John Buck: Prints and Sculptures from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation opens August 31 at the Marion Art Gallery
Explore the world of famous printmaker and sculptor John Buck when the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery at Fredonia State University presents the exhibit “John Buck: Prints and Sculptures from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation” until November 19.
An exhibition reception will be held on Friday, September 10, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Two additional programs are planned in connection with the exhibition: a talk by ornithologist and author Scott Weidensaul on Thursday, September 23 at 7 pm, in room Fenton 105; and a talk by printmaker Brian Shure on Saturday, October 23 at 11 a.m. at the Marion Art Gallery.
The exhibition, reception and all programs are free and open to the public. A catalog is made available free of charge to visitors. The Marion Art Gallery is located on the main level of Rockefeller Arts Center on the Fredonia campus at 280 Central Ave. It is most easily accessible from the Symphony Circle side of the building.
The opening hours of the gallery are Tuesday to Thursday from noon to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
Over the past four decades, Buck has created prodigious woodcuts and intricately carved wood sculptures that stand out from any movement or artistic trend. This exhibition includes four sculptures and 22 woodcuts dating from the 1980 two-color woodcut “My first impression” woodcut in nine colors of 2016 “Cat.” The largest woodcut in the exhibit, at 92 x 37 inches, is “Sky line”.
Buck’s powerful imagery, underscored by his unusual printmaking techniques and mastery of woodcarving, prompts viewers to consider socio-political issues such as greed, war, racism, sexism, and the degradation of society. environment. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Buck saw the world go up in flames: the Berlin Wall had fallen, the Soviet Union was facing economic collapse, and the Gulf War was raging in the Middle. East. Woodcut from 1991 “The temperature” features a pile of rolled-up newspapers, Buck’s source for information on world events, on fire and against a dark background incised of skulls, leafless trees, severed bodies, religious symbols and moths.
Abuse of religion occupies a central place in many of Buck’s works. In the woodcut “Phoenix soaring” the central image is not the phoenix, symbol of rebirth and regeneration, but rather the extinct dodo bird. Behind the dodo are a series of civic and religious buildings from different cultures: a country church, a mosque, a temple and a cathedral. Between these symbols are swarms of people, presumably religious and secular armies mobilized by the ideologies represented by these various structures. In the context of these background images, the dodo is presented as a symbol of the consequences of an inconsiderate mixture of the political and the religious.
“The reef” The 2014 woodcut refers to the threat of sea level rise to our coastal cities due to climate change and the continued pollution of our oceans by mankind, themes that Buck has explored in several of his engravings. The glass jar is a visualization of the earth’s atmosphere. Greenhouse gases trap heat and warm the planet. All life, in seas and in cities, is trapped and dies in the jar as temperatures and sea levels rise.
Unlike other woodcut artists, Buck prefers soft wood (Malaysian jelutong), so he can use a variety of tools, even a ballpoint pen, to incise fine lines. Due to the size of the prints, as well as the unique woodcut and incision methods, the process of printing Buck’s woodcuts is very difficult. This forced him to collaborate with master printers. Since 1983, Buck has worked primarily with Bud Shark at Shark’s Ink in Lyon, Colorado, who has printed and published 50 of his woodcuts. The exhibition includes woodcut and rubbing for “Phoenix soaring,” and several narrative tags provide information on Buck and Shark processes.
Buck’s panels and freestanding sculptures are largely formal explorations of elements of composition. In the panel “Taj Mahal”, the three circles of the abstract shape at the bottom left are repeated above in the Guggenheim Museum model, and three is the number of wasps at the top right. The network of potato roots in the glass jar echoes the street system of Manhattan’s central plan. The v-shape of the beard is repeated in the wasp nest. The sphere at the top left and bottom right draws our attention to the composition.
John Buck and his wife, artist Deborah Butterfield, reside in Bozeman, Mt. and Kona, Hawaii. Buck’s prints and sculptures can be found in the collections of major museums across the country, including: the Albright Knox Art Gallery, the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art. Buck is represented by Zolla / Lieberman Gallery in Chicago, Robischon Gallery in Denver, Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle, and Anglim / Trimble in San Francisco.
All of the artwork in the exhibition is part of the Jordan D. Schnitzer Collection or the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation Collection.
“John Buck loves wood: whether it’s a sculpture or a woodcut, no artist does it better” Jordan Schnitzer said. “Artists are still chroniclers of our time and John follows this tradition. His images seem at first glance beautiful and harmless, but look closely and you find the strongest possible political imagery. The environment, war, social injustice, gender inequality – these are all themes that John constantly explores.
At the age of 14, Schnitzer purchased his first piece of art from his mother’s Contemporary Art Gallery in Portland, Oregon, evolving into a lifelong vocation as a collector. He began seriously collecting contemporary prints and multiples in 1988. Today the collection exceeds 19,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. It has become one of the largest private collections of prints in the country. He generously lends works from his collection to qualified institutions. The Foundation has organized over 110 exhibitions and exhibited works of art in over 160 museums. Mr. Schnitzer is also Chairman of Harsch Investment Properties, a private Portland-based real estate investment firm that owns and manages office, multi-tenant industrial, multi-family and commercial properties in six western states. For more information on the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit jordanschnitzer.org.
“John Buck: Prints and Sculptures from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation” was organized by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Portland State University. The exhibition is supported by Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation, the Cathy and Jesse Marion Endowment Fund of the Fredonia College Foundation, the Carnahan Jackson Humanities Fund and the Friends of Rockefeller Arts Center.
For more information or to schedule a group visit, contact the director of the Marion Art Gallery, Barbara Racker, at 716-673-4897 or [email protected] Please note that masks are currently mandatory inside campus buildings, regardless of immunization status.