The gallery is made up of several buildings - the Albright building built in 1905, the Knox Building added in 1962, and Clifton Hall. The Albright and Knox buildings each reflect the times in which they were built and the juxtaposition of old and new architecture gives a similar contrasting feel to Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum. In the same vein, it was an interesting to see the ultra modern Stacked Revision cube positioned in front of the ancient looking Eight Caryatid Figures.
exhibition of General Idea where their "XXX Klein" spoofed Klein's performance art. Klein instructed nude models to use sponges to cover themselves with paint and then roll around to generate paintings. On display at Albright-Knox were these sponges, now turned into art works themselves.
Even more interesting were some innovative and exciting works by lesser known modern artists.
Erwin Wurm's Jackob/Big Psycho is a humorous sculpture of someone struggling to either put on or get out of a big sweater. It is meant to represent the concepts of hiding, anonymity, insecurity and trying to cover up for protection. Wurm asked a friend to actually model this pose in order to capture the proper form and then caricaturized the results.
Baby Girl by Venezuelan artist Marisol shows a large scale smiling baby with a relatively small figure of the mother. The indication is that the baby is the master in this situation and the mother is there to cater to her needs. Marisol painted her own face on the mother.
The first is Zobop Stairs by Jim Lambie, who took a wide staircase and applied brightly coloured vinyl tape to it. He described this as a cross between painting and sculpture, as he controlled the widths, lengths and colours of the tape, but the shape of his art was predetermined by the existing staircase. The vibrantly coloured stripes made it difficult to discern where one step ended and the next one started, so you had to tread carefully.
At first, Scribbles: Staircase by Sol Lewitt looks like shades of grey toned paint or wall paper covering the main stairway corridor connecting the old and new buildings. Closer examination shows that the walls were actually inscribed with thousands of hand-written "scribbles" made using graphite pencils, following patterns determined by Lewitt. It took 16 people 5026 hours to complete the 2200 square feet of wall space, using 1717 graphite lead pencils.
Finally a beautiful video light display is projected on the floor at one end of the building, shimmering and morphing into different patterns. I didn't take note of the name of the art or artist but it definitely made an impression on us and was mesmerizing to watch. You get a different experience depending on whether you view this video looking down from above, or standing beside or on top of it.
The content in the free audio guides that describe highlights from the Albright-Knox collection is superb. Each audio clip provides with just enough detail to help you grasp artistic nuances of the work, sometimes adding interesting anecdotes about the artist or his creation process, without being so drawn out and pedantic that it becomes information overload. Listening to the audio guide descriptions added so much to our enjoyment and understanding of the works. Below are some of my favourite examples: