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Installation view of Open House: Domestic Thresholds by Heather Hart, Edra Soto, and Rodney Taylor. Photograph by Brenda Bieger.

Open House: Domestic Thresholds by Heather Hart, Edra Soto, and Rodney Taylor

Friday, January 17, 2020
Sunday, March 8, 2020

While originally scheduled to run through April 12, Open House: Domestic Thresholds by Heather Hart, Edra Soto, and Rodney Taylor closed early on March 8 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Albright-Knox Northland

This first exhibition at Albright-Knox Northland features work by Heather Hart, Edra Soto, and Rodney Taylor that explores how people build connections to others both inside and outside the walls of those structures we call home.

Visitors are encouraged to climb on top of and underneath Heather Hart’s life-size rooftop construction, unexpectedly situated at ground level within the gallery. Over the course of the exhibition, this interactive sculpture environment will host performances, discussions, community gatherings, and other events led by local artists, cultural producers, community leaders, and regional historians. Programming is an integral part of opening up this house—which is loosely based on Hart’s childhood home—to wide-ranging conversations and opportunities to share with one another.

Heather Hart (American, born 1975). Oracle of Conduction, 2019. Roof, mirrors, talking tube, and participation. Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Pamela Martin.

Edra Soto (Puerto Rican, born 1971). Open 24 Hours, 2018. Three self-standing screen units, more than two hundred found glass bottles, and one casting table. Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Pamela Martin.

Rodney Taylor (American, 1969–2019). Untitled, Home Series #2, 2019. Flashe paint, earth clay, water, pencil, and pastel on Lennox 100 paper; 60 x 55 1/4 inches (152.4 x 140.3 cm). Courtesy of the artist's estate. Photograph by Brenda Bieger.

Since 2016, Edra Soto has turned her daily dog walks into what she has likened to urban beachcombing: collecting discarded liquor bottles. The artist carefully strips her findings of their branded labeling, and she plays up the simple elegance of the bare bottles by displaying them on decorative panels inspired by the painted wrought-iron screens that commonly adorn homes in her native Puerto Rico. As part of special artmaking activities, visitors will be invited to adorn the bottles with cast-clay seashells, reimagining the definition of beauty in our personal and shared spaces through the creation of these newly enhanced hybrids.

A series of Rodney Taylor’s paintings inspired by homes near his studio on Fillmore Avenue in Buffalo’s East Side complete the exhibition. Like both Hart and Soto, Taylor was interested in revealing the complexities at the heart of such everyday structures. In his paintings, he transforms the architecture of the homes into virtual frames, suggesting buildings under stress. These images confront us with what we regularly see but rarely acknowledge: the burden, unequally distributed in an environment of increasingly stark economic disparities, of maintaining what ought to be a space of sanctuary and shelter.

This exhibition is organized by Curator of Public Art Aaron Ott.

Admission to Albright-Knox Northland is always Pay What You Wish.

About Heather Hart

Heather Hart has exhibited widely, including installations at Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York; Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco; Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Brooklyn Museum; The Studio Museum in Harlem; and Seattle Art Museum, among many other institutions. Hart has also participated in the Socrates Sculpture Park's Emerging Artist Fellowship, Whitney Museum of American Art's Independent Study Program, and Joan Mitchell Foundation's Artist-in-Residence Program, as well as residencies and programs at the Franconia Sculpture Park and John Michael Kohler Art Center.

Hart holds an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, with courses at Princeton University and a BFA from the Cornish College of the Arts. She teaches sculpture and theory at Rutgers University.

About Edra Soto

Recent venues presenting Edra Soto’s work include Chicago Cultural Center; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas; Pérez Art Museum Miami; and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. This fall Soto completed the public art commission sculpture titled Screenhouse, for a two-year exhibition at Chicago’s Millennium Park. Soto has attended residency programs at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Beta-Local, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency, Headlands Center for the Arts, Project Row Houses, Art Omi, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Arts/Industry. Soto was awarded the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, an Illinois Arts Council Agency Fellowship, and a 3Arts Foundation residency fellowship to Montalvo Arts Center. Most recently, she was the award winner of the inaugural Foundwork Artist Prize. Soto’s work has been included in three exhibitions supported by the MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund: A Chicago / Puerto Rico exhibition at Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico; a Chicago / Cuba exhibition at the Smart Museum (Illinois) and a Chicago / Brazil exchange to take place in Salvador, Brazil in 2020.

Soto holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de Puerto Rico. She is a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About Rodney Taylor

Born in Buffalo, Rodney Taylor (1966–2019) moved to New York City at the age of 20 where he studied, lived, and worked for 16 years. He studied at The Cooper Union, Fashion Institute of Technology, Bard College, and Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, where he received a fellowship. Past exhibitions have been held at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo; The Mexican Museum of Art; various galleries in Miami and New York City; and the UB Art Gallery, Buffalo. Taylor’s work is included in many prominent collections nationwide, including that of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Exhibition and Events Sponsors

Open House: Domestic Thresholds by Heather Hart, Edra Soto, and Rodney Taylor was made possible through the support of Leila Jammal. Events are sponsored by an anonymous donor, HARD Manufacturing Company, Marion and Philip Henderson, Hunt Real Estate, and William C. Smith.

The Albright-Knox’s exhibition program is generously supported by The Seymour H. Knox Foundation, Inc.

Albright-Knox Northland Sponsor

Albright-Knox Northland is supported by M&T Bank.

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