John A. Cooper Visiting Artist Lecture Series

A photo of a white wall with a large, rectangular black painting on it. The painting looks like a long string of text, but the photo is taken from too far away to read any of the words.

Glenn Ligon, Stranger (Full Text) #1 (2020–2021), oil stick, gesso, and coal dust on canvas, two panels, 120" x 540". image / Jon Etter. © Glenn Ligon; Courtesy of the artist, Hauser & Wirth (New York), Regen Projects (Los Angeles), Thomas Dane Gallery (London), and Galerie Chantal Crousel (Paris)

The John A. Cooper Visiting Artist Lecture Series brings distinguished artists of particular renown to the Ithaca campus to address art students and the art community for lectures, studio visits, seminars, and individual critiques with B.F.A. students.  The B.F.A. program, with 130 students, is distinguished both by its diversity and by the intensity and breadth of its artistic and academic study. 

The John A. Cooper Visiting Artist Lecture Series has been established through a generous gift from John A. Cooper (B.F.A. '97). 


A photo of a dark-skinned bald man in three-quarter profile. He is wearing a light blue button down shirt and black frame glasses and looking off into the distance.

Glenn Ligon

Spring 2024 John A. Cooper Visiting Artist Lecture Speaker

Glenn Ligon (b. 1960) is an artist living and working in New York. Throughout his career, Ligon has pursued an incisive exploration of American history, literature, and society across bodies of work that build critically on the legacies of modern painting and conceptual art. He earned his B.A. from Wesleyan University (1982) and attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (1985). In 2011, the Whitney Museum of American Art held a mid-career retrospective, Glenn Ligon: America, organized by Scott Rothkopf, that traveled nationally. Important solo exhibitions include Post-Noir, Carre d'Art, Nîmes (2022); Glenn Ligon: Call and Response, Camden Arts Centre, London (2014); and Glenn Ligon — Some Changes, The Power Plant Center for Contemporary Art, Toronto (traveled internationally) (2005).

Select curatorial projects include Grief and Grievance, New Museum, New York (2021); Blue Black, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis (2017); and Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions, Nottingham Contemporary and Tate Liverpool (2015). Ligon's work has been shown in major international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (2015, 1997), Berlin Biennial (2014), Istanbul Biennial (2019, 2011), and Documenta XI (2002).

Ligon delivered an in-person artist talk on March 5 at 5:15 p.m.

A green parrot in front of a large red background.

Louise Lawler (B.F.A. '69)

Spring 2022 John A. Cooper Visiting Artist Lecture Speaker

Louise Lawler (b. 1947) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and is a graduate of Cornell University (B.F.A. '69).

Lawler delivered an in-person artist talk on April 11 at 5:15 p.m.

A person with short hear and wearing glasses and a black shirt.

Catherine Opie

Spring 2021 John A. Cooper Visiting Artist Lecture Speaker

Catherine Opie (b. 1961, Sandusky, Ohio) is an artist working with photography, film, collage, and ceramics in Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and abroad and is held in over 50 major collections throughout the world. Opie was a recipient of The Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019, The Smithsonian's Archives of American Art Medal in 2016, The Julius Shulman Excellence in Photography Award in 2013, and a U.S. Artists Fellowship in 2006. In September of 2008, the Guggenheim Museum in New York opened a mid-career exhibition titled, Catherine Opie: American Photographer. A large survey of Opie's work opened at the Henie Onstad Art Center in Sandvika, Norway in 2017. She debuted her film, The Modernist, at Regen Projects, Los Angeles in 2018. Her forthcoming monograph, Catherine Opie, will be published by Phaidon in May 2021. 

Opie received a B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute, California, and an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts in 1988. She holds the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Endowed Chair in Art at the University of California, Los Angeles where she is a professor of Photography.

Opie delivered a virtual artist talk on April 5, 2021.

Close overlay