One of the sad things about the Albright-Knox’s bad, inappropriate “Sabres” exhibition I discussed here yesterday is that it sits on what should have been a signature moment for the gallery: The presentation of “Beyond/In Western New York: Alternating Currents,” a ‘regional -ennial’ that has been on view at a number of Buffalo-area arts institutions. The Albright’s exhibition closes on Jan. 16. Here are four artists from the its presentation who caught my eye:
Victoria Bradbury: Represented here by Midway Projections, an installation that somehow merged steampunk with viewer interaction and a little bit of Matthew Barney, Bradbury linked our memories about urbanity’s past with the present. Her piece reminded me of the way photographers such as Sally Mann use early photographic processes to tap into our collective history.
Sheldon Berlyn: His swirling abstract paintings seem to start with David Reed — and then get flatter. They’re full of paradoxical references, including to rolls of (antiquated?) newsprint and to digital data storage.
Randall Tiedman: The artist’s absorbing post-apocalyptic paintings of massively developed, fantastically colored industrial landscapes seem to simultaneously refer to Buffalo’s post-industrial present and to imagine what the region would look like were American industry more vital.
Penelope Stewart: Jumping off from immersive installations such as Ed Ruscha‘s Chocolate Room, Stewart’s beeswax squares installation Appian Screen [detail, above] references architecture, history and the inevitability of societal decline. Like the other three artists I’ve spotlighted here, Stewart’s work asks questions that seem rooted in the Great Lakes region’s fall from wealth and prominence.
Related: The Buffalo News’ handy guide to its (admirably extensive) Beyond/In WNY coverage.