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First Large-scale Museum Survey of the Work of John Buck to be Shown at Bellevue Arts Museum
John Buck, North of South, 2005. Wood panel with acrylic paint, 72 x 72 x 3.5 in. Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer. Photo: Strode Photographic, Portland, OR.
BELLEVUE, WA.- Over the past four decades, John Buck has created a large and significant body of artwork, made up of woodblock prints, sculpture and three-dimensional wood panels. Comprised of over 40 artworks, including several pieces from Buck’s little-known series of glass jars, this exhibition is the first large-scale museum survey of the artist’s work since 1993 and will be on view at Bellevue Arts Museum from November 3, 2009 to February 28, 2010. The exhibition also features raw printing blocks and prints in different stages of completion that illuminate Buck’s printing process.

Visually complex, Buck’s art is saturated with a deep richness of images, icons, symbols, and motifs and an intensely lyrical and authentic evocation of both the natural and social worlds. A master carver, all of the artist’s work is grounded first in wood carving, and then expands toward large and unique woodblock prints, monumental wood sculptures and unusually colorful, shadowbox-like wood panels.

Recalling graffiti art, cartoons and political broadsides, Buck’s sculptures draw from and comment on popular culture. “My work is inspired by contemporary issues as well as primitive and folk art of many cultures. Wood carving and assemblages are found in practically all cultures and I find the connection inspiring,” the artist explains.

John Buck was born in Ames, IA in 1946. He received his BFA from Kansas City Art Institute in 1968, followed by a short period in which he studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, ME. In 1972, he completed his MFA at the University of California, Davis, where he met his wife, artist Deborah Butterfield. Since the completion of his MFA, Buck has held four teaching positions, both abroad and in the United States. Most recently, Buck was an Assistant Professor of Sculpture for Montana State University in Bozeman, MT from 1976 to 1990. Buck and Butterfield divide their time between a ranch in Bozeman, MT and studios on the island of Hawaii.

Bellevue Arts Museum | John Buck | University of California | Davis | Washington |

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