STEPHEN BUCKLEY: SELECTED WORKS 1972-1991

21 April - 26 May 2010

Including works by:
Stephen Buckley

Stephen Buckley (born 1944) is widely acknowledged as one of the most gifted and adventurous artists of his generation. His use of a constructed three-dimensional base, often using interconnected panels, pioneered a new British exploration of the traditional pictorial space. Buckley has never accepted the imposition of any limitations on the materials and techniques used in creating his work. Any one painting or section can include wood, stitched canvas, ropes, piping and household objects incorporated into the structure, then over painted, stencilled and collaged creating a complex visual texture.

The social commentator Michael Bracewell has written:

When you look at a painting by Stephen Buckley what do you see? The initial impact is reminiscent of a sudden chord – at times orchestral, brooding in a minor key, but more usually sharp, bright and strident, like the sudden and electrifying opening notes from an expert rhythm section. And then you reach the surface of the work. The layers and edges of the applied paint appear soft and malleable, shaped into the angle of a corner, the ridges of which are then further defined by the contours of an underlying material – a thread of heavy wire, or cardboard tubing, or a length of cord. What appears at first impression to be a reasonably simple combination of vivid, essentially primary colours, separated within grid like patterns, geometrically defined, becomes on closer inspection – transforming almost alchemically before the viewers gaze – a riotous confluence of surging, swirling, effervescently vibrant shades and traces and hues.

This exhibition included major paintings from the early 1970s when Buckley’s work was receiving international attention and was being placed in major public collections, notably the Tate Gallery, London, The British Council, the Metropolitan Museum, New York and the Yale Centre for British Art, Newhaven. Often executed on an ambitious scale, this was the first occasion for some of these substantial works to be been shown in Britain.  The exhibition will paid particular attention to a group of works showing how the artist’s compulsion to assemble a single image from multiple panels has evolved throughout his career.  In addition to the paintings also exhibited was an astonishing collection of monotypes and small etchings produced by the artist during the 1980s.

A fully illustrated catalogue is available including a limited edition of 25 copies, specially bound and decorated by the artist.

 

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