Hollis Taggart is pleased to announce representation of artist William Buchina, whose paintings meld a wide spectrum of images, symbols, and references into Surrealist-style amalgamations. The gallery has previously included Buchina in a range of exhibitions, including most recently in Highlight: Chelsea in fall 2018. With the rapid expansion of its contemporary program and primary market business under Hollis Taggart Contemporary, the gallery is now formalizing its relationship with the artist. To mark the new collaboration, the gallery will feature a selection of Buchina’s works in a two-person exhibition in January 2020, which will be presented at its space dedicated to contemporary art on W. 25th. This will be followed by a solo presentation at Hollis Taggart’s flagship location on W. 26th in June 2020. The news follows the announcement that André Hemer joined the program in August 2019.
Drawing on an ever-evolving archive of imagery and text, Buchina creates acrylic paintings and ink drawings that comment on the transient and inexplicable points where the banal and commonplace meet the inconceivable and bizarre, focusing in particular on the vast expanse of human ritual. The discovery, examination, and editing of these visual and conceptual references is as significant to Buchina’s creative process as applying his materials to canvas and paper. Drawn in particular to gatherings of people, mundane substances and tools, and gestures that straddle the sensitive and aggressive, Buchina renders his figures—as well as the surrounding objects and spaces—in fine, graphic detail. At the same time, he alters, cuts, recombines, and layers these elements to emphasize and contrast actions and experiences, creating an array of emotional and psychological effects. Swaths of flat bright colors are further added, giving the overall compositions dimension and suggesting the visual quality of a collage.
Recently, Buchina has been working with images of figures joining together, whether for religious ceremonies, political rallies, marshal interventions, or other social situations. In Buchina’s paintings, the figures are removed from their contexts, relieved of their personalities, and re-configured in dense compositions that give his works a tense and hectic quality. Buchina’s further incorporation of people in varying acts of praise, reverence, or allegiance give the scenes an additional unsettling quality and suggest political critique—although the exact intention is obscured. The remixing of original sources often results in absurdist juxtapositions, further disjointing any sense of narrative within the paintings. In this way, Buchina’s work is a kind of anthropological study of human behavior and response to a variety of stimuli.
“William’s work is so dynamic in its layering of content. You can return to it many times and it will continue to reveal intricate and subtle fragments and moments, which are in turn funny, strange, unsettling, and pointed. In this way, there is a clear connection to the Surrealist landscape—every time you think you’ve grasped it, it slips away,” said Hollis Taggart. “We have been working with William for a number of years, and we are delighted to formally bring him into our program. We look forward to his upcoming exhibitions, and to engaging our audiences with his deeply compelling practice.”
William Buchina (b. 1978) has been the subject of solo and group exhibitions in locations across Berlin, Istanbul, London, Los Angeles, New York, and Paris, as well as other cities in the U.S. His most recent solo presentation, titled Between Objects & Actions, opened this year at SLAG Gallery in Brooklyn. He holds a BFA from Pratt Institute. He lives and works in Brooklyn.
About Hollis Taggart
Founded in 1979, Hollis Taggart presents significant works of American art, showcasing the trajectory of American art movements from the Hudson River School to American Modernism and the Post-War and Contemporary eras. Its program is characterized by a deep commitment to scholarship and bringing to the fore the work of under-recognized artists. The gallery has sponsored several catalogue raisonné projects, most recently for the American Surrealist artist Kay Sage, and has been instrumental in advancing knowledge of such compelling artists as Alfred Maurer, Arthur B. Carles, and more recently, Theodoros Stamos, Marjorie Strider and Michael (Corinne) West. In the summer of 2019, the gallery announced the formal expansion of its primary market business and focus on the presentation of contemporary work, operating under Hollis Taggart Contemporary. The gallery’s flagship space is located on W. 26th Street and its contemporary division is based at secondary location on W. 25th Street. The gallery also has a private viewing and storage facility in the neighborhood. With 40 years of experience, Hollis Taggart is widely recognized by collectors and curators for its leadership, expertise, and openness, on matters of art history, and market trends and opportunities.
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