Recent Acquisition Highlights
Rodney Graham’s Welsh Oaks #1, 1998
In 1979, Graham constructed a monumental, walk-in camera obscura from plywood in a field adjacent to his uncle’s ranch and positioned it in front of twelve different trees for one month. The public was invited to enter the camera to view the luminous image of the tree cast upside-down on the camera’s back wall. In the early 1990s, he again approached the subject, this time using a four-by-five large-format camera to produce a series of sepia-toned images of seven ancient oaks in the English countryside. Learn More
Rodney Graham (Canadian, born 1949). Welsh Oaks #1, 1998. Chromogenic print, edition 1/2, 89 x 72 inches (226.1 x 182.9 cm). Albert H. Tracy Fund, by exchange and bequest of John Mortimer Schiff, by exchange, 2013. © Rodney Graham; courtesy Lisson Gallery
Caught on Camera
July 1951: Delaware Park Rose Garden Art Show
During the summer of 1951, the Albright Art Gallery sponsored the second annual Rose Garden Art Show. This sidewalk sale and exhibition of artwork by local artists occurred in the Delaware Park Rose Garden on July 24 and 25, from 6 pm until dark. One of the main draws of the exhibition was that featured art was priced for the “average pocketbook.”
The art show was open to all ages and urged all artists, amateur or professional, to bring their paintings, sculptures, and sketches to the open air show in the park. The exhibition featured not only art, but also included a variety of musical and dramatic entertainment. The 1951 Rose Garden Art Show featured more than 150 artists. More than 5,000 people attended and more than 200 artworks were sold.
The original 1950 art show was organized by Edgar C. Schenck, Director of the Albright Art Gallery, and the second show in 1951 was organized by James Vullo, an instructor at the Buffalo Art Institute. On the evenings of July 24 and 25, 1951, Mrs. Sydney Owen Jennings sketched portraits of visitors to the exhibit, including AAG Director Edgar Schenck (above).
Photo scanned from Albright Art Gallery, Gallery Notes, Annual Report, Volume XV, No. 3, 1949–1952, October 1951. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #1268: Scribbles: Staircase (AKAG), conceived 2006; executed 2010
If you missed AK Contemporary, a lecture and documentary film series focusing on contemporary artists on Friday, September 5, as part of M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY, read on to learn about the Conceptual artist Sol LeWitt and his installation on view at the Albright-Knox.
There is perhaps no one in the history of art that better embodied the notion of Conceptualism than Sol LeWitt. While playing a key role in formulating and defining what “Conceptualism” is in artistic terms, he also successfully and consistently incorporated the tenets of Conceptualism into his art and daily working practice.
Throughout his career, LeWitt created various types of works, including books, prints, wall drawings, and sculptures he called “structures.” His first wall drawing, created in 1969, involved the simple act of drawing lines on the wall of a New York gallery. The artist returned to a new form of wall drawing in the last years of his life. These later drawings, known as “scribble drawings,” are composed of hand-drawn graphite scribbles on a wall surface.
Wall Drawing #1268: Scribbles: Staircase (AKAG), LeWitt’s scribble wall drawing currently on view in the stairwell that connects the 1962 Knox and 1905 Albright Buildings, holds the distinction of being the artist’s last and largest scribble drawing. While the discussions for the acquisition and installation of this work happened in 2006, along with the work’s initial conception by the artist, the work was executed in 2010, after the artist’s death, by a team of artists from LeWitt’s studio and a crew of artists hired by the Albright-Knox.
The work covers more than 2,200 square feet of wall surface and is composed of millions of scribbles created by 1,717 graphite pencils. It took sixteen artists fifty-four days, or 5,026 hours, to complete the work, which was unveiled on October 16, 2010, and will be on view indefinitely.
Sol LeWitt (American, 1928–2007). Wall Drawing #1268: Scribbles: Staircase (AKAG), conceived 2006; executed 2010. Graphite on three walls, dimensions variable. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, 2007. © 2014 The LeWitt Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph by Tom Loonan.