8 October - 7 November 2014

Including works by:
Stephen Buckley

Stephen Buckley’s recent work shows a new freedom of form and intensity of colours, building on well over 40 years of exploring and exploding the conventions of the picture frame and format.  He continues to assemble his works starting with the wood battens and canvas fragments which result in surprising and often markedly inventive painted constructions, to which he adds titles that may at times illuminate or, at others, conceal his thinking before, during or actually after making the work in question.  He loves to play with the spectator’s habit of clue-seeking, for the comfort of connecting intellectually with the visual experience he has created, that is essentially untranslatable into words. As Marco Livingstone wrote at the time of Buckley’s first retrospective in 1985: “There is a mischievous delight bordering on the wilful and perverse in this constant game of hide-and-seek, of revelation and concealment”. Livingstone could have added there that Buckley has shown a remarkable intelligence about the activity of making pictures, an evident pleasure in the manual work of their crafting, an awareness of the histories embedded in art, and often a rich allusiveness to the 20th century canon of Western art in his paintings.

After 15 years as Professor of Fine Art at Reading University, Buckley retired to St Leonards on Sea in 2009.  The release from struggles with often pointless interference in the University’s study programmes, and the domestic scale of the white-clad studio in his house looking straight out onto the garden, have brought forth works with the intimacy and concision of chamber music, but with the same uninhibited spirit of freedom to invent new forms and use his materials in a way that is immediately recognisable.   These new works continue to display the full range of his expressive language in a lyrical, playful and humorous spirit, but not without occasional violent or forceful outbursts of colour and shape that have characterized his oeuvre to date.

Austin/Desmond Fine Art is delighted to present these recent paintings by Stephen Buckley in the artist’s first solo exhibition since 2010.