Recent Acquisition Highlights
Jaan Aare Poldaas’s Vertical Composition (Blue Black), 1990
Although Jaan Poldaas studied to be an architect, he has emerged as one of the most highly acclaimed minimalist painters in Canada. Known for his vibrant sense of color, Poldaas often uses enamels straight out of the can, applying them directly to the canvas. He is interested in exploring the interaction between primary and secondary colors in relation to black. Learn More
Jaan Aare Poldaas (Canadian, born 1948). Vertical Composition (Blue Black), 1990. Oil on canvas, 90 x 36 inches (228.6 x 91.4 cm). Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange, and Sarah Norton Goodyear Fund, 2012. © 1990 Jaan Poldaas
Beyond Landscape: A Community Response
Thursday, July 3–Sunday, August 24, 2014
On view in the Education Exhibition Hallway
As part of the exhibition Anselm Kiefer: Beyond Landscape, the community is invited to participate by providing feedback and reflections in text, image, audio, and video formats. These responses, as varied as they are visionary, have ranged from written observations and photographic re-imaginings of Kiefer’s monumental paintings to original works inspired by landscapes around the world. As a complement to the Beyond Landscape blog, where submissions are published every Friday, this exhibition presents selections from the more than 1,200 physical submissions we have received in our Response Room, located in the 1905 Albright Building, and is designed to display the expansive creativity and insight provided by visitors of all ages to the Albright-Knox.
Caught on Camera
ca. 1963: Gypsy Rose Lee
Gypsy Rose Lee (1911–1970), an American burlesque entertainer, actress, author, and playwright, visited the Albright-Knox with Lee, her Chinese Crested dog. Ms. Lee was an avid collector and art lover. Her collection included works by Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893–1983), Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), Marc Chagall (French, born Belarus, 1887–1985), and Max Ernst (French, born Germany, 1891–1976), all of which were reportedly gifts to her by the artists. After extensive research, we cannot identify a particular event or exhibition that prompted her visit to the museum. The date of the above photograph is unknown but it is believed to be from 1963. We can only guess that she greatly admired our Fine Art Collection and perhaps made several connections with her own.
Above, Gypsy Rose Lee tours the galleries with Albright-Knox Director Gordon M. Smith. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Archives, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Recent Acquisition Highlights
The Recycle Group’s Black Friday, 2013
Black Friday, 2013, reminiscent of a marble frieze but completely constructed from plastic mesh, deconstructs the dichotomy between classical architecture and contemporary recycled and non-permanent materials. The sculpture resembles a classical composition with seven figures dressed in ancient Greek attire scrambling to gather bottles and boxes off shelves into shopping carts and baskets. Learn More
The Recycle Group. Black Friday, 2013. Plastic mesh, 91 1/4 x 190 1/4 x 8 inches (231.8 x 483.2 x 20.3 cm). Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange, 2013. © 2013 The Recycle Group
GERMANY triumphed in #WorldCup2014 and #ArtWorldCup this weekend! Thank you to everyone who participated and voted in our #ArtWorldCup competition. It was a fun month for fans of soccer and art!
Paul Pfeiffer, Caryatid (Red, Yellow, Blue),2008
Paul Pfeiffer (American, born 1966) explores the relationship between iconic images in mass media and us, the audience, and examines society’s obsession with sports celebrities. As fans gathers to watch the World Cup, we would like to share with you an alternative perspective on sports, culture, and spectatorship.
Caryatid (Red, Yellow, Blue) is one of Pfeiffer’s “video sculptures,” which he creates by manipulating still and moving imagery from popular culture. His works involve an analogous labor-intensive process required in traditional media, such as painting and sculpture, but also require sorting through and crafting contemporary material.
This tri-screened artwork displays a sequence of three collapsing soccer players as they crash to the ground after a foul, feigning injury. Each player has been isolated based on the color of his jersey, in this case the primary colors red, yellow, and blue. Pfeiffer reduces the image down to the technical foundations necessary for both painted and televised works, like a painter who methodically builds up the layers on a painting. As such, the artist must be extremely meticulous when erasing or otherwise manipulating an image.
Along with synthesizing the process of creating art, the chosen imagery is deliberate. The title of the work references the caryatids of antiquity, sculpted female figures that support architectural framework in place of a column. These figures, used to hold up monumental Greek temples and structures, exist throughout history.
The three images in Pfeiffer’s work, permanently immobilized like the sculpted caryatids, highlight the rise and fall of contemporary sports heroes in what Pfeiffer calls an “eternally recurring moment of their tragic and ineluctable failures.” They appear to be competing against themselves as they writhe around on the field, seemingly defeated. By erasing other players on the field, Pfeiffer creates a beautifully choreographed sequence of events that focuses on the complexity and athleticism of the players’ movements. The repetitive sequence of the work calls attention to our observation and allows us to question in what way we view these contemporary heroes.
Image: Paul Pfeiffer (American, born 1966). Caryatid (Red, Yellow, Blue), 2008. Three-channel digital video loop. and three customized CRT monitors with embedded media players, overall: 24 3/8 x 96 1/2 x 23 1/4 inches (61.9 x 245.1 x 59.1 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Edmund Hayes Fund, by exchange and Gift of Dennis and Debra School, 2010.
Printed Editions in the Sixties and Seventies: LeWitt, Roth, Ruscha
Ed Ruscha’s Every Building on the Sunset Strip
Printed Editions in the Sixties and Seventies: LeWitt, Roth, Ruscha, which opens today, features a selection of artists’ books and prints from the Albright-Knox’s Collection by three pioneering artists who reenvisioned what a book could be. Focusing on seriality, Ruscha’s twenty-five-foot-long, accordion-folded book Every Building on the Sunset Strip meticulously captures the character of his adopted city, Los Angeles. Ruscha used a motorized camera in a slow-moving pickup truck to photograph every single building over the two-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard. His images create an indexical and minimalist record of previously unexplored and often overlooked aspects of the urban experience. The photographs are printed in order and identified by their street number. Ruscha’s books, particularly this one, were highly influential in the Conceptual art movement.
This exhibition is on view in the Gallery for Small Sculpture through Sunday, January 4, 2015. A digital version of Every Building on the Sunset Strip will be available on an iPad so that visitors can view the work in its entirety.
Image: Ed Ruscha (American, born 1937). Every Building on the Sunset Strip (Los Angeles, 1966). Collection G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library, Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Photograph by Tom Loonan.