27 September 2016

Buffalo for the day

It had been too long since I'd been to Buffalo and one of the shows at the Albright-Knox was closing this coming weekend: "Shade: Clyfford Still and Mark Bradford." Bradford (born 1961) selected a couple dozen paintings by Still (1904-1980) from the Albright-Knox collection. He then did several paintings in response. The works played off each other in interesting ways. Well, Bradford played off the abstract expressionism of Still. I perused the catalog and, in the interview with Michael Auping, Bradford said he saw his first Still in Europe. The show will go to Denver after closing in Buffalo. There, the Stills will be at the Clyfford Still Museum and the Bradfords at the Denver Art Museum. Too bad they won't be in the same building. The two museums are close to each other. I was delighted to visit the Still Museum in the spring of 2015 when VRA met in Denver. It's a great neo-brutalist building designed by Brad Cloepfil and Allied Works Architecture.
The reading room in the "Shade" show included iPads with the Art21 video of "Mark Bradford in Paradox" where I learned that he considers his beginnings not as an artist but as a maker in his mother's beauty shop where he did the signage. Also, "endpapers" aren't just in books; that term is also used to refer to the papers used when doing a perm.

Another show at the Albright-Knox was entitled "Defining Sculpture" and included works from the collection, from Pop Art by Marisol to a floor piece by Polly Apfelbaum, and a piece by Janet Cargill and George Bures Miller with a recording on a phone at a desk. A couple of the guards were doing a re-creation of "Imponderabilia" by Marina Abramovic and Ulay ...
... but I'm not sure it is very convincing.

In the funky underground gallery that also serves as a passageway from the main building to Clifton Hall was "Joan Linder: Operation Sunshine" which addressed waste sites in the Buffalo area, including Love Canal. Wonderful sketchbooks with long accordion-fold drawings, and hand-lettered recreations of brochures, reports, posters, and ephemera about the sites.
 (image from the Albright-Knox website, courtesy of the artist)

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