On View / From UB: an invitation to wander

Allan Kaprow, Taking a Shoe for a Walk, 1989


Travel is commonly accepted as promoting growth and change. It also results in art, as the works chosen for Wanderlust demonstrate in a wide variety of fascinating ways.


Here’s one of those exhibitions where the immediate reaction is “What a great idea!” Kudos to the University at Buffalo Art Galleries and curator Rachel Adams for organizing such an ambitious project. It is on view at both UB Art Gallery locations (Anderson Gallery and Center for the Arts) and travels to Des Moines in 2018.



Mary Mattingly, Pull, 2013; Janine Antoni, Touch, 2002; Teresa Murak, Procession, 1974 

Pull photo courtesy of the artist; Procession photo courtesy of the artistand Broadway 1602 Harlem; Taking a Shoe for a Walk courtesy of Wolfgang Traeger. Touch image courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.


With a full title of Wanderlust: Actions, Traces, Journeys 1967-2017, the exhibition looks at artists as voyagers who are driven beyond the walls of their studios to create action-based art. It starts with a well-known group of conceptual artists—some known as “land artists”—including such figures as Vito Acconci, Nancy Holt, Allen Kaprow, Richard Long, and Ana Mendieta, who made groundbreaking work in the sixties and seventies. The show also includes work by Janine Antoni, David Hammons, William Pope L., Mary Ellen Strom, and others, with artworks representing every decade of the last fifty years.


There are participatory projects that involve viewers walking themselves—through the West Side, along the Outer Harbor, and (in one case) with their eyes closed. There are also a skywriting project and a tree planting project. Previous UB shows such as Splitting Light and Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors have demonstrated the robust and compelling vision behind UB’s current exhibition program, but this sprawling endeavor, which makes public and student participation a priority, looks like it could be the most exciting UB venture yet.


Wanderlust: Actions, Traces, Journeys 1967-2017 opens September 7 and runs through December 31. Opening receptions take place 5–8 p.m. Sept. 7 at the UB Art Gallery in the Center for the Arts, and 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Sept. 9 at the UB Anderson Gallery, One Martha Jackson Place. Visit ubartgalleries.org for more information.    


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