September 3 – October 31, 2020
September 3 – October 31, 2020
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to announce the gallery’s second ever online viewing room, Richard Van Buren: Hunkering Down, an exhibition of works on paper. Opening September 3, 2020, the exhibition features a selection of drawings by Van Buren, created during the recent COVID-19 lockdowns. While Van Buren’s sculptural work has been exhibited widely since the ’60s, this exhibition will be the first to focus on his works on paper.
Describing Van Buren’s recent drawings as refreshing counterpoints to the “materialist excess” of much contemporary art, the critic John Yau likened the new works to poems, another artistic mode which “anyone can seemingly do” and which is comparatively unloved in the present day.
As in Van Buren’s sculptures, his drawings intermix the biological with the inorganic.
Twisting, angular forms intersect like crowded amoebas.
Each shape is filled with filamentous ink strokes, simulating the anatomy and movement of cellular life.
“What is drawing for, anyway?” Yau asked wryly. Each drawing measures just 17 by 14 inches (a scale, as Yau points out, woefully unsuited to corporate lobbies and Neo-Georgian estates).
While lockdowns and restrictions pose major challenges to artists reliant on expensive production techniques and armies of fabricators and studio assistants, the contemporary moment also offers an opportunity to turn to some of the more neglected aspects of artistic production, including the foundational and ancient mode of graphical exploration that is drawing.
Born in Syracuse, New York in 1937, Richard Van Buren studied painting and sculpture at San Francisco State University and the National University of Mexico. While still a student, Van Buren began exhibiting his work at San Francisco’s famed Dilexi Gallery, alongside artists as diverse as Franz Kline, H.C. Westermann, Ron Nagle, Ed Moses, and Robert Morris. In 1964, Van Buren relocated to New York. From 1967 to 1988, he taught in the Sculpture Department at the School of Visual Arts. In 1988, he began teaching at the Parsons School of Design. He remained at Parsons until September 2001. Van Buren lives and works in Perry, Maine.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Van Buren had solo exhibitions at many of the most influential and prestigious galleries, including: Bykert Gallery (1967, 1968, 1969, New York), 112 Greene Street (1972, New York), Paula Cooper Gallery (1972, 1975, 1977, New York), and Texas Gallery (1974, 1976, Houston). During this period, his work also figured prominently in many landmark museum exhibitions, A Plastic Presence (1970, Milwaukee Art Center) and Works for New Spaces (1971, Walker Art Center), among others. In 1977, the City University of New York, Graduate Center mounted a retrospective exhibition of Van Buren’s work.
Van Buren’s work is featured in the collections of major museums around the world, including: the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Modern Art; the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; and the Walker Art Center.
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to represent Richard Van Buren.
Richard Van Buren: Hunkering Down will be available to view online, through September 30, 2020. For more information, please contact Garth Greenan at (212) 929-1351, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.