Campus News

Reitzenstein exhibition, ‘WTF,’ to open in Buffalo Arts Studio

"WTF (Where's the Forest)" exhibit pieces including an entire tree, from roots to branches, suspended lengthwise from the ceiling and another tree with the trunk made of circular wooden disks.

“WTF (Where’s the Forest)” opens May 24 in the Buffalo Arts Studio. Photo: Buffalo Arts Studio


Published May 21, 2019


“WTF (Where’s the Forest),” a solo exhibition of new work by UB faculty member Reinhard Reitzenstein, opens May 24 in Buffalo Arts Studio in the Tri-Main Center.

The opening reception will take place from 5-8 p.m. May 24 in the center, 2495 Main St., Buffalo. The exhibition, which spans both of Buffalo Arts Studio’s gallery spaces in the Tri-Main Center, will be on view through June 29.

“WTF (Where’s the Forest)” brings the remains of a full tree covered in beeswax into the Buffalo Arts Studio gallery. The unexpected appearance of the tree and its scent within the context of the gallery space — a former automotive plant — point to the complicity of the industrial past and gentrified present in the production of greenhouse gases and eradication of green spaces necessary to counteract global warming.

“WTF (Where’s the Forest),” exhibit being installed.

Installation begins for “WTF (Where’s the Forest).” Photo: Buffalo Arts Studio

The exhibition also features large-scale woodcuts and a massive wall drawing of a tree formed by repetitively writing the tree’s species name. The large-scale woodcuts are being produced at Mirabo Press — located in the former Sherwood Electromotion plant, where large, specialized motors and engines for subways and trains were once manufactured.

Night 水, 2019 Four woodcut panels on paper, 80 x 160 in in total (80 x 40 each) Edition of 5 .

Night 水, 2019, Four woodcut panels on paper, 80 x 160 in in total (80 x 40 each), Edition of 5

Both sites — the former Sherwood plant and the Tri-Main Center — historically contributed to the production of greenhouse gases, and their rehabilitation as creative, ecologically responsible facilities is essential to the context of the project.

Reitzenstein’s exhibition will also serve as the backdrop for a panel discussion, “Seeds of Change: Land, Trust, and Community,” taking place on June 28 in the gallery. The panel, part of the M&T Fourth Friday series at Buffalo Arts Studio, will include India Walton, founding executive director of the Fruit Belt Community Land Trust, for a discussion of the effects of gentrification, including its ecological and economic consequences.

A tree, branches to roots, laid on the floor, part of the WTF exhibit.

Part of the “WTF (Where’s the Forest)” exhibit during installation. Photo: Buffalo Arts Studio

Reitzenstein is associate professor in the Department of Art, where he serves as director of the Sculpture Program and of the undergraduate art program. His work has consistently taken him into processes that explore ways to interconnect nature, culture, science and technology. He works in several parallel areas: indoor installation and sculpture using cast, spun and welded metals, wood, glass, photography and digitally processed images; large-scale drawings; outdoor tree-based installations; and sound art. He travels and exhibits his work extensively, often speaking about contemporary cultural issues in his public lectures.

His work has been featured in more than 100 solo exhibitions and almost 300 group exhibitions internationally, and he has completed more 20 public art commissions, along with many private commissions.

Buffalo Arts Studio is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Hours are extended to 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the fourth Friday of the month from January to November.