The Art of Alum Richard Van Buren: Something New Under the Sun

Monday, June 06, 2016
HYPER ALLERGIC -- Richard Van Buren studied ceramics at Mexico City College. Later, he moved to San Francisco, where he studied at San Francisco State (1961 – 64). One of his teachers was the idiosyncratic artist Roy De Forest, who populated his canvases with dogs, and he was friends with Ron Nagle, who had an exhibition of his exquisite ceramics at Matthew Marks in the fall of 2015. In some sense, Van Buren’s sculptures challenges our ability to read them, at least by art historical conventions. They open up so many dimensions, so many possible readings, while inviting viewers to look at them with the kind of attention that borders on the hallucinatory. By creating a body of work that stands outside the narrative of progress that remains a repressive force in contemporary art, even after the death of art history, Van Buren reminds us that you can still take the road not traveled, that not everything has been done.