Celebrating her unique spirit and unsparing vision, Who Does She Think She Is? presents Rosalyn Drexler as both a sharp critic of and a joyful participant in American culture of the past fifty years. Born in 1926 to a Russian immigrant family in the Bronx, she grew up during the Depression raised on vaudeville and the movies, with little access to art. Her parents hoped she would make it in Hollywood. Instead, she married painter Sherman Drexler at the age of nineteen and spent the next decade as a mother and housewife seeking outlets for her own creativity, including a brief stint as a female wrestler in the early 1950s and a prolific career as an author, writing experimental novels, award-wining scripts for television, and, under a pseudonym, pulp fiction.

Stealing moments to write during her daughter’s naps and assembling sculpture in her living room, Drexler discovered her own voice as well as New York’s burgeoning art and literary worlds. Her work resonates with the cool Pop art of the 1960s, yet addresses sexual politics with unique frankness. Along with the central themes of love and violence, she explores midcentury masculinity and her often-flamboyant self-identity as a woman, writer, and artist. As Drexler has said of her multifaceted career, “I didn’t have any preconceived ideas about what I should be, or that I should only be one thing.”

Image: Rosalyn Drexler (American, born 1926). Lovers, 1963. Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 55 ¼ x 52 inches (140.3 x 132.1 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, by exchange, 2016 (2016:1). © 2016 Rosalyn Drexler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.

Today is Agnes Martin’s birthday. Celebrate by coming to see Agnes Martin: The New York–Taos Connection (1947–1957) this afternoon or weekend.

Martin was one of the few women to stand out during a revolutionary period of American art in the 1940s and 1950s. Her meditative paintings, drawings, and writings have influenced generations of artists interested in abstraction. 

IMAGE: Mildred Tolbert’s Untitled (Agnes Martin in Her Studio), ca. 1955. Collection of The Harwood Museum of Art, Courtesy Mildred Tolbert Archives.

Museum Monday: Among the highlighted works in the permanent collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is Column Structure XXII (2008) by Robert Mangold. The artist grew up in a nearby suburb of Buffalo, New York, where the museum is located. 

Robert Mangold, the artist’s 14th exhibition at Pace, will be on view at 510 West 25th Street from April 4 through May 3, 2014.

DECADE Theme Preview: L.A. Angels
Work 4: Justin Beal’s Untitled, 2010

Justin Beal is one of a group of Los Angeles artists who create works that involve darkly funny, wicked, and satirical themes. In his untitled sculpture, two reflective panels are wrapped tightly with black plastic wrap. Beal, in essence, transforms a functional object—a mirror—into a non-functional object, while simultaneously referencing eroticism and bondage.

© 2010 Justin Beal


Brooklyn-based artist Amanda Browder creates colorful, large-scale fabric art installations wrapped around building exteriors and other public sites. One of the things that makes her artwork so awesome is how each piece becomes a community project with local volunteers donating fabric, gathering to help sew it all together, and installing it on-site.

Browder has said, “The idea is that it is similar to a rainbow—a happenstance encounter with something so awesome that you would tell more than one person about it—and that conversation, construction, and reinterpretation is just as unique as the piece.”

For her most recent project, entitled Spectral Locus, Browder was invited to Buffalo, NY by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, where she and her volunteers are currently creating a trio of dazzlingly vibrant installations. Pictured above is Spectral Locus on the Richmond Ferry Church (aka the Rosanna Elizabeth Visual and Performing Arts Center), which was completed just last week. The third building, Clifton Hall, will be wrapped in fabric this week.

Click here for additional photos from Spectral Locus.

Visit Amanda Browder’s website to check out more of her awesome textile art installations.

[Photos via Amanda Browder on Facebook]

Spotlight on Gregory Crewdson

We take a closer look at Gregory Crewdson in our AK Contemporary series as part of M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY this evening. Assistant Curator of Education Jessica DiPalma will give a lecture at 7:30 pm and a screening of the documentary Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, 2012, will follow at 8 pm.

