Clifton Hall Link
The expression “works on paper” corresponds to a completely different set of rules for making art, which extends beyond traditional media and abolishes the assumption that art made on or of paper occupies merely a complementary role to painting and sculpture. For decades now, artists have defied the simplistic notion of basic drawing by utilizing multiple techniques and diverse media to create works on paper. Be it a quick charcoal sketch of a figure, a preliminary study by a sculptor working out a new concept, a photo collage, or a portfolio of prints that conveys a complete narrative, there is a spontaneity to any work on paper that is experimental, intimate, and compelling.
The Albright-Knox is committed to collecting and exhibiting modern and contemporary art and as part of this endeavor, focuses on ensuring that works on paper continue to enter the collection on a steady basis. Although the museum is perhaps best known for its outstanding paintings and sculptures, works on paper comprise more than half of its collection. This group of more than 3,000 objects, which are housed in The F. Paul Norton and Frederic P. Norton Family Prints and Drawings Center, includes vintage posters, drawings, pastels, prints (engravings, etchings, mezzotints, and lithographs), watercolors, and photography. Unexpected treasures by celebrated artists such as Paul Cézanne, Sonia Delaunay, Sam Francis, Vincent van Gogh, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Roy Lichtenstein, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Robert Motherwell, Pablo Picasso, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Andy Warhol form the nucleus of a comprehensive collection that spans from the early 15th century to the present.
This exhibition presented some of the museum’s most recent acquisitions of works on paper. While some of these artists work solely on paper, others utilize the medium to further explore the creative process and reflect an iconography they have developed in other bodies of work. Works by artists Karin Davie, Phillip Guston, Heather McGill, and Robert Therrien, who are also represented in other areas of the collection, convey details about their working process and exemplify the various methods they employ in their art making practices. En masse, the works in this exhibition continue to fulfill the Albright-Knox’s ongoing commitment and vision for a collection that is both comprehensive and reflective of the art—and artists—of our time.
This exhibition was organized by Associate Curator Holly E. Hughes.