Zimmerman Receives Hartell Award

four rectangular concrete structures in a gallery with wooden floors and white walls

Installation view of Fall (2017), in Tjaden Hall's Experimental Gallery. photo / Richard Zimmerman

November 14, 2017

Richard Zimmerman (M.F.A. '18) is the 2017 recipient of the John Hartell Graduate Award for Art and Architecture in recognition of graduate student excellence in studio practice.

Zimmerman works across media, constructing sculpture, installation, and drawings out of materials as diverse as concrete, clay pots, bamboo, cardboard, and chewing gum.

"I construct objects, drawings, and installations that investigate issues of being in time and space," he says. "I'm asking questions about the relationship between building, thinking, and dwelling. I'm interested in creating slightly comic moments in which the viewer questions their position in space, and is, perhaps, reminded that the built environment is designed to persuade certain outcomes."

Zimmerman grew up in New Jersey and attended Pratt Institute for his undergraduate studies, where he earned a B.F.A. with a concentration in painting. He spent his junior year at Central St. Martins in London. Zimmerman received a 2017 Cornell Council for the Arts grant, and has had work in exhibitions at Royal Nonesuch Gallery in Oakland, California; Caelum Gallery in New York City; WERK, Los Angeles; and PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens. He will exhibit his thesis work at Cornell during the spring semester and also participate in the annual M.F.A. group show in New York City in May.

Members of Hartell's family, friends, and former students established the John Hartell Graduate Award for Art and Architecture in his memory after his death in 1995 at the age of 93. Hartell joined the architecture faculty in 1930 and the art faculty in 1940, serving as chair of the art department from 1940 until 1959. A monetary prize is part of the award.

By Rebecca Bowes

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