Happening Again

Black and white photo of  György Ligeti 'Poème Symphonique' performance at Albright Knox

This black and white photo in a display case was the first thing that caught our attention at the “Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960″ show at Albright Knox. A recording of the metronome piece was playing overhead and a February 1965 letter from John Cage, addressed to Albright Knox, was sitting next to the photo. We wrongly assumed the photo and letter went together. The metronome piece, ‘Poème Symphonique,’ was performed by György Liget at the gallery and John Cage was here for a performance and lecture the same year. Buffalo was and is a happening town. Well, it was really happening when the Pan American Expo was herein 1901 and with a resurgence underway it is happening again.

The show here was was called, “Giant Steps: Artists and and it features major works by some of the leading artists of the period, Bridget Riley, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol, and it reconsiders those who played an underrecognized, but vital, role in furthering the visual avant-garde in the United States and beyond. The permanent collection here is outstanding. Seymour Knox was buying the the collection, mostly modern art, as the artists were making it. This show digs deep into their collection and is well worth a ride along the lake to civilization.

One Response to “Happening Again”

  1. Janz Castelo Says:

    Thanks for writing about this! The performance in the photo took place on March 4, 1965 as part of the Evenings for New Music concert series. John Cage also had a work on the program that night (“Theatre piece”).

    The Buffalo Chamber Players will be present the Ligeti work at the AK on November 4 as part of the museum’s First Fridays events (free admission) and on our November 15 concert program “It’s Just a Phase: Composers and the 1960s” in the gallery’s auditorium.

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Janz Castelo