Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Great American Painter - Ken Buhler

Oriental Dollarbird - 32" x 84" acrylic/canvas

My brilliant friend, 

the painter,

Ken Buhler 

must've been woodshedding it recently 

as he has a lot of wonderful new works

and two exhibits. 

Superb Lyrebird - 36" x 72" acrylic/canvas

Saturday December 8th  6:00 - 8:00 PM, 

don't miss 

the Artist Reception


Ken Buhler - Notes from the Edge of the World


Galerie Gris 
621 Warren Street
 Hudson, NY 12534
518 828 1677

Plovercrest - 56" x 42" acrylic/canvas

Then starting December 12th

you will not want to miss

Ken Buhler, Birdlands


Lesley Heller Workspace
54 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002
212 410 6120

Bluethroat - 56" x 42" acrylic/canvas

Here are some of Ken's thoughts on

 his life and his Art.

Cardinal - 30" x 22" watercolor

My role as an artist seems to be as chronicler of my own particular response to the world.  If it is possible to coalesce these layers of experience into color, surface, and form, then this is the process I am invested in, its meaning discovered and recognized in the act of making art.

Roseate Spoonbill - 30" x 22" watercolor

My relationship to my sources has been changing in the past few years.  Forms, largely botanical or decorative in nature, once largely catalysts for abstraction, are now freely entering the lexicon of the painting itself.  It is refreshing and liberating for me to acknowledge these sources and have the confidence and faith to allow their direct presence.

Scarlet Ibis - 30" x 22" watercolor

My most recent work, involving large-scale watercolors and large paintings on unprimed canvas in which stencils and rubber stamps have become part of the process, is entitled Birdlands. This new body of work is inspired by the incredibly visual and poetic names of certain birds, such as Antenna Satinbird, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Elliot’s Storm Petrel, Lovely Cotinga, Oriental Dollarbird, and many more. Forms, colors, and surfaces evolve as visual responses to the names of these and other birds. In one of my current projects, I am collaborating with a poet whose poems written in response to bird names will appear alongside prints I have made in response to those same names. 

Green Heron - 30" x 22" watercolor

Now I can't help but wonder if Ken 

is channeling a bit of the Ol' 

Olivier Messiaen!

Birdsong filled much of his music.

And he chronicled birds and birdsong in his

Catalogue d'Oiseaux

and in

La Fauvette des Jardins. 

Perhaps you can attend these receptions and ask Ken yourself. 

You will not want to miss a chance to see his works in person.

Rainbow Bunting - 30" x 22" watercolor

Here's the press release for the show at Lesley Heller:

Lesley Heller Workspace is pleased to present Birdlands, the new series of paintings and watercolors by Ken Buhler.  While reading through copies of Audubon Magazine that his son had collected, Buhler found himself transfixed and inspired by the peculiar and poetic bird names he encountered. Roseate Spoonbill. Antennae Satinbird. Superb Lyrebird. Rainbow Lorikeet. Responding to these, Buhler was able to tap into a rich world of color and form.While the natural world has always provided material for his abstract work, for the first time in this body of paintings, Buhler felt free to draw images directly from the outside world. Forms, often botanical or decorative in nature, which were once merely catalysts for abstraction, are now freely entering the lexicon of his painting.

Bluebill - 30" x 22" watercolor

An abstract painter since the 1980's, Buhler has always felt committed to a kind of purity accomplished through non-referential color and form. But small rubber stamps, initially incorporated only into the artist's drawings, became a gateway to the inclusion of more recognizable images and forms. These stamps and stencils, rooted in a tradition of engraving, evoke images of old maps and engraved books—objects from antiquity that spoke to Buhler's sense of the artist as chronicler of unknown worlds.  

Western Bluebird - 30" x 22" watercolor

Now these stamps and stencils appear freely into the artist's drawings, watercolors, and large scale acrylic paintings. For the artist, allowing for this shift toward referential form has been liberating. In addition, the Birdland paintings offer a material departure from earlier work.  Their shift to raw canvas allows for the use of transparencies and staining to create more open and lyrical spaces.

Ken Buhler is a professor of painting and drawing at Bard College. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and in Masonville, New York. Buhler is the recipient of many prestigious grants, residencies, and fellowships.  These include the MacDowell Colony, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Pollock Krasner Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and The Ballinglen Foundation. Recent projects Buhler has completed include prints made with Oehme Graphics of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, VanDeb editions of NYC, and Jungle Press of Brooklyn.

Buhler has had solo exhibitions at Michael Walls Gallery, O’Hara Gallery, and Axel Raben Gallery. His work is part of many public collections including the Wichita Museum of Art, the Beach Museum, The Sioux City Art Center, the Ulrich Museum of Fine Arts, and the de Saisset Museum.  His work is also part of many private collections inlcuding IBM, The Boston Company, Prudential, and the Maslow Collection.

Thank You Ken 
for your 

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