The Buffalo AKG Museum of Art (formerly known as the Albright Knox Art Gallery) didn’t build its new three-story glass campus specifically to house its unparalleled collection of Clifford Still paintings. I wouldn’t blame the museum if that happened.
The new building’s ground-floor gallery towers, creating an open, cavernous, light-filled space perfect for Still’s massive, craggy paintings. Buffalo AKG curators, not architects, designed the dimensions of the building’s galleries. The wisdom of that decision is immediately felt by the guests of the exhibition, which in a good way feels narrow. It’s like visiting a mountain. humble. solemn.
All 33 stills from Buffalo AKG come together for the first time in over a decade as the museum reopens to the public after being closed since November 2019 for a nearly $200 million campus-wide renovation and construction project. meet. Built by Shohei Shigematsu, the Jeffrey E. Gundlach Building. All will reopen on his June 15, 2023 and will be collectively renamed the Buffalo AKG Museum of Art.
The museum’s curators can’t be blamed for choosing to keep Still’s presentation on permanent display in this way, which is perfect. On display until February 19, 2024, ‘Clifford Still: Legacy to Buffalo’ attests to the power of the institution’s other holdings and its eventual return to an ambitious special exhibition program . These exhibits are currently on hold, as Buffalo AKG only exhibits items from its permanent collection and two promised gifts.
Become a Buffalo AKG
What would become the Buffalo AKG was founded in 1862 as the Buffalo Academy of Fine Arts. At the time, he had only five other museums in the United States. The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia; the Brooklyn Museum; the Wadsworth Athenium in Harford, Connecticut; and Washington. Smithsonian Institution in DC.
Since its founding, the museum has devoted itself solely to the display and collection of modern and contemporary art. No Egyptian antiques or Renaissance paintings here.
“What this museum is doing is following the very long arm of modernism,” Buffalo AKG chief curator Kathleen Chaffee said at a media preview ahead of the museum’s reopening to the public. “Our collection centers around the artists that the Impressionists looked up to—artists we would most associate with Modernism, those who inspired them, or those they rebelled against. It starts with the artists.”
The works of art are presented primarily in chronological order, offering visitors a unique opportunity to travel through time, retracing the pages of art history from Claude Monet to Deborah Roberts.
“Going forward, our goal is to create a relatively stable chronological installation of the collection. , it’s not even the right way for this collection,” Chaffee explained. “It’s always exhibited in parallel with He’s three to He’s six special exhibits across campus.”
In honor of the permanent collection, exhibition space across the museum campus was doubled during construction, but the special exhibition space remains largely the same.
Guests must begin their journey at the classically inspired 1905 building, facing Albert Bierstadt scenery and Tracy Emin’s neon text work. This building brings together two of his previous acquisitions of the property.in Bierstadt Marina Piccola, Capri (1859) was the first major painting to enter the museum’s collection.
Clifford Still and Marisol
“We are incorporated by civic leaders and artists and have been an artist-centered institution since 1862,” Buffalo AKG Museum Director Janne Silén said at a media preview. “Artists were our first curators. They were on the board of museums. We are proud to offer the platform.”
Since its inception, gifts for artists have always highlighted the collections here. The Bierstadt painting was a gift to commemorate the founding of the Society in 1862. One of his three paintings by Anselm Kiefer, which are exhibited together in the new building, each a magnificent, cinematic, wall-sized physical masterpiece, was donated.
But two gifts stand out from the rest. First is Stills.
The museum purchased Clifford Still’s first painting in 1957. In 1959 his first survey exhibition took place, giving the artist the usual degree of control over the presentation, including the selection of the paintings on display, their placement, and even the lighting of the gallery. In the wake of this, the museum’s close relationship with Still began, with Still making regular unannounced stops during his ’50s and ’60s while living in New York City.
In 1964, he presented the institution with 31 paintings, personally selected as representative of his artistic achievements. This remains to this day his one of the most amazing gifts of all time from an artist to an institution.
