Jordan Geiger (right), as curator, introduces "Light Industry" during Buffalo's recent echo Art Fair. The exhibition was the first architecture section for what has become a leading fine arts exposition.
Peter Reyner Banham Fellow Ang Li introduces "No Frills" at the fair. Her "Light Industry" installation, a false fifth column, was completed in partnership with Boston Valley Terra Cotta.
Miguel Guitart's "Cube of Memory" is a luminous, filtering screen that fits within the building’s assembly line spaces and shifts circulation around it with views to the building’s interiors through the cube's faded surfaces.
Architecture faculty member Virginia Melnyk participated in the fair with a site-specific installation. "Purple," which won a People's Choice award, emerges from the ceiling as geometric star-like clusters, seeming to be expanding growing and shifting."
Updated May 23, 2016
The 2016 echo Art Fair in Buffalo, a fine arts exposition that has emerged as one of the region’s most notable art events, opens this weekend with its first-ever architecture exhibition, “Light Industry.” The show is curated by architect and designer Jordan Geiger, UB assistant professor of architecture; it includes full-scale installations by several faculty members from UB’s architecture program.
“Light Industry” draws inspiration from the physical setting of the event – OSC Manufacturing & Services Inc., on Buffalo’s East Side, originally a General Motors Chevrolet assembly plant and one of the city’s finest examples of industrial architecture.
Designed by prominent 20th century industrial architect Albert Kahn, the building and its innovations in concrete formwork, open floor plans and factory daylighting provide material, cultural and structural context for the works. The title serves as a prompt rather than a theme, triggering participants’ different responses to its possible meanings here.
“Industry has always been at home in Buffalo, and it remains so today. These installations offer four different takes on ‘Light Industry,’ marked by luminosity, light-weight materials, industrious design practices and more. These will be architectures for a new era and from a new generation,” said Geiger.
The projects are:
Albert Kahn Memorial Lounge by Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster [BACKOFFICE] is a space of rest and of levity, located between installations and covered by a white sheet of undulating housewrap that diffuses light as it repeats a string of roof sections from varied Kahn daylight factory buildings. Jamrozik is assistant professor of architecture and Kempster is adjunct assistant professor of architecture at UB.
No Frills by Ang Li is at once a lightweight, false fifth column within the factory’s grid, a collaboration with digital fabrication practices and landmark terra cotta manufacturer Boston Valley Terra Cotta, and a viewing space that operates at many scales. Its details blur the boundary between ornament (frills) and structure. Li is the 2015-2016 Peter Reyner Banham Fellow at the UB School of Architecture and Planning.
The Cube of Memory by Miguel Guitart is a luminous, filtering screen that fits a space within the building’s assembly line spaces and shifts circulation around it with views to the building’s interiors through the cube's faded surfaces. Guitart is visiting associate professor of architecture at UB.
Carpenter Brownstone and Thespian Brownstone are two in a series of totems, constructions that operate between the scales of a model, furniture and a full-scale habitable space. Each refers to the “light industry” found adaptations and shifts in language, embodied in utopian architectural spaces that draw inspiration in the writings of African-American poets June Jordan, Amiri Baraka, and Angela Davis. This growing work is by UB architecture graduate Charles Davis, with Emily Clodfelter, Phillip Broszkiewicz, and William 'Glen’ Watson. Davis is assistant professor of architectural history and criticism, and his collaborators are students, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
“Light Industry” will share space with site-specific performance art installations led by UB Art Galleries Associate Curator Rachel Adams. Designed to play off and enliven the atmosphere of the fair, these works will include a dance performance that integrates the architecture of the Albert Kahn building, a collaborative weaving project, and a bike performance that weaves through East Buffalo.
The juried fine art exposition, now in its fifth year, connects art enthusiasts and buyers with emerging and established local, regional and international artists in a centralized and creative environment. It spans the disciplines of painting, photography, sculpture, print, mixed media, performance art, and now architecture.
Also featured at this year’s echo Art Fair are UB’s Virginia Melnyk, adjunct professor of architecture, selected as a site-specific installation artist, and invited exhibitor Karen Tashjian, a longstanding UB architecture professor and highly regarded regional artist. Architect-artist Dennis Maher, a clinical assistant professor of architecture, is also presenting at echo, in conjunction with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and their collaborative Society for the Advancement of Construction Related Arts (SACRA).
echo Art Fair 2016