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Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s

Saturday, June 30, 2018Sunday, December 30, 2018

From left: Robert Rauschenberg’s Ace, 1962, Marisol's Tea for Three, 1960; and Jasper Johns’s Numbers in Color, 1958–59, on view in Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s. Photograph by Tom Loonan and Brenda Bieger.

1905 Building, North Galleries

As one of the most culturally and politically significant periods of the 20th century, the 1960s also gave rise to numerous aesthetic innovations. Fueled by creativity and technological euphoria, artists began exploring new mediums and incorporating popular themes, motifs, and subjects into their practices. In time, movements such as Pop art, Op art, and Minimalism—and later Conceptual, Performance, and video art—radically reshaped the boundaries of the art world.

Victor Vasarely (French, born Hungary, 1906–1997). Vega-Nor, 1969. Oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 78 3/4 inches (200 x 200 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1969 (K1969:29). © Fondation Vasarely / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

Marisol (María Sol Escobar) (Venezuelan and American, born France, 1930–2016). Tea for Three, 1960. Wood, acrylic, and found objects; 64 x 22 x 27 inches (162.6 x 55.9 x 68.6 cm) overall. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Bequest of Marisol, 2016 (2018:16a-d). © Estate of Marisol / Albright-Knox Art Gallery / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987). 100 Cans, 1962. Casein, spray paint, and pencil on cotton, 72 x 52 inches (182.9 x 132.1 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1963 (K1963:26). © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Campbell's trademarks used with permission of Campbell Soup Company

Tony Berlant (American, born 1941). My Planet, 1964. Found and fabricated printed tin collages on plywood with steel brads, 8 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches (21.6 x 19.1 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Charles W. Goodyear Fund, 2013 (2013:9). © 1964 Tony Berlant

Frank Stella (American, born 1936). Jill, 1959. Enamel on canvas, 90 3/8 x 78 3/4 inches (229.6 x 200 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1962 (K1962:1). © Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Assembled from the Albright-Knox’s expansive collection, Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s features major works by some of the leading artists of the period—such as Bridget Riley, Frank Stella, and Pop icon Andy Warhol—and reconsiders those who played an underrecognized, but vital, role in furthering the visual avant-garde in the United States and beyond. Additionally, the exhibition will incorporate a small selection of special ephemera, artist books, and archival materials, including documentation of notable dance and theatrical performances that were organized or commissioned by the museum during the 1960s.

Merce Cunningham Dance Company performance of Paired (1964) with dancers Merce Cunningham and Viola Farber on Monday, March 1, 1965, during the Buffalo Festival of the Arts Today (February 27–March 13, 1965) at Upton Hall, State University of New York College at Buffalo. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Archives and Digital Assets Collection. Photograph by Ralph Crane

Internationally known for collecting and giving voice to both established and up-and-coming artists, the Albright-Knox continually strives to present the art of our time—a quest that took firm hold in the 1960s. More than half a century later, Giant Steps revisits the vivacious imaginings of this compelling epoch.

This exhibition is organized by Godin-Spaulding Curator & Curator for the Collection Holly E. Hughes.

Admission to this special exhibition is Pay What You Wish on M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY.

Exhibition Sponsors

Support for this exhibition has been provided by the sponsors of the Summer of AK.
Equipment and technical support provided by Advantage TI.

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s exhibition program is generously supported by The Seymour H. Knox Foundation, Inc.

Support for this exhibition also comes from our Summer of AK sponsors. To learn more, please contact Manager of Major Gifts Erin Sheets at 716.270.8385 or