Zachary Buchner @Andrew Rafacz835 W. Washington Blvd. Chicago IL 60607
"Producing paintings that look and feel like sculptures and sculptures that address painting’s primary concerns, Buchner has created a body of work that upends both mediums and, in doing so, investigates place in an elemental way. The artist is interested in making work that demands that the viewer shift down in a world where experiences are at their most accelerated. Barnett Newman wrote “the painting should give man a sense of place, that he knows he’s there, so he’s aware of himself” and this resonates in Buchner’s work and is an important point of departure for the artist. This slowing down in order to recapture a sense of place or presentness is fundamental to the work. This also guides the way Buchner’s own ‘hand’ is evident in the production of both the paintings and sculptures. In the sculptures, the drips on otherwise clean architectural forms imply a gravity and orientation that make the viewer aware of the artist’s action and placement within the work. Furthermore, the inclusion of particular pedestals, often painted and even peculiar, reveals how the display and placement of the work is thoroughly considered. In the paintings, plaster is poured over stretched burlap and manipulated by the artist, undoing the traditional notion of a painterly surface. Numerous multidirectional paint applications, creating at once both depth and false shadows, imply the specific choices and positions of the artist. For Buchner, the notion that paintings should make contact with the world is at the core of his practice and concerns. The title of the exhibition simultaneously addresses the contemporary lack of center and the openness of possibility as a result. It reasserts the necessity for art that makes you take your time, to notice where you are, that you are here, in this moment."Press Release
I'm probably commenting at about the time a new post comes up, but...The colors here in this work are upsetting for some reason. They look toxic. Maybe it's the poured texture, but it keeps looking like some kind of toxic soup.I like the three dimensional wood pieces better (on the gallery website). With those, the pouring of paint gets in the way of the structure, and I keep wishing they either looked more like Cy Twombly's white sculptures, or were done totally without paint.Maybe Zach is sorting things out here, and the next body of work will have a clarity that these lack. I'm hopeful.
Well I didn't get any sense of place from these. Nor even a sense of the artist's position to the work - I was more impressed by the artist's focus on 'runniness' or 'gloopiness' as painting. It's hardly a radical position of course - this stuff tails back from Poons, Olitski and Benglis to Frankenthauer and Pollock, and inevitably involves revising the chemistry of paint or pigment to some extent - looking for some more sculptural or 3-D quality. I know there's a lot of people still working this seam although I think it's significant that Poons and Olitski end up returning to drawing, or to shapes of some kind, even before establishing the relativity of the support or materials. I'm sure Zach is aware of these issues and for the moment, the work seems to be just marking out this territory - in that sense it still feels like student work.