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Rita Argen Auerbach (1933- ), Towering in the Night, 2008; watercolor on paper; Courtesy of the Artist

Rita Argen Auerbach (1933- ), Towering in the Night, 2008; watercolor on paper; Courtesy of the Artist

Rita Argen Auerbach: An Homage to Buffalo's Architectural Treasures

On view at the M&T Center in Downtown Buffalo

On View Wednesday, October 12, 2011–Thursday, January 5, 2012

In October 2011, Buffalo hosts  the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual conference.

Converging to share and shape the methods and approaches to preserving Americas diverse historic treasures. Buffalo is an ideal location for this event as the city is home to examples of some of great examples of America’s best architects. In recognition of this - and for the visitors to our city from around the county and the world the Burchfield Penney selected works by an artist whose love of our regional architecture is equaled by no other. Artist and arts educator Rita Argen Auerbach, a life-long celebrant of the Buffalo/Niagara region, has dedicated an incredible amount of her focus capturing the architecture of our city.

Whether representing the works of Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, HH Richardson or EB Green, Auerbach’s paintings and drawings give the viewer more than a rendering of design. Her work celebrates buildings and the environment in which they are set as a portrait painter - selecting the proper profile, lighting and coloration for her subject. This approach allows for the personality of the object to be recognized.

Soft colors, juxtaposed with an omniscient sky, as in her paintings of HH Richardson’s complex, present an audience with more than the majesty of great design. Hinting at the sometimes haunting history and presence of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center Towering in the Night, reinforces this feeling. The recognition of the personality in the building(s) is key. Her variety of paintings celebrating the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House complex take his masterpiece of prairie architecture and open it up by isolating it from its surroundings. When alone on the landscape, the combination of buildings, the Martin house, pergola, conservatory, and carriage house are married with blue sky and dappled with light.

In these thoughtful works, we can see why the National Trust for Preservation would recognize Buffalo as an ideal location for the annual conference and it is also in these works that we are able to remember what makes our community unique and beautiful. To learn more about Rita Argen Auerbach and to see more of her work, please visit her website http://www.ritaauerbachpaintings.com.