Crewdson considers himself to be an “American Realist Landscape Photographer.” He often uses American small-town domestic life as the backdrop to images that blur the distinction between reality and fiction and that seem slightly surreal, unsettling, and, at times, even foreboding. Crewdson begins with a story in his head and then creates an image of one moment in the life of that story. These “frozen moments” are highly staged, down to the smallest detail. The artist doesn’t actually take the photograph himself, but assumes a directorial role, overseeing the creation of the set, costumes, and props, as well as the actions of his assistants. 

Crewdson often finds inspiration in the work of legendary directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch. However, unlike when watching a film that provides an entire story, viewers of one of Crewdson’s highly cinematic works are left to narrate for themselves what happened before and after the moment captured in the photograph. 

Learn More about Tonight’s Event

IMAGE: Gregory Crewdson’s Untitled (Ophelia) from the “Twilight” series, as featured in Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, a film by Ben Shapiro. A Zeitgeist Films release. Photo © Gregory Crewdson

Throwback Thursday: Installation view of Mirrored Room by Lucas Samaras for his first-ever solo exhibition at Pace, Selected Works 1960 - 1966, which took place October 8 - November 5, 1966. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery acquired Mirrored Room during the same year. 

It was one of the earliest installation artworks designed for viewers to enter, rather than simply look at. Almost fifty years later, the museum is celebrating the artwork with the exhibition Lucas Samaras: Reflections, on view in Buffalo, New York, from June 21 through November 16. Join the celebration by attending Mirror | Mirror, the museum’s summer party on Friday, June 20, 7-11 PM. 


This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast spotlights James McNeill Whistler.

On the first segment, Daniel E. Sutherland discusses his new biography of the artist, “Whistler: A Life For Art’s Sake.” It is the first biography of Whistler published in twenty years, and the first to make use of Whistler’s private correspondence. “Whistler” was published by Yale University Press. The image above is of the book’s cover. Amazon offers the book for as little as $20.

Sutherland is a history professor at the University of Arkansas. His previous subjects have included the Civil War and life in post-Civil War America. 

Among the topics Sutherland and host Tyler Green discuss is Whistler’s famed libel suit against John Ruskin, a trial that significantly impacted Whistler’s life. The suit was prompted by Ruskin’s reaction to the painting at the top of this post, Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (1875), now at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Whistler wasn’t the only 19thC artist fascinated by fireworks: Also pictured here is James Ensor’s Fireworks (1887) at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, and Winslow Homer’s Sailboat and Fourth of July Fireworks (1880) at the Harvard Art Museums.

On the second segment, Margaret F. MacDonald discusses the exhibition “An American in London: Whistler and the Thames.” The show is on view at the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery from Saturday through August 17. MacDonald co-curated “An American in London” with Patricia de Montfort. It originated at London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery. The catalogue was published by Philip Wilson Publishers.

MacDonald is a professor of art history at the University of Glasgow and the director of “James McNeill Whistler: The Etchings. A Catalogue Raisonne.” The digital catalogue raisonne is available here.

Listen to or download this week’s MAN Podcast: On SoundCloud, via direct-link mp3, or subscribe to The MAN Podcast (for free) at:

Andy Goldsworthy, a Mini-series: Ephemeral Work

Today we continue our mini-series about Andy Goldsworthy’s works, leading up to his visit and talk on May 15.

During the artist’s July 2012 visit to the Albright-Knox, when he created one of the Rain Shadows pictured in a previous post, he also created and photographed this ephemeral work on the Delaware Stairs, exemplifying the beautiful simplicity of many of his works.

Join us for a rare opportunity to hear Goldsworthy talk about his work on Wednesday, May 15, at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 for Members, $20 for non-members, and $15 for students and seniors. Learn More and Buy Tickets

Image © Andy Goldsworthy


From the MoMa to the Albright.

The Albright-Knox art gallery has an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures from some of the worlds most revered artist. First Fridays of the month, sponsored by M&T bank, allow the public to explore the first floor of the gallery for free. The first floor contains some of the gallery’s permanent collections and newly added pieces. The museum itself is a work of art, from the beaux-arts architectural style of the building to the modern interior. The curators are very welcoming and more than willing to provide insight on a piece. If you are in the area I highly recommend you visit the Albright, which is located on Elmwood Avenue across from the Buffalo State campus.