Bettina Buck is concerned with form and material. Using such diverse and commonplace materials as foam, carpet, latex and clay the artists' recent sculptures oscillates between beauty and repulsion and structure and formlessness to create intimate, delicate moments of uncertainty.
Throughout the work Buck understands her chosen materials unique qualities and combines disparate components with contradictory characters rigid materials sit next to pliable, the machine-made next to the obviously hand-crafted, tactile next to repulsive, used and degraded. Combining such polarities dislocate the everyday materials from our common understanding of them, offering new readings of seemingly familiar materials. In many instances the artist offers possible readings of her work through the titles, Fallen and Headless for example suggest human characteristics, though in all instances the titles hint at more than one reading.
While the titles might suggest possible ways of understanding the artist's work and the materials she uses are familiar to the majority of us, Buck's work continues to question definitions of figuration and abstraction and of form and absence. Of interest to the artist is what one sees and what one imagines, what is suggested is as important as what is suppressed and the antagonism between presence and absence is evident throughout the work.
Often the artist presents voids or work that can be seen through, Wurmhole is made from foam coated in visceral brown Latex, formed into a nest like structure, an iron pipe extends from within, it hangs on the wall so that it has a direct relationship with the human figure.
In other works reference is made to art history and architecture, offering a further way to comprehend the work; grand imposing structures are composed from basic mass-produced contemporary materials. Often referencing Classical forms and mythology, Buck inverts the rhetoric invested in these, offering complex associations.
Buck studied at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, completing her MA at Goldsmiths College, London in 2003. Recent exhibitions have included Reaparecidos at Museo de la Ciudad in Ecuador, curated by Cecilia Canziani and Vincent Honorè and recent solo exhibitions have been seen at Monitor in Rome and Mirko Mayer in Cologne.
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