Following the huge success of his 2009 exhibition, Pangolin London
announced their solo show of work by Jon Buck. Charting the most recent developments in his career, Turning Inside Out explores Bucks most spontaneous and bold sculpture to date.
Through his pre-occupation with animal forms, and birds in particular, Buck has created a joyous and lyrical visual language. His totemic sculptures and vivid animal and human characters invoke the raw, spiritual qualities he believes to be rooted in all of us. Clever, humorous and deeply moving, Jon Bucks work acts as intercessor between our contemporary intellectual selves and our more ancient, unconscious nature as animals.
This lively exhibition looks to a time when nature was revered by man and explores the human need for cultural and spiritual icons in the modern age. Eschewing fashion from the start of his career, Jon Buck has pursued his own interests in primitivism and the links between the physical processes of making and the conceptual content of his compositions.
Throughout his career Buck has harnessed the image of the beast as a representation of the human spirit and through his depictions of the animal world we are reminded of both the emotional and the overwhelmingly physical nature of our make-up. Of his own work, Buck asserts that his aim is indeed to embrace and celebrate the universality of what it is to be human.
Looking in further detail at Jon Bucks most recent sculpture and works on paper the exhibition explores his move to a more pared down and abstracted mode of expression. Less do we see a literal approach to the figure, but rather pieces that could be read as either human or animal, or indeed some hybrid of the two. Sculptures such as Transmutation explore this changing of one being into another, its amorphous quality and fluidity of form creating an appealing and tactile alternative to the direct imitations of man or beast in Bucks earlier works.
In this newer work Buck continues to play with applying drawn line to his sculpture, by indenting and inscribing onto the mould before it is cast in bronze. In pieces such as Inner Man and Symphysis this creates a further hybrid, or transmutation, between the processes of drawing and sculpture, as we interpret both the solid form of the sculpture and the lines on and within it.
Further exhibition highlights include the momentous Eidetic Tree. Deriving from the Greek word eidos meaning idea, this large piece comprised of many smaller sculptures is certainly Bucks most ambitious totem yet and exemplifies the veneration the artist withholds for the natural world, native cultures and mysticism