Fortified, 2020

In foreground, Fortified, 2020, a brick wall that uses discarded clothing as mortar

An obelisk sculpture, a car made entirely of shoes, and a brick wall built using discarded clothing as mortar are among the works by Karyn Olivier that have been reimagined and constructed onsite at the University at Buffalo Art Gallery inside the Center for the Arts (Amherst campus). These large constructions take full advantage of the towering Lightwell space inside the CFA gallery.

The exhibition was organized by the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Contemporary Art and has been on view at UB since October 29. Olivier is known for large-scale public art projects, including  works in New York’s Central Park and Philadelphia’s Vernon Park. According to notes prepared by the ICA curators, Everything That’s Alive Moves offers a close encounter with the emotional impact of monuments and the political significance of memorials—how each in turn evokes and speaks to citizenship; how monuments and memorials reflect belief in spaces of gathering; and how they alternately can speak in defense of or with suspicion toward a public, collective voice.


Elizabeth Licata is Editor-in-Chief of Buffalo Spree Magazine.

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