Maria D. Rapicavoli, Intimacies: Mediterranean Civilization, 2017. Site-specific installation, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.
Maria D. Rapicavoli, The Other: A Familiar Story, 2020, installation view, To Cast Too Bold a Shadow, 2020–21, The 8th Floor, New York. Courtesy of the artist and the Shelly & Donald Rubin Foundation. Photo: Julia Gillard.
Published January 22, 2021
The UB Art Galleries have been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to support a two-year program of exhibitions that aims to advance art as inquiry and draw from the university’s resources and faculty expertise.
The exhibitions will explore a range of topics, including an architectural site of national trauma, potentials of an anarchist education, concrete poetry and language as artistic material, and medical humanities and history.
Heather Hart, Porch Project: ICA Philly, 2015, installation view, Do/Tell, 2015, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Constance Mensh.
Heather Hart, Oracle of Conduction, 2020, installation view, Open House: Domestic Thresholds, 2020, Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Brenda Bieger.
Artists who will receive support from the grant include Heather Hart, for her reconstruction of the balcony where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated; Collective Question, an artist collective featuring Steven Chodoriwsky, Chris Lee and Julie Niemi, for an exhibition on UB’s anarchist educational community Tolstoy College (1969–85); Gregg Bordowitz, who will present new work in response to the holdings of UB’s Poetry Collection; and Maria D. Rapicavoli, whose lens-based practice examines forced mobility and gendered violence in the Italian immigrant experience.
Rapicavoli also received a Q-International Grant from La Quadriennale di Roma Fondiazione in December 2020 to support her exhibition.
“I am thrilled to accompany the artists on their journey to realizing their vision and to present their work at UB Art Galleries,” says Liz Park, curator of exhibitions for the UB Art Galleries. “Their keen insight, expansive thinking, and rigorous and diverse practices are inspirations that we need during a time of crises and reflections. I am looking forward to sharing this inspiration with the arts community in Buffalo.”
Collective Question, untitled, 2019, installation view, Wendy’s Subway. Courtesy of the artists. Photo: Collective Question.
Collective Question, Loosely Assembled, Cycle 1: Collective Question, 2019, installation view, SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art. Courtesy of the artists. Photo: Clara Lacasse.
Rachel Bers, program director for the Warhol foundation, notes that the UB Art Galleries’ program of exhibitions “draws upon the university’s many resources and rich history to create exhibitions relevant to its local community that also address critical topics in contemporary culture at large.”
“Its support of projects dealing with immigration, labor, medicine and the history of the counterculture aligns with the foundation’s belief that artists are key contributors to public discourse and bring nuanced and unexpected perspectives to bear on issues of national interest,” Bers says.
The exhibitions reflect what Park says is the galleries’ newly articulated mission to advance art as inquiry and provide artists an open-ended, experimental context in which their nascent ideas are supported with research tools and expert guidance from the university community. The aim, she says, is to empower artists to take risks — in line with the spirit of the Warhol foundation’s mission to advance visual art and foster innovative artistic expression.
“This is fantastic news for UB Art Galleries,” says Director Robert Scalise. “As we begin to emerge from the challenges that 2020 brought, this support comes at a crucial time. It will not only strengthen our ability to empower artists to explore new projects at UB, but also aid in providing a forum for conversation and collaboration across disciplines within the university and the greater Western New York community.”
The first round of exhibitions funded by the grant will open in fall 2021.