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Contemporary Visual Culture Is Examined and Explored in New Exhibition to Open June 25

June 17, 2010

Buffalo, NY – The new exhibition ECHO: Sampling Visual Culture will open at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery on Friday, June 25, 2010. Drawn entirely from the Gallery’s Permanent Collection, the exhibition features work by artists who borrow imagery from advertising, media, daily life, and even other artists. This exhibition will provide visitors with an opportunity to explore art that draws upon a variety of sources—including Wal-Mart, comic books, Disney animation, and the photography of Alfred Stieglitz—for subject matter, style, and technique.

The works included in the exhibition represent a wide range of media, from drawing and painting to collage, sculpture, and video. The selected artists all use the modern art tradition of appropriation, which is the practice of borrowing existing images, objects, and ideas to create art. The origins of this practice can be traced back to the artist Marcel Duchamp and his series of Readymade sculptures, which he created in the 1910s. It was later embraced in the 1960s by artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, who began using imagery and techniques from mass culture and popular media. Contemporary artists have taken the practice even further by using appropriation and parody as a basis for work that comments on today’s mass culture.

Associate Curator Holly E. Hughes organized the exhibition, which includes work by contemporary artists Louis Cameron, Sherrie Levine, Tom Sachs, Robert Therrien, Vik Muniz, and Kara Walker. “I also included objects that speak to the work of earlier generations of artists who drew upon mass culture and popular media as a point of departure for their ideas and their work, so visitors will also see work by Kurt Schwitters, Andy Warhol, and Claes Oldenburg,” Hughes said.

A special Members’ Preview, sponsored by the Goldwater Family Foundation, of ECHO: Sampling Visual Culture, and the concurrently opening exhibition Clyfford Still, will take place at 5 pm on Thursday, June 24, 2010. The exhibition opens to the public on Friday,June 25, and will remain on view through Sunday, October 10, 2010.