Skip to Main Content

Erin Shirreff

Saturday, January 23, 2016Sunday, May 8, 2016

Installation view of Erin Shirreff. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

1905 Building

In her work across media, Erin Shirreff (Canadian, born 1975) mines the network that connects sculpture to its photographic representation. Her acclaimed and interrelated bodies of work include video studies of individual photographs, cut-metal and poured-plaster sculptural assemblages, interruptive and overlapping photographs and collages, and photographic canvases, which depict forms that refer to her sculpture. In an age when the ubiquity of smartphones has effectively collapsed the firsthand viewing of art with the creation of its representation, Shirreff explores the many ways we still try to access or “grasp” objects: through the photographic images we circulate, the art historical narratives we construct, and the time we dedicate to absorption. As much as our encounters with Shirreff’s artworks are corporeal—we physically and sensorially navigate the scale, texture, stuff, and weight of these objects and traces—their dialogue with history is also phantasmagoric. They ask us to enter the spaces between objects and our memories of them, and between representation and its history.

Erin Shirreff (Canadian, born 1975). Monograph (no. 3), 2012. Set of five black-and-white inkjet prints, edition 3/4, 37 x 48 1/2 x 3 inches (94 x 123.2 x 7.6 cm) each, framed. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Edmund Hayes and Sarah Norton Goodyear Funds, 2014 (P2014:3a-e). © Erin Shirreff.

Erin Shirreff (Canadian, born 1975). Drop (no. 14), 2015. Hot-rolled, cold-rolled, and Cor-ten steel, 117.25 x 214.5 x 34 inches (297.8 x 544.8 x 86.4 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. © Erin Shirreff. Image courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. Photo: Jason Wyche.

Erin Shirreff (Canadian, born 1975). Knife, 2008. Black-and-white inkjet print, edition 1/3, 40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, George Cary and Armand J. Castellani Funds, 2014. © Erin Shirreff. Image courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

Erin Shirreff (Canadian, born 1975). Still from Medardo Rosso, Madame X, 1896, 2013. Color HD video, silent, edition 2/3. Running time: 24 minutes, looped. Collection of the artist. © Erin Shirreff. Image courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

This first large-scale museum survey in the United States of Shirreff’s work is organized by the Albright-Knox and ICA/Boston (where it was on view from August 26 through November 29, 2015) and is accompanied by a catalogue. At the Albright-Knox, Shirreff will supplement the exhibition of her work with a group of historical photographs from the museum’s archives dating from the early 1900s to the late 1960s. These catalogue a wide range of possible interactions between museum visitors, employees, photographers, and sculptural objects in the museum setting.

This exhibition is organized by Senior Curator Dr. Cathleen Chaffee and Jenelle Porter, former Mannion Family Senior Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.

Admission to this exhibition is free during M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY on February 5, March 4, April 1, and May 6, 2016. 

Exhibition Sponsors

This exhibition and its accompanying publication have been made possible, in part, through the generosity of the Albright-Knox Contemporary and Modern Art Foundation Canada and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., with additional support from Keller Technology Corporation, Deborah Ronnen, and an anonymous donor.

Equipment and technical support provided by Advantage TI.

Albright-Knox Contemporary and Modern Art Foundation Canada