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Announcement
October 28, 2021

Gregg Bordowitz, bpNichol, and Maria D. Rapicavoli

The University at Buffalo Art Galleries

Gregg Bordowitz, Tetragrammaton (non-binary), 2021. Monotype, 22 ½ x 15 inches. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Nicholas Ostness.

bpNichol, Letter to a Loved One (detail), from the series "Konfessions of an Elizabethan Fan Dancer," 1969. Book, 10 x 7 ¾ inches. Courtesy of the artist estate. Photo: Maria Barrientos.

Maria D. Rapicavoli, Held in Tension, 2021. C-type print, 60 x 45 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

The University at Buffalo Art Galleries is pleased to present three new solo exhibitions at UB Anderson Gallery—Gregg Bordowitz: Tetragrammaton, bpNichol: Love Letter, and Maria D. Rapicavoli: Surface Tension.

Gregg Bordowitz: Tetragrammaton
Tetragrammaton is an exhibition of prints by Gregg Bordowitz, a renowned artist, writer, teacher, and activist whose works have included Jewish themes and cultural references throughout his career. With the utmost sincerity, care, and respect, Bordowitz has drawn on a longstanding Jewish meditation practice of visually concentrating on the four letters that form the Hebrew word for G-d to create a new body of work that functions like calligraphy wherein the word is an image and the image is a word. In Bordowitz’s monotypes, the letters connect, touch, overlap, and ultimately remain incomplete as the tetragrammaton, though their form and meaning may be recognizable to a Hebrew reader. While the prints can serve as meditation or devotional symbols for viewers, they are mediations and aesthetic works for the artist that further extend the powerful significance of the Hebrew letters.

Gregg Bordowitz (born 1964, New York) is an artist and writer. He is the director of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Low Residency MFA program, and he is on the faculty of the Whitney Independent Study Program. His career survey I Wanna Be Well, organized by the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery in 2018, has toured to the Art Institute of Chicago (2019) and MoMA PS1 (2021). He has performed at the New Museum, New York (2018); the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2012); Iceberg Projects, Chicago (2011); Murray Guy, New York (2011); and Temple Gallery, Philadelphia (2011), and his work has been presented at the Tate Modern, London (2011), and Tanzquartier Wien, Vienna (2010). His films have been screened in numerous museums and at festivals, and his writing has been widely published.

bpNichol: Love Letter
bpNichol (born 1944, Vancouver–died 1988, Toronto) was a polymathic writer and artist who worked across disciplines and published poetry in the form of collected volumes, chapbooks, broadsheets, mimeographs, serigraphs, CDs and cassette tapes, loose leaves of paper, matchbooks, and other unconventional vehicles for words. Nichol participated in the global network of concrete and visual poets and his innumerable works continue to find an appreciative audience worldwide, including in Buffalo where the University’s renowned Poetry Collection has a large holding of his materials. Love Letter draws from the Poetry Collection and focuses on his exploration of the letters of the English alphabet as lines, infinitely plastic in form and thereby meaning. Presented concurrently with Gregg Bordowitz: Tetragrammaton, this exhibition explores how fragmenting words as lines and sounds unattached to linguistic signification can reorient our experience of language.

Maria D. Rapicavoli: Surface Tension
New York-based artist Maria D. Rapicavoli has been drawing on her native Sicily as a place of departure and arrival to frame her understanding of rootedness and migration as well as notions of domesticity and feminist politics. Showcasing her larger practice as a photographer, media and installation artist, and sculptor, Surface Tension surveys the past decade of works that explore a constellation of topics such as military control of Sicilian airspace, layers of colonial relations that undergird Mediterranean crossings to and from Europe and Africa, and gender and sexual politics of domestic spaces during a pandemic. The exhibition presents a multifaceted view of an artist who is interested in both larger global politics, and intimate, domestic spaces and the inner psyches of individuals under duress.

Maria D. Rapicavoli (born 1976, Catania, Italy) was a fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2011–12, and holds an MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London (2005), and a BA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania (2001). She has exhibited in several group shows, including at Socrates Sculpture Park, New York; Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Museo di Villa Croce, Genoa; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce, Genoa; Palazzo Reale, Milan; Guest Projects, London; Museo d’Arte Contemporanea della Sicilia, Palermo; Strozzina, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence; Sala Rekalde, Bilbao; and the Italian Cultural Institute, London and New York. She is the recipient of many awards and grants, including the Italian Council grant, 6th edition (2019); nctm e l’arte (2013); DE.MO/Movin’UP (2011); and the Renaissance Prize Award at the Italian Cultural Institute, London (2008).

Gregg Bordowitz: Tetragrammaton, bpNichol: Love Letter, and Maria D. Rapicavoli: Surface Tension are organized by Liz Park, former Curator of Exhibitions at UB Art Galleries. Support for all three exhibitions is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support for Maria D. Rapicavoli: Surface Tension is provided by Q-International grant of the Fondazione La Quadriennale di Roma. bpNichol: Love Letter is organized in partnership with the Poetry Collection of the University Libraries.

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