New public art to check out
As Buffalo gets its act together on public art after a long dormancy, new sculptures and installations are springing up everywhere. Many of them are easy to find. Here is a look at some of the most popular recent
“Laura” / Jaume Plensa / Outside the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Erected in the fall of 2012, this marble sculpture of an elongated girl’s head has been turning plenty of heads along Elmwood Avenue and the Scajaquada Expressway. Plensa created the statue with ancient sculpting techniques using marble from a Spanish quarry used by Romans to build their temples, a direct reference to the neoclassical forms of the Albright-Knox’s 1905 building.
Untitled / Robert Mangold / Robert H. Jackson United States Courthouse
The North Tonawanda-born minimalist artist Robert Mangold is responsible for this graceful quintet of colored glass panels tucked inside the entrance pavilion of the courthouse on Niagara Square. Each panel contains a serpentine line that can be found in many of Mangold’s paintings and drawings. The artwork as a whole lends a sense of calm to what might otherwise be an uncomfortable space.
“Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Monochrome I, Built to Live Anywhere, at Home Here” / Nancy Rubins / Albright-Knox Art Gallery
This riotous collection of steel canoes and other boats, cobbled together by artist Nancy Rubins in the summer of 2011, continues to cause debate among Buffalonians. Some view it as unacceptably loud and ugly, while others welcome it as a bold statement of modernity in front of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s neoclassical facade.
“The Front Yard” / Burchfield Penney Art Center
Launched in October 2013, this outdoor video and sound projection runs 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. At dusk, three projectors in leaning metal towers flicker to life and display a constantly evolving series of films on the slate facade of the Burchfield Penney. At sunrise, the projectors power down and the installation turns 100 percent sonic, catching passers-by off guard with a constantly changing program of audio works by local and international artists.
“Path” / by Andy Goldsworthy / Near the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
This graceful, snaking, barely visible impression along a gravel pathway near the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is possibly the most understated public artwork to appear in Buffalo for some time. It emerges from the gravel only at the right temperature and humidity level. Some have said early morning is the best time to detect it before the heat of the sun makes it disappear.