Campus News

Art faculty exhibit in local galleries

Millie Chen stands next to and looks at her artwork hung in a gallery.

Millie Chen with artwork from her exhibition, "Matters," on view in the Anna Kaplan Contemporary gallery. Photo: Meccay Photography, Buffalo

By SUE WUETCHER

Published March 12, 2019

“Using up the makeup was an act of transformation for me, a way of documenting and contemplating my mother’s everydayness.”
Millie Chen, professor
Department of Art

New works by UB faculty artists Millie Chen and Maximilian Goldfarb are on exhibit now in two galleries in the community.

“Matter,” work created by Chen in the past year following the death of her mother, is on exhibit through April 5 in the Anna Kaplan Contemporary gallery, 1250 Niagara St., Buffalo.

Chen, a professor in the Department of Art, will discuss her work with Bronwyn Keenan, director of the UB Arts Collaboratory, at 4 p.m. March 24 in the gallery.

“Repeater” an installation of new sculptural work by Maximilian Goldfarb, clinical assistant professor in the art department, is on view through March 22 in the Nina Freudenheim Gallery, 140 North St., Buffalo, in the Lenox Hotel.

“Matter” includes works on paper and clayboard with abstract and figurative imagery created with partially used cosmetics Chen found in her mother’s home while organizing and clearing her mother’s belongings after her death. She has created geometries in these works that serve as supporting structures for the messy, indescribable, emotional miasma of death and loss, excess and paucity.

Faced with the dilemma of what to do with the matter that remains, Chen embarked on a journey of documentation, photographing anachronistic everyday objects before she gave them away, disposed of them, kept them — or used them.

“When I sorted through my mother’s makeup,” Chen explains. “I felt a profound urge to make use of this matter as drawing media, and to keep drawing with this matter until all of the makeup was consumed. Using up the makeup was an act of transformation for me, a way of documenting and contemplating my mother’s everydayness.”

Model ship created by Maximilian Goldfarb.

"Tall Ship" and "Module 1C" (on the wall), part of Maximilian Goldfarb's exhibition, "Repeater," on view in the Nina Freudenheim Gallery. Photo: Courtesy of Maximilian Goldfarb.

Although Goldfarb has been exhibiting his work for more than 20 years — he has participated in numerous exhibitions in such venues as the Sculpture Center, White Columns and Drawing Center in New York; StadsGalerij in the Netherlands; and Western Front in Vancouver, British Columbia — this is his first solo exhibition in Buffalo.

Made with a wide variety of materials and processes, the works in the exhibition derive from Goldfarb’s book “Remote Viewing: 500 Tableaux,” a compendium of written observational passages describing found photographs. His book serves as a generative “operator’s manual” for production and transmission, leading to concentrated studies of tools, devices, vehicles and weapons.

“Repeater” makes use of the spatial symmetry of the gallery to emphasize the relationships among multiple, similar or compatible objects and their subtle differences and variations. Overall, the works convey a world of manufactured objects retold through handmade representation.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a new book by Goldfarb, also titled “Repeater,” has been published. The book, produced in collaboration with designer Chris Lee, UB assistant professor of art, features hundreds of “found” images of tools and technologies that have served as source material for Goldfarb’s recent work. The book, an extension of “Remote Viewing,” includes an essay by Laura Chiesa, assistant professor of romance languages and literatures.