Art critic, editor, and curator Patricia Phillips to chair art department

July 6, 2007

CORNELL CHRONICLE ONLINE — Patricia Phillips has been appointed chair of Cornell's Department of Art, effective July 1, Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP), has announced. She succeeds Franklin (Buzz) Spector, who will continue teaching at Cornell following a sabbatical.

Phillips was most recently professor and chair of the Department of Art at the State University of New York (SUNY)-New Paltz, where she served as dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts from 1997 to 2002.

Phillips' research and critical writing involve contemporary and public art, design, architecture, sculpture, landscape and the intersections of those areas.  

Since 1980, her essays and reviews have been published in Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art, Sculpture and Public Art Review. Her books and collected essays include It Is Difficult (1998), a survey of the work of Alfredo Jaar. She was the editor of City Speculations (1996), published in conjunction with a major exhibition she curated at the Queens Museum of Art in 1996. In 2002 she was appointed editor-in-chief of Art Journal, a quarterly published by the College Art Association.

Her curatorial and design projects include "Disney Animators and Animation" (Whitney Museum of American Art, 1981), "The POP Project" (Institute for Contemporary Art/P.S. 1, 1988), and "Making Sense: Five Installations on Sensation" (Katonah Museum of Art, 1996).  

Phillips, who has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, earned a B.A. in art from Muhlenberg College and did graduate studies in landscape architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 1984 to 1991, she was on the faculty of Parsons School of Design and served as associate chair of the Department of Environmental Design and Architecture. She joined SUNY-New Paltz as art department chair in 1991. In 2002 she was awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Research Recognition Award.

Phillips' Cornell appointment was the result of a yearlong national search. The other departments within AAP also are conducting national chair searches. Professor William Goldsmith will serve as chair of city and regional planning for the 2007-08 academic year and Associate Professor Mark Cruvellier will continue in 2007-08 as interim chair of architecture.

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