Art Today: Kinetic and Optic was organized by Director Gordon M. Smith as part of the Buffalo Festival of the Arts Today. Featuring 84 kinetic and optic sculptures and paintings by 48 artists, it was the first museum exhibition in the United States to consider the two movements simultaneously. It also included the first showing of works by Nicolas Schöffer in the United States, and the artist travelled to the Albright-Knox to install his sculptures.
The drive on the part of these artists to involve the spectator in the work, which often utilized new materials, formed a point of connection between these two disparate movements. In the case of the paintings, they are designed to cause a positive and involuntary reaction in the optic nerves. The sculptures and constructions react to touch, to color, to heat and light, and change with the position of the viewer in relation to the work; a large percentage of the works in Art Today: Kinetic and Optic were actually motorized.