In 1978, Albright-Knox Curator Charlotta Kotik organized the exhibition Jiří Kolář: Transformations, which included this work, inspired by a visit the artist made to the museum in the mid-1970s. Intrigued by the museum’s Cycladic Figure of a Woman, created by an ancient culture that lived in the Cyclades Islands off the coast of Greece around 3200–2300 BCE, he bought a reproduction of the work in the museum’s shop and had multiple wooden copies made. He covered each head with references to Greek contributions to Western civilization: astronomy, music, and poetry. Allusions to important periods of interest in ancient Greece are also incorporated—the wax seals refer to the fifteenth-century Renaissance patrons of classical scholarship, and the base is covered with sixteenth-century, classically inspired imagery. The pedestals refer to the Olympic Games, which began in Greece and continue today; the year Kolář created this work, 1976, was an Olympic year.
Label from Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant-garde in the 1970s, March 30–July 8, 2012