September 25, 2013 - 12:29 PM
Among the 24 artists, writers and thinkers who received one of this year's prestigious MacArthur "Genius" grants is Carrie Mae Weems, the accomplished Syracuse-based artist whose work explores the complex history of race, gender and class in the United States.
Weems, the subject of dozens of solo exhibitions and a mid-career retrospective currently on view in the Cleveland Museum of Art, has produced several bodies of photographic and video art that include daguerrotypes of African Americans tinted blood-red and etched with cutting poetic statements and graceful portraits of herself as a ghostly presence peering into history. As she suggests in the video above, her work uses race, gender and class as a starting point to explore about an almost limitless range of issues.
Curator Kathyrn E. Delmez, in her introduction to the catalogue for Weems' current retrospective, writes:
Over the past thirty years, Carrie Mae Weems has yearned to insert marginalized peoples into the historical record. She does this not only to bring ignored or erased experiences to light but to provide a more multidimensional picture of humanity as a whole, a picture that ultimately will spur greater awareness and compassion.
After its run at the Cleveland Museum of Art Ends on Sunday, the show will travel to the Cantor Center for the Visual Arts at Stanford University (Oct. 16 to Jan. 5, 2014) and end its run at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, where it will be on view from Jan. 24 to April 23, 2014.
September 17, 2013 - 1:28 PM
An untitled 2009 photograph from Cathy Opie's "Surfers" series is in the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
On Monday night, the photographer Cathy Opie gave a lecture in the Burchfield Penney Art Center's auditorium as part of a lecture series co-sponsored by the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the University at Buffalo's visual studies department and Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center.
Opie's work ranges from black-and-white portraits of the gay, lesbian and trans communities of Los Angeles to elegant pictures of curving freeways in the style of the great 19th century landscape painters. It includes matter-of-fact street photography that directly comments on American politics and formally accomplished images of radical messages carved with a scalpel into her own body.
Continue reading "Cathy Opie at the Burchfield Penney" »
September 9, 2013 - 6:07 PM
Kayla Philo, left, and Jared Barto of Elmira look at “Enchanted Forest 2,” a mixed media piece by Nancy Belfer, at the third annual Echo Art Fair at the Central Library on Saturday. Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News
Just want to to share a couple of reactions to the weekend's Echo Art Fair, which I found to be the best-organized and most successful of the event's three-year history.
The first is this writeup by the prolific Paddy Johnson of Art F City, who, unlike nearly everyone to whom I spoke to at the fair for my brief event story in Sunday's paper, thought the quality of the work was substandard.
The second is a letter from local artist Paul Lloyd Sargent protesting the fair's consumerist raison d'être, which I will post after the jump. That letter carries echoes -- no pun indended -- of last year's somewhat more widespread dissatisfaction about the fair from a group of local artists and others upset with its being run on a for-profit basis and other issues.
Though some other assignments prevented me from delving as deeply as I'd have liked into the kaleidoscopic offerings and installations or Echo's attempts to build a local art market, it seems to me as if fair founder E. Frits Abell has hit his stride with the event and seems well poised to expand upon its success year by year. I disagree with Johnson about the quality of the artwork, which like many visitors I found to be a great deal better than in past years and on par with much art one might find at larger and glitzier fairs.
My overall experience at Echo, including an often intruging Q&A between Johnson and Albright-Knox Art Gallery Director Janne Sirén, was lovely.
Continue reading "Unpacking Echo Art Fair" »
August 29, 2013 - 2:50 PM
My item today on David Butler's production of "Grain Dances, Steel Floats" gave the incorrect location for the production. It will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday near Mutual Riverfront Park at the end of Hamburg Street, not at Silo City.
August 21, 2013 - 12:39 PM
Students roaming the campus of Daemen College now have some new eye-candy to look at, in the form of a recently installed sculpture by the Western New York artist Ellen Steinfeld. Here's a look at the new piece:
The metal sculpture, called "Flux," is part of an effort at Daemen to bring its students into contact with more visual art. In a statement announcing the college's acquisition of the sculpture, Daemen President Gary A. Olson sang its praises:
"The arts are an essential part of life in our community," he said in the statement. "This bold work by Ellen Steinfeld, whose art has been exhibited across the nation, is representative of our goal to
magnify the place of the arts at Daemen College, and in the community."
Steinfeld's work was also the focus of a recent exhibition in the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
August 21, 2013 - 12:25 PM
In the past couple of years, there has been a steady stream of bloggy roundups of Buffalo's cultural offerings. Some of them have been focused on architecture or visual art, while others have taken a somewhat wider view. Most of them have been little more than glorified lists. For that reason, I've avoided posting every last mention of Buffalo's thriving art scene in the national media (and there have been lots) in this space. But today, a post by Blouinartinfo.com's Rozalia Jovanovic caught my eye. The concise writeup struck me as one of the smarter roundups of Buffalo's scene, from grassroots offerings like City of Night to the top-dog Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Check it out.
August 19, 2013 - 4:32 PM
On Saturday afternoon, I caught the very start of City of Night, the mammoth arts festival sponsored by Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo. Like last year's version, it was packed with interactive art installations scattered around the post-industrial site and inside its endlessly photogrpahable, out-of-use buildings. Word from organizers is that the second festival attracted some 12,000 people -- about 4,500 more than expected -- though it's unclear exactly how they counted. Here are some pics:
A sculpture by Scott Bye:
Continue reading "A brief look at City of Night" »
August 10, 2013 - 7:19 PM
Earlier today, Lauren Hall of WIVB shot a short video
of Albright-Knox Art Gallery Director Janne Sirén rocking out on the Larkinville stage as part of today's Buffalo Airband Championship
. It's pretty much required viewing.
August 8, 2013 - 10:35 AM
This week, three new murals were unveiled on highly visibile structres in Buffalo.
This is the largest of the three, the result of an innovative collaboration headed by Young Audiences of Western New York and executed by Grant Street community members and students along with mural artist Augustina Droze:
The mural is meant to reflect both the history and changing spirit of the neighborhood, which is home to an increasing number of refugees and immigrants from around the world. A detail:
Over on the bustling Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, two murals were recently mounted on opposite sides of a parking garage at Michigan and Goodrich Streets. These commissions, completed by local artists William Y. Cooper, James Cooper III and Jennifer Fuentes, reflect the increasing importance of the medical sciences in Buffalo's resurgence. Some shots of those murals:
Continue reading "New murals on Grant Street, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus" »
August 4, 2013 - 12:17 PM
Well, that was quick.
We've reached the end of this year's Buffalo Infringement Festival, which wraps up today with a series of events in and around Allentown. Here are five suggestions to help you close out the festival:
• Pac-Man Park, an interactive Pac-Man game in Days Park organized by Jose Rodriguez, will have its final outing from 2 to 4 p.m. Read more about it here.
• You might still be able to find a spot for Car Stories, the long-running theater experience that takes place inside a car in the NIetzsche's parking lot. It runs from 5 to 8 p.m.
• The Infringment Festival closing parade gets going around 6:30 at Old Wondermoth and will wind its way through the streets of Allentown.
• The grand finale of the festival are the Closing Ceremonies and Iffy Awards, which get started in Nietzsche's at 8 p.m. and run through at least 1 a.m. The event features performances from Crows and Jays, Erin Sydney Welsh, Greengage, Savannah King, manawi thorn, Jen Whitmore, second trip, Sara Elizabeth and Wise Medecine.
• If fire-dancing is your thing, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to close out the fest in Days Park around 9 p.m., when A Buffalo Pyromance gives its final performane.