The Albright-Knox Art Gallery's "Decade: Contemporary Collecting 2002-2012" contains more than 100 objects culled from the 1,200 or so the gallery has collected in the past decade. Take a closer look at 10 of those works (or series):
2003: Robert Gober's mind-bending 1985 sculpture "The Inverted Sink," the first major acquisition under Grachos' tenure, signaled a desire by the gallery's new director to fill in some obvious gaps in the gallery's collection of important contemporary art from the 1980s and '90s. That same desire would drive the gallery's 2010 joint purchase, with London's Tate Modern, of an elegant piece by Felix Gonzalez-Torres.
2004: Dutch artist Reineke Dijkstra's 1993 photograph "Coney Island, N.Y., USA, June 20, 1993" comes from her famous "Beach Portraits" series. In the series, epitomized in this photograph, Dijkstra set out to capture the swirl of emotions -- from vulnerability and insecurity to fledgling confidence -- of American adolescents.
2005: An undulating 1993 floor projection by Jennifer Steinkamp -- a favorite of young gallery visitors, who love scrambling across its moving surface -- marked the gallery's desire to expand its collection of new media work and abstraction.
2006: Rachel Whiteread's hulking cast of the inverted space of a London staircase signaled the gallery's interest in artists working on large-scale projects. This also describes the 2006 sculpture "Table and Chairs," the outsize card table and matching folding chairs by Robert Therrien that came into the collection in 2007 and Liz Larner's utterly enormous, slick alien orb that the Albright-Knox also acquired in 2006. (Both are on view in "Decade.")
2007: The circular, moving sculpture " and -" by the Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum -- in which a metal arm sweeps across a huge quantity of sand, leaving perfect grooves and then erasing them -- speaks to the cycle of violence and of the constantly frustrated search for peace in the artist's home country.
2008: "Mod Lang," an elegant 2001 video work by the late Jeremy Blake, was a part of a larger project involving a fictional narrative, photographs and drawings. Its purchase signaled that the Albright-Knox was getting serious about building its film and video collection -- an effort demonstrated in the 2011 show "Videosphere."
2009: Vik Muniz's 2008 sculpture "Verso (Nighthawks)" is meant, at least in part, to trick gallery visitors into thinking that Edward Hopper's famous 1942 painting "Nighthawks at the Diner" has been shipped to the gallery and is about to be hung. It is an exact reproduction of the back of Hopper's painting and frame, part of a series of works designed to subtly mess with the traditional experience of viewing art.
2010: Nancy Rubins attention-grabbing sculpture "Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Monochrome I, Built to Live Anywhere, at Home Here," which has been turning the heads of passers-by since its installation last year, is perhaps the most visible embodiment of Grachos' legacy. It is part of a gradual overhaul of the gallery's outdoor campus, which will be completed later this year.
2011: "Keep it Together," a 2009 piece by Buffalo artist Kyle Butler -- whose paintings, drawings and sculptures are concerned intersection between architecture and authority -- represents the gallery's commitment to regional artists. Pieces by regional artists Joan Linder and Katherine Sehr are also on view in "Decade."
2012: "Path" and "Boulder Rising," though not yet officially completed, are part of an ambitious solar-powered environmental project by the famed British artist Andy Goldsworthy that has been years in the making. The outdoor project, indicative of the long-term relationships with artists the gallery has formed under Grachos' direction, is expected to be completed in the fall.
-- Colin Dabkowski