Buffalo, NY – The Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Public Art Initiative recently installed a new sculpture by artist Aakash Nihalani (American, born 1986) at Five Points Bakery at the corner of Utica and Brayton Streets in Buffalo, New York.
Using a variety of mediums from masking tape to metal, Nihalani is well known and celebrated for creating two-dimensional, minimalist geometric forms that simulate three-dimensional interactive experiences. Exploiting the malleability of the human senses, the artist’s site-specific artworks modulate our spatial perceptions to provoke surprising and often humorous moments that interrupt the routine of everyday life.
Balancing Act II, 2018, is a playful sculpture of tilting and toppling blocks caught in a state of suspended animation. It depicts haphazard blocks precariously piled up, seemingly just a nudge away from collapse. The work’s theme of structure versus disorder is reflected in the contrast of the installation site in a grassy enclave set within the surrounding urban landscape, as well as the delicate relationship between nature and industrialization in our world today.
This work was commissioned for the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, Massachusetts, and installed at that location in 2018. The Albright-Knox acquired it as a gift from the artist in 2019. The piece was fully restored prior to acquisition.
Nihalani was born in Queens, New York, and is currently living and working in Brooklyn. He received a BFA from New York University in 2008 and is widely known for his ephemeral tape installations.
The Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative is an innovative partnership between the museum and the County of Erie established in 2013 to enhance our shared sense of place and cultural identity in the urban and suburban landscapes of Western New York. The City of Buffalo joined the partnership in 2014. The goal of the initiative is to create spaces of dialogue where diverse communities have the ability to socially engage with, actively respond to, and cooperatively produce great public art that is capable of empowering individuals, creating stronger neighborhoods, and establishing Western New York as a critical cultural center.
Recent Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative projects include Eduardo Kobra’s mural Untitled, depicting Mark Twain and John T. Lewis, at 1188 Hertel Avenue; Augustina Droze's mural Green Kaleidoscope at 2303 Main Street; Logan Hicks's mural Walking Back Time on the Washington Street façade of 5 East Huron Street; Nicole Cherry's mural 1800s Bikes in Vines at 1330 Niagara Street; and Felipe Pantone’s mural Optichromie—BUF on the back of Town Ballroom. For a full list of Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative projects, visit www.albrightknox.org/akpublicart.
The Public Art Initiative was established and is supported by leadership funding from the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.