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ECHDC, Albright-Knox announce Robert Indiana's 'NUMBERS ONE through ZERO' installed at Buffalo's Outer Harbor


Thu, Jun 21st 2018 02:15 pm
World-famous artist's work will be on exhibit at Wilkeson Pointe until October 2019
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. and Albright-Knox Art Gallery on Thursday revealed world-famous artist Robert Indiana's "NUMBERS ONE through ZERO" sculptures on temporary exhibition at Buffalo's Outer Harbor. The 10, eight-foot-high COR-TEN steel sculptures, weighing close to 2,000 pounds apiece, are placed at Wilkeson Pointe and will be on loan until October 2019.
The ECHDC board previously approved a contract with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery that facilitated the loan and exhibition of this monumental work of public art.
The Wilkeson Pointe installation coincides with the new exhibition, "Robert Indiana: A Sculpture Retrospective," at the Albright-Knox, which is on view until Sept. 23.
"We are beyond lucky to host these bold, iconic sculptures by Robert Indiana at Wilkeson Pointe," said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia said. "When Gov. Cuomo announced the Outer Harbor land transfer in 2013, it was just the beginning of a transformative change that would make the property more accessible, active and attractive. 'NUMBERS ONE through ZERO' will bring more people to the Outer Harbor to appreciate both the art, as well as the natural beauty of our waterfront."
"We are delighted by the opportunity, through this collaboration with ECHDC, to bring such extraordinary public art to the residents of Buffalo and Erie County," said Albright-Knox Deputy Director Joe Lin-Hill. "This partnership has facilitated extending our current exhibition, 'Robert Indiana: A Sculpture Retrospective,' beyond the museum and into our community, and for that we are very grateful. Visitors to Wilkeson Pointe will have the chance to enjoy Indiana's work in a serene, natural setting, and we hope they will be inspired to discover more about this important American artist this summer at the Albright-Knox."
These works of art are situated where millions of dollars of investment has occurred at the Outer Harbor. Wilkeson Pointe is an ideal location, as it has ample space to accommodate Indiana's work while maintaining public access. "NUMBERS ONE through ZERO" is designed to enhance the landscape and serve as an exciting feature at Wilkeson Pointe, one of the Outer Harbor's most popular and active public spaces.
The Albright-Knox is an internationally renowned art institution that has an established public art initiative in Erie County, which places artwork throughout the community, including the famous "Shark Girl" at Canalside. The Albright-Knox is facilitating the loan of Robert Indiana's "NUMBERS ONE through ZERO" to ECHDC and is providing ECHDC with institutional knowledge and support about the project.
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said, "Any type of unique event or special exhibit that can help bring more visitors to the Outer Harbor is welcome here in Erie County, especially if it is something that helps to promote public art. I applaud the collaborative efforts of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and personally look forward to seeing 'NUMBERS ONE through ZERO' at Wilkeson Pointe and more of Indiana's unique sculptures the next time I visit Albright Knox."
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "Development and beautification continues at Buffalo's Outer Harbor. I'm pleased to see artist Robert Indiana's 'NUMBERS ONE through ZERO' sculptures are installed at Wilkeson Pointe through October 2019. I thank Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. and Albright-Knox for their dedication to our waterfront, attracting our residents and visitors year-round."
Indiana (American, 1928-2018) is considered one of the pre-eminent figures in American art since the 1960s. He has played a crucial role in the development of assemblage art, hardedge painting and pop art. A self-proclaimed "American painter of signs," ECHDC said Indiana has created a highly original body of work that explores American identity, personal history and the power of abstraction and language, establishing an important legacy that resonates in the work of many contemporary artists who make the written word a central element of their practice.
Along with words, most notably "love," numbers are one of the most frequently reoccurring motifs in the art of Indiana. As art historian and curator Barbara Haskell explained, "Numbers had appeared in Indiana's work even before words, functioning variously as the abstract 'names' of his anthropomorphic herms, as metaphors for the passage of time, and as reminders of vernacular American culture."
Several suites of paintings in the 1960s and 1970s - including "The Numbers" (1965) and "Decade Autoportraits" (1972-76) - were significant precedents for the monumental sculptures of "NUMBERS ONE through ZERO."
Indiana stated each number represents a stage of life, beginning with One (birth) and continuing through Nine (old age) and Zero (death). According to renowned art historian John Wilmerding, Indiana's numbers can be considered akin to 19th-century artist Thomas Cole's series of paintings on the ages of man.
Indiana's artwork has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world, and his works are in the permanent collections of institutions including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City; the National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Menil Collection in Houston.
For more information on "NUMBERS ONE through ZERO," visit Indiana's website.
Learn more about recent Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative projects HERE.

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