Being a part of the AK Teens program is a wonderful and fun experience; however, it involves a lot of behind-the-scenes work and planning. A part of this planning goes towards our exhibition’s opening reception. In order to prepare for the opening, we divided ourselves into small groups based on our interests. Within these groups, we are responsible for certain tasks to prepare for our opening night. There is a group tasked with creating and giving tours during our opening night, a group in charge of the food presented at the reception, another responsible for selecting the music that will be played at the reception, and a fourth group that developed an art activity which will be offered that evening. As a member of the art activity team, I had to consider how an art activity could tie into our theme. Since our exhibition theme deals with the notion that for every action there is a reaction, we decided on an activity that actually creates a reaction. I am excited for the opening night and to see our exhibition finally come to life.

 –Erin Vecchies, Lewiston-Porter High School

AK Teens: Future Curators is a weekly after-school program designed to give local high school students in grades eleven and twelve the opportunity to learn the behind-the-scenes work of a museum curator and the tasks required to create a museum exhibition. The students then use what they have learned to curate their own exhibition featuring the work of area high school artists.

The 2014 AK Teens: Future Curators team is made up of twenty-one dynamic artists, art historians, actors, writers, and entrepreneurs. Five Future Curators have volunteered to share a reflection of their experience at various stages throughout the program. This week’s topic focuses on a Future Curator’s experience preparing the 2014 exhibition opening reception.

The team is pleased to present the culmination of their experience, the 2014 AK Teens: Future Curators exhibition A Study in Action/Reaction, with an exhibition opening on Thursday, May 1, 2014.

AK Teens is presented by First Niagara.

In honor of Earth Day, we celebrate with a photograph by John Pfahl. About this work, and others in the series “Piles,” Pfahl states, “I seek out the more elusive mountains on the lake plain near my home in Buffalo, New York. I try to imbue these piles of raw and recycled materials, through judicious use of light, atmosphere and scale, with the majesty of mountains I recall from summers in the Rockies and the Alps.”*John Pfahl (American, born 1939)Nursery Topsoil Pile (summer), Lancaster, NY from the series “Piles,” 1994Chromogenic color print14 1/2 x 17 inches (36.9 x 43.2 cm)Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New YorkEdmund Hayes Fund, 2001© 1994 John Pfahl* http://johnpfahl.com/pages/extras/ArtStatement.html#piles 

In honor of Earth Day, we celebrate with a photograph by John Pfahl. About this work, and others in the series “Piles,” Pfahl states, “I seek out the more elusive mountains on the lake plain near my home in Buffalo, New York. I try to imbue these piles of raw and recycled materials, through judicious use of light, atmosphere and scale, with the majesty of mountains I recall from summers in the Rockies and the Alps.”*

John Pfahl (American, born 1939)
Nursery Topsoil Pile (summer), Lancaster, NY from the series “Piles,” 1994
Chromogenic color print
14 1/2 x 17 inches (36.9 x 43.2 cm)
Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
Edmund Hayes Fund, 2001
© 1994 John Pfahl

*
http://johnpfahl.com/pages/extras/ArtStatement.html#piles 

Caught on Camera
March 1963: Chef James A. Beard

"In March 1963, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery added a highly successful cooking school to the museum’s already full schedule of special events. Organized by the museum’s Members’ Advisory Council and Junior Group, the cooking school was conducted by James A. Beard (May 5, 1903January 21, 1985), famous American gourmet chef and author of twenty best-selling cookbooks, who performed ‘The Fine Art of Cooking’ between March 11March 15. The Iroquois Gas Corporation cooperated in the cooking school by installing a complete modern kitchen on the Auditorium stage and a system of cleverly engineered mirrors for the viewing audience. At the foot of the Auditorium stairs, the Junior Group prepared a ‘Gourmet Gallery’ where cooking utensils and cookbooks were put on display. More than 2,000 tickets were bought by gourmet chefs and gourmet chefs-to-be, making this one of the most successful single projects in the museum’s early history.”
196263 Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Albright-Knox Art Gallery Annual Report

Images courtesy of the G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library, Gallery Archives, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Happy birthday to the American artist John Chamberlain, born on this day in 1927! His sculpture Crowded Hearts, 1987, composed of painted and chromium-plated steel, epitomizes both the figural and the Abstract Expressionist aspects of his work. Similar to his Abstract Expressionist contemporaries, this artwork demonstrated how the intuitive gesture can guide and shape the creative outcome.
John Chamberlain (American, 1927–2011)Crowded Hearts, 1987Painted and chromium-plated steel114 x 65 x 41 inches (289.5 x 165.1 x 104.1 cm)Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New YorkGeorge B. and Jenny R. Matthews Fund, 1987© 1987 John Chamberlain

Happy birthday to the American artist John Chamberlain, born on this day in 1927! His sculpture Crowded Hearts, 1987, composed of painted and chromium-plated steel, epitomizes both the figural and the Abstract Expressionist aspects of his work. Similar to his Abstract Expressionist contemporaries, this artwork demonstrated how the intuitive gesture can guide and shape the creative outcome.

