Charles Clough b. 1951, The Defenders, 1981; oil & enamel on paper, 64 1/8 x 95 1/2 inches (frame: 65 5/8 x 96 3/4 inches); Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Armand J. Castellani in honor of Edna M. Lindemann, 1985
The Agency of Meaning: A Survey of Contemporary Works in the Collection
On View Saturday, September 19, 1998–Monday, January 11, 1999
The supportive environment created by art and educational institutions – including artist-run galleries such as Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center and CEPA (the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art) motivated a high level of artmaking in this region, and Buffalo has been a significant point in a matrix connecting with the New York art community to launch and promote innovative concepts for an international art market. In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, many artists were exponents of post-modernist aesthetics. Leaders such as Susan Rothenberg stood at the vanguard of the return to representation after minimalists had repudiated it. Some have looked to past achievements to represent ideas within a contemporary context, illustrated by Peter Stephens' referencing turn-of-the-century Pictorialism. Several artists, such as Nancy Dwyer, Arnold Mesches and Gary Nickard, used appropriation as a valid device to comment on popular culture and social issues. Others – including Endi Poskovic, Christy Rupp, Andrew Topolski and Patty Wallace – created a symbolic vernacular or highly coded structure for meaning. This exhibition explored the vitality and range of significant contemporary work collected by the museum in the 1990s.