition challenges and embodies the narrative of who and what makes art and architecture today, and how that work extends the mission of the college,” said Anderson, a former curator at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

For example, a digital collage by Olalekan Jeyifous, B.Arch. ’99, transforms a photograph of a Brooklyn streetscape into forms and structures that feel at once familiar and futuristic, Anderson said. The scene might depict a possible future or a forgotten past, he said, reflecting work rooted in critical observation of periods when communities of color have been ignored or suppressed.

“His work explores that tension,” Anderson said. “But at the same time, there’s an immersive beauty to them. You want to be there, you want to know more about them.”

A set of images by Sekou Cooke, B.Arch. ’99, explores the histories of public housing communities in Syracuse that were dismantled to make way for an interstate highway. An assemblage of photographs by Jolene K. Rickard, associate professor in the Department of Art (AAP), and in the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, addresses questions of Indigenous people’s past and present.

The exhibit also includes work by: Nidaa Aboulhosn, visiting critic in the Department of Art; Roberto Bertoia, associate professor of art; Nina Cooke John, B.Arch. ’95; Carol Diamond, B.F.A. ’82; Donald Greenberg ’55, the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Computer Graphics in the Department of Architecture; Sabrina Haertig Gonzalez, B.F.A. ’22; Jean Locey, professor emerita of art; Leslie Lok, assistant professor of architecture; Farzin Lotfi-Jam, assistant professor of architecture; Erin Miller, M.F.A. ’22; Caroline O’Donnell, the Edgar A. Tafel Professor of Architecture and chair of the Department of Architecture; Greg Page, associate professor emeritus in the Department of Art; Jenny Sabin, associate professor and the Arthur L. and Isabel B. Wiesenberger Professor in Architecture; Andrea Simitch, B.Arch. ’79, professor of architecture and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow; and Amanda Williams, B.Arch. ’97.

In conjunction with “Measures and Meaning,” the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art has opened an exhibition featuring works from the museum’s permanent collection by Alan Saret, B.Arch. ’66, Gordon Matta-Clark, B.Arch. ’68, and Louise Lawler, B.F.A. ’69. “From the Collection: Three Alumni Artists,” curated by Andrea Inselmann, the museum’s curator of modern and contemporary art, runs through Aug. 21 in the Gold Gallery.