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Josef Kristofoletti

American, born 1980

Josef Kristofoletti's Golden Hour, 2021, at 201 Ellicott Street. Photograph by Jeff Mace for Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Golden Hour,

Public Artwork Details

Currently on View


Mineral paint on Minerit panels


Commissioned by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Public Art Initiative, 2021

Location: 201 Ellicott Street (Get Directions)

Like many abstract artists, Josef Kristofoletti privileges the power of color, light, and form. There is a sort of romance to the placement of this spectacular and meditative work, full of gradations of tones and hues, in an urban setting. The gentle sweeps of color suggest the sublime nature of a sunset amid the steel and stone of downtown Buffalo’s architecture.

The “Golden Hour,” sometimes referred to as the “Magic Hour,” is a time near or at sunrise and sunset that artists, particularly photographers and painters, are drawn to because of the way the brightness of the sky and land tend to match more closely, making objects appear “softer” due to the lack of distinct shadows. The glow that appears during these times can be majestic—even awe-inspiring—in its natural beauty. 

Kristofoletti evokes this same kind of rapturous experience in his work. Juxtaposed here against the grid of neighboring buildings, the blurring and blending of colors in the artwork amplifies its importance as a moment of blissful disruption in the urban landscape while simultaneously pointing us back to the distinct features of the surrounding architecture, both new and old.

Josef Kristofoletti's Golden Hour, 2021, at 201 Ellicott Street. Photograph by Brenda Bieger for Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Josef Kristofoletti's Golden Hour, 2021, at 201 Ellicott Street. Photograph by Brenda Bieger for Buffalo AKG Art Museum

About Josef Kristofoletti

Through large-scale, site-specific mural paintings, Josef Kristofoletti (American, born 1980) addresses how humans interface with both the massive and the infinitesimal. In 2010, Kristofoletti completed a public mural depicting the 7000-metric ton ATLAS particle detector as an artist-in-residence at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. A founding member of the artist collective Transit Antenna, Kristofoletti has also traveled throughout North America as part of a mobile living experiment that engaged local communities through public interventions. His work on subjects such as nature, technology, space, and architecture has appeared in several publications, including Wired, PBS News Hour, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, Fast Company, and Symmetry Magazine.

Project Sponsor

Presented by Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation.

Initiative Sponsors

The Public Art Initiative was established and is supported by leadership funding from the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.

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