Cornell M.F.A. Group Exhibition 2017: Odd Year

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The Cornell University Department of Art is pleased to present Odd Year, the 2017 M.F.A. group exhibition in New York City.

Odd Year is curated by Douglas Ross, a visiting lecturer in the Department of Art.

Artists include:

  • Madeleine Cichy (M.F.A. '17)
  • Stevie Ada Klaark (M.F.A. '17)
  • Diana Clarke (M.F.A. '17)
  • Kate Huffman (M.F.A. '18)
  • Kaleb Hunkele (M.F.A. '18)
  • Alexander Jahani (M.F.A. '18)
  • Jerry Lim (M.F.A. '17)
  • Sasha Phyars-Burgess (M.F.A. '18)
  • Gabriel Ramos (M.F.A. '18)
  • Na Chainkua Reindorf (M.F.A. '17)
  • Clayton Skidmore (M.F.A. '17)
  • Richard Zimmerman (M.F.A. '18)

This unique group of M.F.A. candidates has come together serendipitously, as chance is the nature of M.F.A. classes and group exhibitions. Or was it destiny? Destiny, plain and simple, feels too disturbing a notion to entertain in our time, and unsuitable to the complicated dialogue between artworks in Odd Year which attest to both the self-possession and unity of these artists, purposively, generously, and agonistically contributing to each other's growth over time.

Gathered under a title coined by the artists, the works in Odd Year might be grouped or generalized by process and concern — Cichy, Jahani, and Reindorf's sculptures, paintings, and installations exert what color brings to bear on experiences of physicality and mutant or symbolic forms. Lim and Phyars-Burgess make photographs and photographic series that move incalculably across territories of social and first-person documentary representation. Klaark, Hunkele, and Zimmerman's works in various mediums ask, "What is so psychically confounding and humorously endearing about the everyday?" Clarke and Huffman process organic abstraction through highly animate and idiosyncratic understandings of matter, image rendering, and touch, while Ramos and Skidmore each draw upon longings and traumas of memory through pictorial and spatial traps or codes. But this would be the limit of commonalities between the manifold presences and narratives elaborated by their works, each bearing distinct efforts in concordance with various lineages while exemplifying artistic risk and potential today.

Returning to the seeming disorder of chance, then the taking of chances, and the implications of living an 'odd year'; the works created by these 12 artists are brought into contrapuntal, even ricocheting conversation at Caelum Gallery, as on this occasion Jean Cocteau's erstwhile remark, "Seeing as these things are beyond us, let's pretend to be the organizer of them," can be compounded with the ambition and readiness to take matters into our own hands.

The annual M.F.A. group exhibition in New York City is made possible by the generous support of the Cornell Council for the Arts and Cornell University's Department of Art.