Masters & Pelavin is proud to announce, Plight and Premonition, German artist Peter Buechler’s first solo exhibition in the United States. The show will include a selection of new portraits in a variety of styles the artist has become known for. An opening reception will be held on Thursday November 1, 2012, in which the artists will be in attendance.
Even though Buechler has been exhibiting internationally for the last 25 years, he was only first introduced to the American market at this past year’s SCOPE / Miami. Bruce Helander, the Editor-in-Chief of The Art Economist, expressed his overall excitement upon his first introduction to Buechler’s work in The Huffington Post “Top Ten Artists to Watch” :
“Peter Buechler is my favorite emerging artist. His work literally grabbed me by the collar. It’s the simple things in life that seem to make the biggest impressions. Uncomplicated and successful compositions that kindle my fascination and spark a fire in me…”
Buechler’s pictures are simplistic at first glance; but, become increasingly complicated with the more time a viewer spends with them. Known for dividing his paintings into grids consisting of small fields of color, Buechler’s “pixilated” squares literally block out identifiable components of his subject adding mystery and intrigue. In terms of the aesthetics of the pictures’ reception: as the viewer stands in front of the picture, he is forced into something which would hardly be the case when faced with a digital image—an oscillation between the object itself and the abstracted subject shown. There is a constant struggle between what you believe you see; what you want to see; and what is actually there to be seen.
“My personal favorites are his “deconstructions,” which consist of altered found paintings, especially those that covered up existing images like the head of a man or dog. Some works are geometrically camouflaged or treated to a split personality that’s unidentifiable, like the moving pixilated squares that protect the “innocent” identity of drunken suspects in a cops and robbers TV documentary…”
The artist’s first “deconstructions” date from 2001 when he began painting over oil portraits he had acquired over the Internet or from small second-hand shops in Europe: the artist produced an illusionist painting superimposing the trunk of a birch tree on a copy of a Franz Hals. He also painted grids over the face of a found oil-painting of a soldier; the colors for these grids derived from the original located beneath them. Later in Buechler’s career, these grids came to fill entire canvas. To do this he divided the subject into thousands of square fields onto which he hand painted, in the manner of an old master—square by square—the colors he originally organized and sketched out on a computer. What he thus produced looked, at first glance, like a giant, blurred copy of a digitally produced picture where the object’s every contour and sharp outline—in other words, its graphic quality—has been completely removed. A paradox, but one which is at the core of Peter Buechler’s work: it is the geometrically exact matrix of his pictures—the graphic quality of their arrangement—that lends them their picturesque quality.
“Buechler goes beyond altering faces by applying his square grease paint to interiors, curtains and windows to generate an impressionist-painterly effect. Here again, the artist selectively blocks out the main object often by employing hundreds of blurred rectangular fields which creates a flat tension between the real crime scene and the cover-up…”
Buechler’s primary focus is the double reference to endlessly produced and published reproductions by digital cameras and cellular telephones. All of Buechler’s motifs are taken from the digital world. They can be landscapes such as Niagara Falls, views of towns, interiors, a door, a shelf that he has photographed himself, medical illustrations found on the Internet or pornographic images of women. Here, what disturbs is the banal: the artist chooses these images from the innumerable possibilities and subjects them to a transformation, using an exacting and time-consuming painting process that wrests their arbitrary, everyday quality from them. The process brings their potential, so to speak, producing unique, singular images that are simply calling out for attention.
“Peter Buechler is not just an artist to watch, he’s an artist to acquire while you can…”
All quotes: Bruce Helander, The Art Economist “Artists to Watch” 2011 and The Huffington Post “Top Ten Artists to Watch” 2011.
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