John Chamberlain (American, 1927–2011)
Crowded Hearts, 1987
Painted and chromium-plated steel
114 x 65 x 41 inches (289.5 x 165.1 x 104.1 cm)
Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
George B. and Jenny R. Matthews Fund, 1987
© 1987 John Chamberlain

Caught on CameraOur new series Caught on Camera highlights visits to the Albright-Knox by notable public figures including artists, celebrities, and musicians."Six featured artists traveled to the May opening from New York, and fortunately a local photographer was on hand to record them in groups and alone in front of their work. There is Philip Guston with his arm around Jimmy Ernst, who stands shoulder to shoulder with Knox, Jr., Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Rothko in front of Gorky’s The Liver Is the Cock’s Comb, 1944.”– Doug Dreishpoon, “Collecting History,” in The Long Curve (2011), 29.The artists were at the museum for the opening of the exhibition Contemporary Art—Acquisitions 1954–1957, in which their artworks were featured. The exhibition consisted of a group of forty works of art presented to the Albright Art Gallery by Seymour Knox, Jr. from 1954-1957. While the major emphasis was on modern American painting, there were also examples of contemporary work by British, French, German, Italian, Mexican, and Spanish artists. The exhibition also featured contemporary sculpture purchased by the Albright Art Gallery during those past three years. The six examples, representing the work of Americans, Italians, and British sculptors, were all created during the 1950s. Image: Philip Guston, Jimmy Ernst, Seymour H. Knox, Jr., Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko at the May 15, 1957, opening of Contemporary Art—Acquisitions 1954–1957, Albright Art Gallery. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery Archives.

Caught on Camera
Our new series Caught on Camera highlights visits to the Albright-Knox by notable public figures including artists, celebrities, and musicians.

"Six featured artists traveled to the May opening from New York, and fortunately a local photographer was on hand to record them in groups and alone in front of their work. There is Philip Guston with his arm around Jimmy Ernst, who stands shoulder to shoulder with Knox, Jr., Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Rothko in front of Gorky’s The Liver Is the Cock’s Comb, 1944.”– Doug Dreishpoon, “Collecting History,” in The Long Curve (2011), 29.

The artists were at the museum for the opening of the exhibition Contemporary Art—Acquisitions 1954–1957, in which their artworks were featured. The exhibition consisted of a group of forty works of art presented to the Albright Art Gallery by Seymour Knox, Jr. from 1954-1957. While the major emphasis was on modern American painting, there were also examples of contemporary work by British, French, German, Italian, Mexican, and Spanish artists. The exhibition also featured contemporary sculpture purchased by the Albright Art Gallery during those past three years. The six examples, representing the work of Americans, Italians, and British sculptors, were all created during the 1950s. 

Image: Philip Guston, Jimmy Ernst, Seymour H. Knox, Jr., Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko at the May 15, 1957, opening of Contemporary ArtAcquisitions 1954–1957, Albright Art Gallery. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery Archives.

"After weeks of deliberation on works, themes, and titles, we have begun to see the culmination of our efforts. The title we have chosen for this exhibition encapsulates the theme we selected: A Study in Action/Reaction. This year we are excited to be able to exhibit in two venues, allowing for more works to be showcased than has been possible in past years.

The goal of our exhibition is to highlight not only some of the most talented developing artists in the Western New York and Canada, but also to demonstrate how the actions of others can have an effect on these artists’ thoughts, actions, emotions and overall way of life.

We have divided into two teams, one working on the aesthetics and design of the exhibition and the other focusing on writing extended labels and wall text. The writing team is responsible for communicating the conceptual basis for not only the exhibition as a whole, but select works that we feel best embody the theme of the exhibition.

The design team is in the process of organizing work within the gallery spaces. For instance, this year’s exhibition noticeably focuses on sculpture because the display cases in our exhibition space at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery are appropriate for highlighting sculptors and their craft.

