As one of the most culturally and politically significant periods of the twentieth century, the 1960s also gave rise to numerous aesthetic innovations. Fueled by creativity and technological euphoria, artists began exploring new mediums and incorporating popular themes, motifs, and subjects into their practices. In time, movements such as Pop art, Op art, and Minimalism—and later Conceptual, Performance, and video art—radically reshaped the boundaries of the art world.
Assembled from the Albright-Knox’s expansive collection, Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s features major works by some of the leading artists of the period—such as Bridget Riley, Frank Stella, and Pop icon Andy Warhol—and reconsiders those who played an underrecognized, but vital, role in furthering the visual avant-garde in the United States and beyond. Additionally, the exhibition will incorporate a small selection of special ephemera, artist books, and archival materials, including documentation of notable dance and theatrical performances that were organized or commissioned by the museum during the 1960s.
Internationally known for collecting and giving voice to both established and up-and-coming artists, the Albright-Knox continually strives to present the art of our time—a quest that took firm hold in the 1960s. More than half a century later, Giant Steps revisits the vivacious imaginings of this compelling epoch.