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Screen Play: Life in an Animated World

Saturday, June 20–Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tabor Robak (American, born 1986). A*, 2014. Fourteen-channel HD video with real-time 3D, edition AP 1/edition of 3 and 2 APs. Running time: 9 minutes, 46 seconds. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Sherman S. Jewett Fund, by exchange, 2015. Photograph courtesy the artist and team (gallery, inc.).

1905 Building, Gallery for New Media, Auditorium

Animation permeates twenty-first century culture; from movies and television to videogames and advertising, it fills virtually all of the screens ubiquitous in contemporary life. Screen Play: Life in an Animated World is the first exhibition devoted exclusively to examining the work of contemporary artists who use the techniques, technologies, and tropes of animation as tools in their practices. This unprecedented exhibition gathers together almost fifty captivating film, video, and immersive installations created during the past twenty-five years by more than three dozen artists from nearly twenty nations, filling the galleries of the 1905 Building and its Sculpture Court as well as the Gallery for New Media and the Auditorium.

Learn more about the FREE electronic catalogue for Screen Play

With artworks that are by turns funny, poignant, critical, and provocative, the artists in Screen Play prompt viewers of all ages to enter alternative universes, to consider our deepening relationship with screens and screen fictions, and to see “in real life” with screen-refreshed eyes. This international survey includes some of the greatest voices in contemporary art alongside emerging artists who are developing new forms of representation. The artistic techniques on view range from stop motion to traditional hand-drawn cel animations, digital modeling, three-dimensional video projections, and infinitely iterative live simulations—presenting the fullest range of how artists use diverse animation technologies in their work today. While such technology has become simply inseparable from contemporary life, the artists in Screen Play both maximize and critique its power to enthrall: these are the pioneers of a new golden age of animation.

Allison Schulnik (American, born 1978). Still from Mound, 2011. Clay stop-motion animation in color, with sound, edition of 5 plus 2 AP. Running time: 4 minutes, 23 seconds. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Gift of Mrs. George A. Forman, by exchange, 2015. Image courtesy of the artist and Mark Moore Gallery.

Featured Artists

Haluk Akakçe
Chiho Aoshima
Cory Arcangel
Marco Brambilla
Cao Fei
Paul Chan
Ian Cheng
Martha Colburn
Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg
Cécile B. Evans
Kota Ezawa
Harun Farocki
Rokni Haerizadeh
Camille Henrot
Pierre Huyghe
William Kentridge
Oliver Laric
Charles Lavoie
Lee Lee Nam
Tala Madani
Helen Marten
Miao Xiaochun
Joshua Mosley
Takashi Murakami
Jacco Olivier
Julian Opie
Jon Rafman
Tabor Robak
Jason Salavon
Jacolby Satterwhite
Allison Schulnik
Shahzia Sikander
Jennifer Steinkamp
Ryan Trecartin
Peter Wächtler
Young hae Chang Heavy Industries
Zhang Xiaotao

AES+F (Tatiana Arzamasova, Russian, born 1955; Lev Evzovich, Russian, born 1958; Evgeny Svyatsky, Russian, born 1957; and Vladimir Fridkes, Russian, born 1956). Still from Allegoria Sacra from “The Liminal Space Trilogy,” 2011. HD video installation. Running time: 39 minutes, 40 seconds. Presented by MULTIMEDIA ART MUSEUM, MOSCOW with the support of TRIUMPH GALLERY, Moscow.


As part of Screen Play, three works by AES+F will be screened twice daily from June 20 through September 13, at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm (excluding Mondays, July 4, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, August 1, 8, and 20). The works include Last Riot from “The Liminal Space Trilogy,” 2007, The Feast of Trimalchio from “The Liminal Space Trilogy,” 2009, and Allegoria Sacra from “The Liminal Space Trilogy,” 2011. 

This exhibition is conceived by Deputy Director Joe Lin-Hill and curated by Lin-Hill, Curator Cathleen Chaffee, and Godin-Spaulding Curator & Curator for the Collection Holly E. Hughes, with support from Curatorial Assistant Laura Brill.

This exhibition has been made possible, in part, through the generous support of The John R. Oishei Foundation and The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation

Equipment and technical support provided by Advantage TI. 

Screen Play is a large exhibition. So that visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the entire show, one admission ticket is good for two visits to the AK through September 13, 2015.

Museum admission is required to view this special exhibition on M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY

Related Events

A Massive Summer Celebration
Friday, June 19, 2015, 7–11 pm 

Free Public Exhibition Opening
Saturday, June 20, 2015, 10 am–5 pm 

Panel Discussion with Curators and Exhibition Artists
Saturday, June 20, 2015, 2–3 pm 

Members’ Opening
Saturday, June 20, 2015, 3–5 pm

Family Animation Film Series
Saturdays, July 11, 18, 25, August 1, and 8, 2015, 1 pm
FREE with museum admission / FREE for Members

After Hours @ AK—Beyond Saturday Morning: Contemporary Animation
Tuesday, September 1, 2015, 5:30–8 pm
FREE for After Hours @ AK Partners and Members at the Professional Membership level and above 

Related Publication

Screen Play
is accompanied by a FREE electronic catalogue, available for iPhones, iPads, and Android tablets. The catalogue includes information on artists in the exhibition and short artwork excerpts and images.

Download from App Store

Download from Google Play Store

Related News

Unpacking and Decoding the World of Animation (The New York Times)

Albright-Knox offers a thrilling look into the world of animated art 
(The Buffalo News)