Skip to Main Content

We the People: New Art from the Collection Opens at the Albright-Knox

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Buffalo, NY – On Tuesday, October 23, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery opened a new exhibition of recent acquisitions of contemporary art titled We the People: New Art from the Collection.

Some of the most imaginative and dynamic artists working today are exploring what it means to be a citizen of the twenty-first century. Whether creating paintings or videos, sculptures or photographs, the artists in We the People: New Art from the Collection are interested in how we define our identities, form our communities, and confront the various forces that shape our lives.

A Members’ Opening will take place Thursday, October 25, from 5 to 7 pm, with a free public opening to follow from 7 to 9 pm. At 7:15 pm, in the Auditorium, join Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director Janne Sirén and Assistant Curator Tina Rivers Ryan for a discussion of how the artists in this show are responding to the world around them. See a full list of exhibition-related events and programming.

“We are thrilled to present this exhibition to the people of Buffalo and the broader public,” said Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director Janne Sirén. “The works Tina and I have selected for this show represent diverse ways in which contemporary artists from across America and the world are calling attention to and exploring critically important topics. By providing a space for audiences to encounter a rich tapestry of ideas, We the People continues the Albright-Knox’s long legacy of proclaiming art’s relevance to all our lives.”

Taken as an ensemble, the works in We the People raise questions that encourage us to think about our place in a constantly evolving world. Who are we? What are our values and how are they formed? How do we imagine our future? Throughout the exhibition, a wide range of new didactic materials, including community-generated wall labels and annotated visual guides, encourage visitors to make connections between the works on display and our cultural, political, and physical environment. “One of our main goals with this exhibition was to encourage close looking at works of art, not only as an end unto itself, but also as a means of understanding how art contributes, in its own way, to conversations that transcend the art world,” said Assistant Curator Tina Rivers Ryan.

From its founding in 1862, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery has been dedicated to collecting art that reflects the concerns of each era. Over the past five years, the museum has continued this mission by acquiring hundreds of works by living artists from around the world. We the People includes more than two dozen of these new additions to the collection, most of which have never before been on view at the Albright-Knox, by artists such as Yuji Agematsu, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Rodney Graham, Subodh Gupta, Jacqueline Humphries, Rashid Johnson, Park McArthur, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Hank Willis Thomas, Danh Võ, and Kara Walker.

This exhibition is organized by Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director Janne Sirén and Assistant Curator Tina Rivers Ryan. Equipment and technical support have been provided by Advantage TI. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s exhibition program is generously supported by The Seymour H. Knox Foundation, Inc.