Campus News

UB Art Galleries reopening for fall with four exhibitions


Published September 18, 2020


Four exhibitions that ask what it means to remember — our loved ones as well as traumatic histories of a nation-state — will open in the UB Art Galleries this semester, offering a dynamic range of artistic practices and processes of engaging with the past.

Appointments to visit the exhibitions in the UB Art Gallery in the Center for the Arts and the UB Anderson Gallery can be made online, and virtual tours and programs are planned throughout the year as well to accompany the exhibitions. 

The exhibitions present large-scale sculptures by Trinidadian-born, Philadelphia-based Karyn Olivier that explore what it means to make a monument; photographs and videos by Eritrean-Canadian artist Dawit L. Petros that bring vivid images of legacies of colonialism in east Africa; new, text-based work by esteemed photographer Justine Kurland featured alongside paintings by her father, the late Buffalo-based artist Bruce Kurland; and drawings and maquettes by Philip Pavia that accompany the installation of outdoor sculpture by Pavia on the UB North Campus.

The exhibitions

Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves
Oct. 29 through May 15, UB Art Gallery, Center for the Arts
Karyn Olivier makes monuments. She investigates scale, public memory and how they relate to issues of inclusivity and acceptance. “Everything That’s Alive Moves” brings together two themes the artist has focused on in recent years: larger-than-life scale and the minute, modest gesture. An obelisk sculpture, a car made entirely of shoes and a brick wall built using discarded clothing as mortar are among the works selected to be reimagined and constructed on site at UB Art Galleries.
“Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves” is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania, and is curated by ICA Daniel and Brett Sundheim Chief Curator Anthony Elms. The Buffalo presentation is organized by Liz Park, curator of exhibitions, UB Art Galleries.

Support has been provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Edna Wright Andrade Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation, the Henry Moore Foundation, and a Tyler Dean's Grant from Temple University.

Dawit L. Petros: Spazio Disponibile 
Sept. 24 through May 16, UB Anderson Gallery
Dawit L. Petros’ art stems from his research into the complex layers of colonial histories that connect East Africa and Europe. “Spazio Disponibile” — Italian for “Available Space” — is an exhibition of photo, video and sound that scrutinizes historical gaps in memory, particularly that of modern Italy. Alluding to vacant advertising sections that appeared in Rivista Coloniale, a widely circulated early 20th-century magazine and the official organ of the Italian colonial project, the title is also a reference to the colonial gaze that viewed the lands of Africa as available space to occupy and exploit.
“Dawit L. Petros: Spazio Disponibile” was initiated, organized and circulated by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, in collaboration with the UB Art Galleries. It is curated by guest curator Irene Campolmi, of The Power Plant; UB curator Liz Park will curate for the Buffalo presentation.

The exhibition is sponsored by The TD Ready Commitment and supported by lead donor Lonti Ebers. Additional support for the tour is provided by Canada Council for the Arts and The Gilder.

Bruce Kurland & Justine Kurland – Two Worlds: Illusion & Document
Sept. 24 through May 15, UB Anderson Gallery
“Two Worlds: Illusion and Document” features work by photographer Justine Kurland and her father, the late-painter Bruce Kurland. Justine is widely known for her fantastical photographic tableaus of American landscapes as inhabited by real and imagined communities of girls and women. Bruce was a classically trained painter of still life based in Buffalo until his death from cancer in 2013.

The paintings in this exhibition reveal his unceasing fascination with common objects and what they can say about life and death. In response to her father’s paintings, Justine presents text-based gelatin silver prints. Like pages of a memoir, the prints capture Justine’s memories of Bruce — joy and passion from his small victories, as well as stinging pain from his illness and poverty.

A formal departure from her previous bodies of luscious, color photographs, this new work continues Justine’s exploration of the sense of rootedness and belonging through a social unit, which, for all of us, begins with a family — in the widest and the most generous sense of the word.

Philip Pavia: Drawings and Small Sculptures
Oct. 29 through March 13, Center for the Arts Gallery
Philip Pavia (1911-2005) was a leading sculptor in the American postwar abstraction movement, who worked alongside Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Arshile Gorky. This exhibition — organized in conjunction with the unveiling of “East Pediment, Sun-up” (1965-66), a large-scale, outdoor sculpture that will be installed on the North Campus — documents Pavia’s process through drawings and small marble sculptures created in the 1950s-80s.
“There is a will to shambles,” curator Thomas B. Hess says of Pavia’s work of this period. “The act of lifting and tilting, countered by the evident heavy pull of gravity, by the weighty mass of stone units, establishes the drama. It is a strong willful kick at the limits of art.”

Both the Center for the Arts Gallery and the Anderson Gallery are now open, by appointment only, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Visit the exhibitions’ individual websites to schedule a viewing. Admission is free.