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.

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.

Spotlight on Gregory Crewdson
We take a closer look at Gregory Crewdson in our AK Contemporary series as part of M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY this evening. Assistant Curator of Education Jessica DiPalma will give a lecture at 7:30 pm and a screening of the documentary Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, 2012, will follow at 8 pm.
Crewdson considers himself to be an “American Realist Landscape Photographer.” He often uses American small-town domestic life as the backdrop to images that blur the distinction between reality and fiction and that seem slightly surreal, unsettling, and, at times, even foreboding. Crewdson begins with a story in his head and then creates an image of one moment in the life of that story. These “frozen moments” are highly staged, down to the smallest detail. The artist doesn’t actually take the photograph himself, but assumes a directorial role, overseeing the creation of the set, costumes, and props, as well as the actions of his assistants. 
Crewdson often finds inspiration in the work of legendary directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch. However, unlike when watching a film that provides an entire story, viewers of one of Crewdson’s highly cinematic works are left to narrate for themselves what happened before and after the moment captured in the photograph. 
Learn More about Tonight’s Event
IMAGE: Gregory Crewdson’s Untitled (Ophelia) from the “Twilight” series, as featured in Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, a film by Ben Shapiro. A Zeitgeist Films release. Photo © Gregory Crewdson

Spotlight on Gregory Crewdson

We take a closer look at Gregory Crewdson in our AK Contemporary series as part of M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY this evening. Assistant Curator of Education Jessica DiPalma will give a lecture at 7:30 pm and a screening of the documentary Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, 2012, will follow at 8 pm.

Crewdson considers himself to be an “American Realist Landscape Photographer.” He often uses American small-town domestic life as the backdrop to images that blur the distinction between reality and fiction and that seem slightly surreal, unsettling, and, at times, even foreboding. Crewdson begins with a story in his head and then creates an image of one moment in the life of that story. These “frozen moments” are highly staged, down to the smallest detail. The artist doesn’t actually take the photograph himself, but assumes a directorial role, overseeing the creation of the set, costumes, and props, as well as the actions of his assistants. 

Crewdson often finds inspiration in the work of legendary directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch. However, unlike when watching a film that provides an entire story, viewers of one of Crewdson’s highly cinematic works are left to narrate for themselves what happened before and after the moment captured in the photograph. 

Learn More about Tonight’s Event

IMAGE: Gregory Crewdson’s Untitled (Ophelia) from the “Twilight” series, as featured in Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, a film by Ben Shapiro. A Zeitgeist Films release. Photo © Gregory Crewdson

Spotlight on Marina Abramović
We take a closer look at Marina Abramović in our AK Contemporary series as part of M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY this evening. Assistant Curator of Education Jessica DiPalma will give a lecture about the artist at 7 pm and a screening of the documentary Marina Abramović The Artist is Present, 2012, will follow at 7:30 pm.
Abramović uses her body as both medium and subject to create emotionally charged, powerful works. In her more than forty years of creating and performing works, Abramović has pushed her body to the limit, while always striving to connect with, give, and derive energy from the audience. In 2010, she was the subject of a major retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, which included a newly created performance piece that allowed museum visitors to engage with the artist. This exhibition is the subject of the award-winning documentary that will be screened this evening. Learn More about Tonight’s Event
IMAGE: Marina Abramovic, Courtesy of Show of Force

Spotlight on Marina Abramović

We take a closer look at Marina Abramović in our AK Contemporary series as part of M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY this evening. Assistant Curator of Education Jessica DiPalma will give a lecture about the artist at 7 pm and a screening of the documentary Marina Abramović The Artist is Present, 2012, will follow at 7:30 pm.

Abramović uses her body as both medium and subject to create emotionally charged, powerful works. In her more than forty years of creating and performing works, Abramović has pushed her body to the limit, while always striving to connect with, give, and derive energy from the audience. In 2010, she was the subject of a major retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, which included a newly created performance piece that allowed museum visitors to engage with the artist. This exhibition is the subject of the award-winning documentary that will be screened this evening. Learn More about Tonight’s Event

IMAGE: Marina Abramovic, Courtesy of Show of Force

Spotlight on Ai Weiwei
We take a closer look at the contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in our AK Contemporary series this evening. Assistant Curator of Education Jessica DiPalma will give a lecture at 7:30 pm and a screening of the documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, 2012, will follow at 8 pm.
The Albright-Knox recently acquired three of Ai Weiwei’s Moon Chests, 2008. While these works are not currently on view, we invite you to come tonight to learn more about this dissident artist who continually blurs the boundaries of art and politics. 
Image: Ai Weiwei’s Moon Chests, 2008. Image courtesy of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. © 2008 Ai Weiwei

Spotlight on Ai Weiwei

We take a closer look at the contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in our AK Contemporary series this evening. Assistant Curator of Education Jessica DiPalma will give a lecture at 7:30 pm and a screening of the documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, 2012, will follow at 8 pm.

The Albright-Knox recently acquired three of Ai Weiwei’s Moon Chests, 2008. While these works are not currently on view, we invite you to come tonight to learn more about this dissident artist who continually blurs the boundaries of art and politics. 

Image: Ai Weiwei’s Moon Chests, 2008. Image courtesy of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. © 2008 Ai Weiwei