“He saw this city and this museum as a gateway to the abstraction he saw, something to do with freedom, something to do with individual expression and infinite possibilities.” Chaffee explained.
Abstract art is at the heart of Buffalo AKG’s permanent collection.
The second gift came from pop artist Marisol, who bequeathed her estate to the institution upon her death in 2016. The Buffalo AKG was the first museum to house Marisol’s work, and the artist rewarded this foresight with over 100 sculptures and over 150 works. Paper plus thousands of photos and slides.
Following a traveling retrospective of her work hosted by Buffalo AKG, two galleries within the museum will become permanent installations in Still and Marisol.
Still’s Challenge for Aesthetic Superiority is a gallery space in a 1905 building focused on the Abstract Expressionists. Here are some amazing things about Jackson Pollock. convergence (1952) – a gigantic thirteen feet in diameter, as good as it looked from him – included Lee Krasner, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Franz Klein, Jasper Johns and the giant Louise • Nevelson’s installation, and a painting incorporating cardboard, wood and metal on a 20-foot-long, 9-foot-tall canvas by Robert Rauschenberg.
If you’ve ever wondered what a billion-dollar piece of art in one room looks like, here you go.
For the ultimate exercise in slow viewing, look for a matchstick stuck to the canvas. convergence.
About 1/100th the size of a Pollock, sooty in color and less gaudy, a much more subtle scale gem is the work of Honore Daumier. Anjou street laundry (1860), his famous work The Landless It is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Located just inside the entrance to the galleries of the 1905 building. Daumier is adorned in Salon style alongside other smaller pieces of the period and perfectly captures the tragic fate of the 19-year-old.th The French working poor of the century, the working poor of today.
Notice the stoop of the woman. Notice the meat on her forearms. This muscle is acquired by repeatedly twisting and pulling the laundry. Her body is heavy like a work animal.
She holds the hand of a child who is only four years old, helps him climb steep stairs, and tugs at his little feet. The child’s other hand holds a wooden laundry paddle. That’s “the day I follow my mother to work” for the next 20 years, until her mother’s body fails, and until her children’s children are sentenced.
There are no dreams here, only work.
No one is dancing the cancan. nobody goes to college No one counts down to vacation or retirement. For the working poor, the countdown is just one, and between that day and today is work. The fate of the child was decided from the time of conception.
This painting is as good as art and is displayed adjacent to another study. This study is a dramatic and colossal work by Rosa Bonheur. horse fairis one of the treasures of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In parallel with all construction, Buffalo AKG has actively acquired over 500 artworks in total since its closure over the past four years. Many of these works can be seen on his third floor in the new building, and for now this last page in the history of contemporary art.
Floor-standing figurative works by Nick Cave and Simone Leigh stand out.
Maintaining the artist-centric ethos, three new site-specific works are prominently installed throughout the campus.by Miriam Beckström others will know, Combining traditional tapestry weaving, photography and virtual reality technology, it guides visitors from underground parking to the lobby of the new building. An Afrofuturist glass her mosaic by Firelei Báez adorns the walls of the new Cornelia restaurant on site. The restaurant is named after Cornelia Bentley Sage Quinton, a Buffalo native and painter who was curator of the museum from 1910 to 1924. She was the first woman to serve as director of a major American museum.
Most notably, however, common sky, located between the 1905 building and the 1962 addition, a kaleidoscopic canopy of geometric glass and mirrors over a previously open courtyard. Buffalo’s harsh winter climate makes it unavailable for most of the year. Common Sky, Works by Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behrmann, A “public square” has now been created, accessible all year round without an entrance fee.
The entire campus will be open to the public with free admission from June 15th to June 18th, 2023. Starting June 19, 2023, the public will be able to visit the museum’s renovated Robert & Elizabeth Wilmers Building, Seymour H. Knox Building, and new Ralph Wilson Town Square. common sky.
The new Gundlach Building will be closed to the public on the 19th for final touches and will be permanently open to the public on July 20, 2023.
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