Published June 19, 2014
“Intimidator,” a 1991 sculpture of Buffalo Sabres goaltender Daren Puppa that holds special meaning to the history of the UB Anderson Gallery, is now on view at the gallery through March 17.
The sculpture has not been exhibited since the Anderson Gallery’s grand opening in 1991.
Anderson Gallery founder David K. Anderson commissioned pop artist Clayton Pond to create the sculpture in preparation for the grand opening of the gallery in 1991. A year earlier, Anderson had begun corresponding with Pond about creating an artwork related to hockey. Pond decided to commemorate the goalie by using photographs from the team’s 1989-90 season and dressing Puppa in the 20th-anniversary uniform of the Sabres. The result was a life-sized, three-dimensional painting that includes more than what meets the eye.
Pond’s artwork goes beyond a tribute to the goalie, the centralized figure in the foreground. As spectators on the opposite side of the Plexiglas, Pond places himself alongside Anderson; Anderson’s son, Reed; and Robert Bertholf, former curator of UB’s Special Collections and a key figure in securing the 2001 gift of the Anderson Gallery to UB. The composition shows the close friendship between the three men and also celebrates Anderson’s role in the Buffalo community as someone who helped make the arts accessible to everyone.
Pond, who was born in 1941, received his MFA in studio art from Pratt Institute in 1966 and had paintings featured in the Martha Jackson Gallery, owned by Anderson’s mother, in New York City a few years later. He is known for his contrasting use of energetic color to represent everyday objects, such as chairs, sails and bathtubs. Large canvases elevate the mundane to a monumental scale and “Intimidator” gives the artist the ability to illustrate the iconic status of hockey as part of the American culture.
UB Anderson Gallery is located at One Martha Jackson Place near Englewood and Kenmore avenues. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday.