Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bellevue Art Museum rocks

John Buck, East West

Open spacious, a very quiet space with free parking in a beautiful new building in downtown Bellevue stands the Bellevue Art Museum. As one climbs the museum's interior staircase, a feeling of quiet descends. A sense of intimacy of the exhibition space is forthcoming.

On the day I visited, I was the only person on the floor other than a docent volunteer.
The show is John Buck Iconography from the collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his family foundation.

My work focuses on three basic formats: wood block prints, wood relief panels and sculpture which feed into one another. By shifting from printmaking to painting, I am able to see with a fresh eye. -John Buck

Tattoo, edition 4/15, 1992
Five-color woodcut, lithograph, chine colle
74 x 37 in.

John's work, the wood blocks & rubbings appear to be created of complex spaces and elements that initially appear to be flat. Standing close up to the works, the background icons that appear are pretty graffiti like and even cartoonish. Very beautiful and very difficult to print.

North of South, 2005
Wood panel with acrylic paint
72 x 72 x 3.5 in.

The elaborate assemblages of sculpted wood chiseled boxes are multi - paralleled universes with minimal colors. His choices are an amazing 60's Yves blue or a red.

My sculpture is inspired by contemporary issues as well as primitive and folk art of many cultures.My approach to sculpture is a combination of figurative and abstract compositions which represent the imagination as physical forms and that combine the properties of balance and tension.

from the catalogue essay from What the Fox Knows: The Art of John Buck by Eleanor Heartney.

The show is a must see up till February 28th.

About the Artist
John Buck was born in Ames, Iowa. He studied with Roy De Forest, William T. Wiley, Robert Arneson and Manuel Neri at the University of California, Davis, and out of these fertile roots developed an authentic, resonant, lyrical voice – a voice unmistakably his own. He currently divides his time between a ranch in Bozeman, Montana and studios on the island of Hawaii, together with his wife, artist Deborah Butterfield.