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Eugene Ionesco's The Painting, 1966, at the Albright-Knox. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

Caught on Camera: The Painting by Eugène Ionesco

December 18, 2014

From December 7 through 11, 1966, performances of The Painting, a play by Eugène Ionesco (1909–1994), were presented in the Albright-Knox Auditorium. The play, made possible by The Workshop Repertory Theater and The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, tells the story of a painter who wishes to sell one of his works to a financier, a theme that was particularly timely in relationship to the 30th Annual Western New York Exhibition of that same year, in which regional artists aspired to sell their own works.

Ionesco, one of the primary figures of French Avant-garde theatre, wrote the play, in which characters wear colorful costumes and masks and often reverse roles as the action progresses, as a satire and thoughtful commentary on the shortcomings of man. The production also featured unusual lighting design, film clips, and sound effects.

Eugene Ionesco's The Painting, 1966, at the Albright-Knox. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

Eugene Ionesco's The Painting, 1966, at the Albright-Knox. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

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