Director Louis Grachos will leave the Albright-Knox Art Gallery at the end of the year for sunnier climes, as reported today by the Buffalo News.

Having served at the Albright-Knox since 2003, Grachos will become executive director of AMOA-Arthouse at the Jones Center, which was formed in 2011 by the merger of Arthouse and the Austin Museum of Art.

 

Grachos shook things up at the museum with the 2005 show "Extreme Abstraction," which constituted what Faye Hirsch, writing in A.i.A., called "the most radical upending of the museum's installation in memory." The gallery had been "rather conservative" in changing its displays over the years.

 

"Louis has done incredible work at the gallery," said Leslie Zemsky, president of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, which oversees the gallery, in a statement. "His work here has energized and engaged the entire region of Buffalo Niagara and beyond."

 

Grachos oversaw the controversial 2007-08 sales, at Sotheby's New York, of 207 works from the museum's collection. These were antiquities and pre-modern works, areas that are not central to the museum's mission of collecting modern and contemporary art.

 

Among the notable acquisitions the museum has made since then are a major Sol Lewitt wall drawing, installed in a stairwell in the museum in 2010; a group of Roland Flexner ink drawings; and a 23-foot-high bronze sculpture by Do Ho Suh, installed on the museum's grounds. The exhibition "Decade: Contemporary Collecting 2002-2012" (opening Aug. 21) will survey the museum's acquisitions from the last 10 years.

 

PHOTO: Louis Grachos. Courtesy of Buffalo News.