One of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's greatest treasures is a small painting by Giacomo Balla called "Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash" and painted 100 years ago. It depicts a small dachshund on its owner's leash, its legs and tail a blur of motion against a whooshing white sidewalk. This was Balla's attempt -- daring and rather controversial in its time -- of representing time and motion in the static medium of painting. It was painted the same year as Marcel Duchamp's groundbreaking "Nude Descending a Staircase." After these works, which explored the idea of painting's limitations, the art world was never the same.
Balla's most famous work is the inspiration for "Transactions," a new exhibition of video, sculpture and photography by University at Buffalo visual studies student Timothy Scaffidi opening Saturday in Buffalo Arts Studio (2495 Main St.). Along with prints and sculptural work, Scaffidi's MFA thesis show contains a video piece called "Dynamism of a Dog in a Wheelchair," described as "a playful, modern-day exemplification of the idea of the world in perpetual motion."
BAS will also open an exhibition by the Brooklyn-based mixed-media artist Jonathan Allen, "Through the Vanishing Point." That show, according to BAS curator Cori Wolff, combines "painting, drawing and collage techniques to form hyperreal depictions of contemporary life."
The exhibitions open with a reception at 7 p.m. Saturday and run through May 26. For more information, call 833-4450 or visit www.buffaloartsstudio.org.
-- Colin Dabkowski