The work we are putting into designing and writing for our exhibition will both enrich and enhance our curatorial experience.”

 Teddy Wieleba, Kenmore West High School      

AK Teens: Future Curators is a weekly after-school program designed to give local high school students in grades eleven and twelve the opportunity to learn the behind-the-scenes work of a museum curator and the tasks required to create a museum exhibition. The students then use what they have learned to curate their own exhibition featuring the work of area high school artists.

The 2014 AK Teens: Future Curators team is made up of twenty-one dynamic artists, art historians, actors, writers, and entrepreneurs. Five Future Curators have volunteered to share a reflection of their experience at various stages throughout the program. This week’s topic focuses on a Future Curator’s experience preparing the 2014 exhibition.

Stay tuned for more student reflections as the Future Curators prepare to present their exhibition, A Study in Action/Reaction.

AK Teens is presented by First Niagara.

image

The American artist Charles Burchfield was born on this day in 1893.
Burchfield painted mainly in watercolor, a medium he used to develop an expressive visual iconography that incorporates various shapes and calligraphic markings to capture his profound respect for nature. His depictions of the landscape are often referred to as transcendental, a quality he believed was present in the natural world and led him to approach his work with the idea that the mysteries of nature could help him reveal his inner emotions. Sun and Rocks, 1918–50, explores the theme of apocalyptic beauty, a scene Burchfield describes thus: “Shining from the deep blue cavernous sky, the spring sun—our great day-time star—floods the scene with brilliant light that will heal the wounds of earth and bring forth new life…” Sun and Rocks is on view through October 5, 2014, as part of the exhibition Anselm Kiefer: Beyond Landscape.
Charles Burchfield (American, 1893–1967)Sun and Rocks, 1918–50Watercolor and gouache on paper40 x 56 inches (101.6 x 142.24 cm)Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New YorkRoom of Contemporary Art Fund, 1953 

The American artist Charles Burchfield was born on this day in 1893.

Burchfield painted mainly in watercolor, a medium he used to develop an expressive visual iconography that incorporates various shapes and calligraphic markings to capture his profound respect for nature. His depictions of the landscape are often referred to as transcendental, a quality he believed was present in the natural world and led him to approach his work with the idea that the mysteries of nature could help him reveal his inner emotions. Sun and Rocks, 1918–50, explores the theme of apocalyptic beauty, a scene Burchfield describes thus: “Shining from the deep blue cavernous sky, the spring sun—our great day-time star—floods the scene with brilliant light that will heal the wounds of earth and bring forth new life…” Sun and Rocks is on view through October 5, 2014, as part of the exhibition Anselm Kiefer: Beyond Landscape.

Charles Burchfield (American, 1893–1967)
Sun and Rocks, 1918
–50
Watercolor and gouache on paper
40 x 56 inches (101.6 x 142.24 cm)
Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
Room of Contemporary Art Fund, 1953 

Members of the AK staff are in Baltimore this week for the 2014 Museums and the Web conference. We hope to bring back lots of great ideas for pushing our web presence forward!
Louis Orr (American, 1879–1961)Baltimore (Index page from Ports of America), 1928Etching19 x 14 inches (48.3 x 35.6 cm)Gift of Yale University Press in Memory of Ganson Goodyear Depew, 1929 

Members of the AK staff are in Baltimore this week for the 2014 Museums and the Web conference. We hope to bring back lots of great ideas for pushing our web presence forward!

Louis Orr (American, 1879–1961)
Baltimore (Index page from Ports of America), 1928
Etching
19 x 14 inches (48.3 x 35.6 cm)
Gift of Yale University Press in Memory of Ganson Goodyear Depew, 1929 

Opening Day

In honor of Major League Baseball’s opening day today, we look back at a baseball-centered exhibition at the Albright-Knox.

From May 16 to July 5, 1992, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery hosted the traveling exhibition Diamonds Are Forever: Artists & Writers on Baseball. The exhibition featured more than 120 works inspired by the social and cultural significance of this favorite American pastime. Artists and writers in the show included Andy Warhol, Elaine de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Woody Allen, Philip Roth, and Ernest Hemingway. Peter Gordon, Curator of the New York State Museum in Albany, organized the exhibition, which was sponsored by American Express Company. An illustrated book was published to accompany the exhibition.

Images courtesy of the G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library, Gallery Archives, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery.