Ai Weiwei became a household name in 2011, when the Chinese government arrested the outspoken artist and activeist on trumped-up charges of economic crime that were largely seen as an attempt to silence one of their loudest and harshest critics. He became an internet sensation last year with his cover of "Gangnam Style." And he'll be the focus of a lecture and film screening tonight in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
As part of its First Fridays event, the gallery will present a short lecture, "Art and Politics: A Look at Ai Weiwei," from assistant education curator Jessica DiPalma, at 7:30 p.m. That will be followed at 8 p.m. by a screening of "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry," a documentary by Alison Klayman. The program is part of a new series called "AK Contemporary," which will feature a series of lectures by DiPalma and documentary film screenings about prominent contemporary artists.
In June, the Albright-Knox acquired three of Weiwei's "Moon Chests" from 2008. They have not gone on display yet -- word is that will happen sometime this year -- but here's an installation view of the works from a 2009 installation in Tokyo's Mori Art Museum: