Recent Acquisition HighlightsMickalene Thomas’s Interior: Monet’s Blue Foyer, 2012Mickalene Thomas is best known for her elaborate painterly practice involving rhinestones and a colorful palette that explores concepts of beauty and questions what it means to be a woman. With compositions featuring depictions of strong African-American women, reminiscent of 1970s style Blaxploitation, her body of work radiates sexuality and explores notions of black female celebrity and identity. Inspired by popular culture, Pop art, 1970s color palettes, and kitsch from her childhood, Thomas’s practice has grown out of her interest in and intense study of art history and the classical genres of portraiture, landscape, and still life painting. Learn More Mickalene Thomas (American, born 1971). Interior: Monet’s Blue Foyer, 2012. Rhinestones, acrylic, oil, and enamel on canvas on wood panel, 108 x 240 inches (274.3 x 609.6 cm). Sarah Norton Goodyear Fund, 2013.

Recent Acquisition Highlights
Mickalene Thomas’s Interior: Monet’s Blue Foyer, 2012

Mickalene Thomas is best known for her elaborate painterly practice involving rhinestones and a colorful palette that explores concepts of beauty and questions what it means to be a woman. With compositions featuring depictions of strong African-American women, reminiscent of 1970s style Blaxploitation, her body of work radiates sexuality and explores notions of black female celebrity and identity. Inspired by popular culture, Pop art, 1970s color palettes, and kitsch from her childhood, Thomas’s practice has grown out of her interest in and intense study of art history and the classical genres of portraiture, landscape, and still life painting. Learn More 

Mickalene Thomas (American, born 1971). Interior: Monet’s Blue Foyer, 2012. 
Rhinestones, acrylic, oil, and enamel on canvas on wood panel, 108 x 240 inches (274.3 x 609.6 cm). Sarah Norton Goodyear Fund, 2013.

Caught on Camera
September 1972: Sam Francis

Sam Francis’s career as a painter and printmaker was brought about by fate more than anything else. He began as a pre-med student studying biology and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, which was interrupted by military service. While training to be a pilot with the United States Army Air Corps, he suffered an injury that developed into spinal tuberculosis. During the three-year recovery period, he began to paint as a form of distraction. Once he was informed that his illness would keep him from a medical career, he decided to become an artist.

Above, the artist stands in front of The Whiteness of the Whale, 1957, at the Members’ Preview of the exhibition Sam Francis: Paintings 1947–1972. This was the first retrospective presentation of Francis’s work, and spanned a quarter century while displaying a rare consistency of personal style. In addition to the collection of paintings, a wide selection of the artist’s watercolors was shown as a leitmotif of his evolving attitudes to form and color.

Francis intended to overwhelm the viewer with color, and blue and white were often the dominant themes in his work. His writings on paintings and color are highly visual themselves. In 1959, he wrote, “These paintings lie under the cloud that soared over the inlaid sea… You can’t interpret the dream of the canvas for this dream is the end of the hunt on the heavenly mountain—where nothing remains but the phoenix [symbol of rebirth] caught in the midst of lovely blueness.”* Untitled, 1956, the work that most clearly embodies this statement, is on view as part of Sincerely Yours: Treasures of the Queen City through September 14, 2014.

*In The New American Painting: As Shown in Eight European Countries 19581959 (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1959): 28. Images courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Archives, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery 

Recent Acquisition HighlightsJaan Aare Poldaas’s Vertical Composition (Blue Black), 1990Although 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 MoreJaan 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

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 ResponseThursday, 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.

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 Cameraca. 1963: Gypsy Rose LeeGypsy 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

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
Jaume Plensa’s Laura, 2012

Working with conventional materials such as aluminum, bronze, glass, marble, and steel, often combined with less tangible materials like light, water, sound, and video, Plensa’s monumental sculptures take on many forms, all with the intent to evoke emotion and discussion amongst those who experience them. Laura, 2012, combines institutional and classical history into a new cultural beacon for the Buffalo community. Learn More

Jaume Plensa (Spanish, born 1955). Laura, 2012. Marble, lead, and stainless steel, 240 x 72 x 96 inches (609.6 x 182.9 x 243.8 cm). George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, by exchange, 2012. © 2012 Jaume Plensa

Caught on Camera
October 1965: Lady Bird Johnson

Former First Lady Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor Johnson, wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, visited the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in October 1965. She was present for an open house on October 18, an exclusive event for Western New York school administrators and art teachers to preview the exhibition 
Kenzo Okada: A Retrospective (October 20November 28, 1965). Mr. and Mrs. Okada were greeted by and introduced to the group assembled in the auditorium by Seymour H. Knox, Jr., and Director Gordon M. Smith.

Mrs. Johnson spoke to the audience of 181 people about the museum, in particular about its services and activities. Above, Johnson, Knox, and Smith tour the galleries with Helen Northrup Knox and other event attendees.

Content was taken from The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy Annual Report, 1965–1966. Images courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Archives, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery

 

Recent Acquisition HighlightsThe Recycle Group’s Black Friday, 2013Black 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 MoreThe 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

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

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.

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.