13 Mar 2018

Brian Arnold: Ithaca by Night

Community School of Music and Arts

Reviewed by Arthur Whitman

Ithaca is a college town with a noisy independent culture. Having covered its art for many years, my skepticism for town and gown alike has sharpened. If the campus errs towards spurious intellectualism, downtown suffers insistence on sunny affirmation.

Brian Arnold is a photographer and Cornell researcher. Down the hill, his CSMA show culls from a monochrome series shot in the winters between 2009 and 2013. The fruit of solitary wanderings, they show marginal land surrounding the city's southern commercial strip, territory well known to our homeless.

His display, bare prints stuck to the wall in irregular groups, disserves these compelling images. A framed triptych impresses memory - we see a debris pile, shopping carts in a creek, and an oddly classical landscape of parking lot snow and puddle.

There will always be a need for joyous art. The CSMA can be relied upon to host group shows that reflect its inclusive spirit. Arnold's work here reminds us of other possibilities.

Exhibition Brian Arnold: Ithaca by Night
Start date 02 Feb 2018
End date 30 Mar 2018
Presenter Community School of Music and Arts link
Venue 330 E. Martin Luther King Jr., Ithaca, NY, USA map
Image Brian Arnold, Untitled, 2010, silver gelatin print toned with selenium and Lipton tea, 10.25 x 13.15 inches, courtesy of the artist

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