Syracuse, b.1937

Richard Van Buren

Born in Syracuse, New York in 1937, Richard Van Buren studied painting and sculpture at San Francisco State University and the National University of Mexico. While still a student, Van Buren began exhibiting his work at San Francisco’s famed Dilexi Gallery alongside artists as diverse as Franz Kline, H.C. Westermann, Ron Nagle, Ed Moses, and Robert Morris. In 1964, Van Buren relocated to New York. From 1967 to 1988, he taught in the Sculpture Department at the School of Visual Arts. In 1988, he began teaching at the Parsons School of Design. He remained at Parsons until September 2001. He now lives and works in Perry, Maine.

Van Buren has consistently tested material constraints and limitations and in doing so questions the definition and direction of sculpture. He impregnates his...

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Biography

Born in Syracuse, New York in 1937, Richard Van Buren studied painting and sculpture at San Francisco State University and the National University of Mexico. While still a student, Van Buren began exhibiting his work at San Francisco’s famed Dilexi Gallery alongside artists as diverse as Franz Kline, H.C. Westermann, Ron Nagle, Ed Moses, and Robert Morris. In 1964, Van Buren relocated to New York. From 1967 to 1988, he taught in the Sculpture Department at the School of Visual Arts. In 1988, he began teaching at the Parsons School of Design. He remained at Parsons until September 2001. He now lives and works in Perry, Maine.

Van Buren has consistently tested material constraints and limitations and in doing so questions the definition and direction of sculpture. He impregnates his signature polyester biomorphs with materials as seemingly disparate as dry pigment, costume jewelry, fiberglass, wallpaper paste, and glitter, in order to present forms which simultaneously reject and depend upon our everyday material-driven culture. Through the creation of his amorphous, uncomfortable and inconsistent forms, Van Buren displays a career-long fascination with the relationship between natural/organic forms and man-made/inorganic materials; especially their ability to mimic and feed into one another.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Van Buren had solo exhibitions at many of the most influential and prestigious galleries, including: Bykert Gallery (1967, 1968, 1969, New York), 112 Greene Street (1972, New York), Paula Cooper Gallery (1972, 1975, 1977, New York), and Texas Gallery (1974, 1976, Houston). During this period, his work also figured prominently in many landmark museum exhibitions, such as Primary Structures (1966, The Jewish Museum), A Romantic Minimalism (1967, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia), A Plastic Presence (1970, Milwaukee Art Center, Wisconsin), and Works for New Spaces (1971, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis), among others. In 1977, the City University of New York, Graduate Center mounted a retrospective exhibition of Van Buren’s work.

The artist’s work is featured in the collections of major museums around the world, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Jewish Museum, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery, Washington, DC; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Portland Museum of Art, Maine; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

Artworks

9

Alicia's Dance, 2019

Related Categories

21st Century Art / Abstract Sculpture / American Art / Art of the 1960s / Art of the 1970s / Art of the 1980s / Art of the 2010s / Atypical Forms and Shapes / Contemporary American Art / Less is More / Materiality and Immateriality / Media Study / Mixed Media Art / Mixed Media Sculpture / Nature and Artificiality / Restrained Expression / Sculpture

Curriculum Vitae

Education

  • 1964

    San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA (1961-1964)

  • 1960

    National University of Mexico, Mexico City

  • Mexico City College

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2019

    Richard Van Buren: T Timer, Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, September 5–October 12

  • 2018

    Richard Van Buren: Material Witness, South Dakota Art Museum, South Dakota State University, Brookings, January 12–May 20

  • 2016

    Richard Van Buren: Monet’s Swamp, Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, May 19–June 18

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2017

    Three Artists Celebrate the Maine Coast, Crow Town Gallery, Lubec Maine, June 29–July 16

  • 2016

    2016 CMCA Biennial, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland, November 4, 2016–January 24, 2017

  • 2015

    Invitational Exhibition of Visual Art, American Academy of Art and Letters, New York, March 12–April 12

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Curriculum Vitae

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Education

  • 1964

    San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA (1961-1964)

  • 1960

    National University of Mexico, Mexico City

  • Mexico City College

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2019

    Richard Van Buren: T Timer, Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, September 5–October 12

  • 2018

    Richard Van Buren: Material Witness, South Dakota Art Museum, South Dakota State University, Brookings, January 12–May 20

  • 2016

    Richard Van Buren: Monet’s Swamp, Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, May 19–June 18

  • 2013

    Richard Van Buren: The 1970s, Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, November 26, 2013—January 4, 2014

  • 2011

    Richard Van Buren: New Sculpture, Gary Snyder Gallery, New York, November 10–December 17

  • 2010

    Richard Van Buren, Tides Institute and Museum of Art, Eastport, Maine, September 5–19

  • 2003

    Richard Van Buren: Spirit Mold, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport, October 25–December 21

  • 2002

    Richard Van Buren: New Sculpture, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, June 1–July 12

  • Richard Van Buren: Spirit Mold, Grand Arts, Kansas City, Missouri, November 15-–December 21

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2017

    Three Artists Celebrate the Maine Coast, Crow Town Gallery, Lubec Maine, June 29–July 16

  • 2016

    2016 CMCA Biennial, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland, November 4, 2016–January 24, 2017

  • 2015

    Invitational Exhibition of Visual Art, American Academy of Art and Letters, New York, March 12–April 12

  • You Can’t Get There From Here, Portland Museum of Art, Maine, October 8, 2015–January 3, 2016

  • 2011

    Inka Essenhigh & Richard Van Buren: Un/natural Splendor, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport, August 6–September 25

  • 2010

    Pastorale, 80 Washington Square East Galleries, New York University, September 21–October 16

  • 2009

    Soft Sculpture, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, April 24-–July 12

  • 2006

    High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting, 1967–1975, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, August 6–October 15, 2006; American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, D.C., November 21, 2006–January 21, 2007; National Academy Museum, New York, February 13–April 22, 2007

Collections

  • American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York

  • Art Institute of Chicago

  • Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont

  • Jewish Museum, New York

  • Miami-Dade Art in Public Places

  • Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

  • Museum of Modern Art, New York

  • National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Bibliography

  • BOOKS AND CATALOGUES

  • Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. Cool Art: 1967. Ridgefield, CT: Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, 1968.

  • "Highlights of the 1969–1970 Art Season." Ridgefield, CT: Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, 1970.

  • Atkinson, Tracy. A Plastic Presence. Milwaukee: Milwaukee Art Center, 1969.

  • Battcock, Gregory, ed. Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1968.

  • Bell Gallery, List Art Building, Brown University. Jack Barth, Richard Van Buren, David Deutsch, Richard Jackson, James Reineking. Providence: Bell Gallery, List Art Building, Brown University, 1977.

  • Brentano, Robyn and Mark Savitt, eds. 112 Workshop, 112 Greene Street: History, Artists & Artworks. New York: New York University Press, 1981.

  • Contemporary Art Society. Painting & Sculpture Today, 1974. Indianapolis: Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1974.

  • Contemporary Arts Center. Options 73/30: Recent Works of Art. Cincinnati: Contemporary Arts Center, 1973.

  • Contemporary Arts Museum. 10. Houston: Contemporary Arts Museum, 1972.

Teaching

  • 1988

    Associate Professor, Parsons School of Design, New York (1988-2001)

  • 1984

    Visiting Artist, Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore

  • 1970

    Visiting Artist, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

  • 1966

    Associate Professor, School of Visual Arts, New York (1966-1988)