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Window to Wall: Art from Architecture

Saturday, November 18, 2017Sunday, March 18, 2018

Installation view of Window to Wall: Art from Architecture (November 18, 2017–March 18, 2018) in the Clifton Hall Link. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Clifton Hall Link

Some of the greatest works of modern art aim to change our relationship to the world around us, allowing us to see it with new eyes. Window to Wall: Art from Architecture surveys the ways in which artists have turned their attention—and ours—to architecture, which shapes our daily lives but most often goes unnoticed. Featuring architectural sites both real and imagined, famous and familiar, their works reveal the formal, metaphorical, and social dimensions of our built environment.

Donald K. Sultan (American, born 1951). September 3, 1980 Building, 1980. Oil, tile, and graphite on wood mounted on masonite, 48 x 48 inches (121.9 x 121.9 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Armand J. Castellani, 1983 (1983:22.2). © 1980 Donald K. Sultan

Luisa Lambri (Italian, born 1969). Untitled (Barragán House #21), 2005. Laserchrome digital chromogenic color print, edition 3/5; 36 x 38 x 2 inches (91.4 x 96.5 x 5.1 cm), framed. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; General Purchase Funds, 2006 (P2006:8.1). © 2005 Luisa Lambri

Dennis Maher (American, born 1976). Fargo Frame: High Chair Fence House, 2013. Inkjet print on canvas,  64 x 44 inches (162.6 x 111.8 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; James S. Ely Fund, 2014 (P2014:5.6). © Dennis Maher

The histories of art and architecture have long been aligned, but architecture has played a special role in the development of modern art. From the late nineteenth century onwards, artists have drawn parallels between the architecture of buildings and the “architecture,” or structure, of the picture plane. Their works encourage us to appreciate buildings as formal compositions in three-dimensional space. In a similar vein, artists have also used architectural surfaces, including ornamentation, to create patterned works that verge on abstraction, helping us see the beauty in our everyday surroundings. For other artists, architecture is less about form than feeling: their works underscore how a building and its interior space can define our inner lives. Finally, many contemporary artists emphasize that architecture is far from neutral, actively shaping and reflecting a society’s culture, politics, and history.

Drawn from the Albright-Knox’s collection, Window to Wall includes works by twentieth-century artists such as Charles Sheeler, Edward Hopper, and Joseph Stella alongside more recent compositions, illuminating art’s enduring and complex relationship with its sister discipline.

This exhibition is organized by Assistant Curator Tina Rivers Ryan.

Admission to this exhibition is free during M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY.