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Photographic Recall: Italian Rationalist Architecture in Contemporary German Art

Caterina Borelli, digital still from the video “The Date” 1984, Courtesy of the artist.

February 10 through May 12, 2019

UB Anderson Gallery

Opening Reception February 9, 2019, 6–8pm

How do contemporary artists use photography to engage with Italian architecture of the Fascist era? What lures them today into the remains of this “Rationalist” style? Where is the tipping point between a self-proclaimed critical observation and complicity with Mussolini’s propaganda project of the 1920s-1940s? These and other questions occupy the minds of the seven artists in this exhibition. This is the first to showcase these mostly German photographers, independently all drawn to Italian Rationalist architecture and urban spaces. Caterina Borelli, Johanna Diehl, Günther Förg, Eiko Grimberg, Thomas Ruff, Hans-Christian Schink, and Heidi Specker represent themes that vary in style between street photography and lush interiors to synthetic architectural documentation and carefully pre-planned and measured urban scenes. Their use of media ranges from analog to digital processes, black-and-white to color imagery, and a variety of works made in series. Each artist engages these built environments with his/her own visual language, demonstrating photography’s intense involvement with aesthetic and conceptual trends in contemporary art of the last three decades.

Photographic Recall is curated by Miriam Paeslack, Associate Professor in the department of Media Study and is organized by UB Art Galleries. The exhibition is generously support by the University at Buffalo’s College of Arts and Sciences – Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Kurt Weill Collaboration Project. Generous funding has further been provided by the German Institute for Foreign Affairs (IFA), and by the German Consulate.

Image: Caterina Borelli, digital still from the video “The Date” 1984, Courtesy of the artist.