Beverley Buchanan - AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN New York Friday, February 8, 2019 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Private Collection
    Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Born 1940, Fuquay, NC
    Died 2015, Ann Arbor, MI

    1969 MA, Columbia University, New York, NY
    1968 MA, Columbia University, New York, NY
    1962 BS, Bennett College, Greensboro, NC

    Selected honors: Women's Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award (2011); Anonymous Was a Woman Award (2002); National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1990); Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1980)
    Selected museum exhibitions and performances: Brooklyn Museum, New York
    Selected public collections: Georgia Museum of Art, Athens; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

    Though it took decades for the art world to catch up, the late Beverly Buchanan is now widely celebrated as one of the greatest women artists of her generation. The recent retrospective Beverly Buchanan – Ruins and Rituals at the Brooklyn Museum in 2016, shed light on Buchanan’s incredible legacy. An active member of the 1970s New York art scene, Buchanan studied under Norman Lewis at the Arts Student League and made the decision to dedicate herself to a full-time career as an artist in 1977 after exhibiting her work at the Betty Parsons Gallery. Pursuing a fiercely independent path, Buchanan in the same year moved to Macon, Georgia, where she lived until 1985.

    Buchanan’s unorthodox and visionary body of work explored themes of identity, place and collective memory - particularly as it related to Southern vernacular architecture. Buchanan’s sculptural shacks, among her best-known works, represent a patchwork narrative of multiple memories, collected from Buchanan’s travels through the American rural South. “I believe the entire world is descendant from shacks,” reads a page from Buchanan’s illustrated book Shack Stories (Part I), 1990. Focusing on the loaded subject of the shack, a rudimentary dwelling associated with the poor, Buchanan honed in on the latent themes of endurance and personal history, tenderly investing the objects with raw emotion. “A lot of my pieces have the word ‘ruins’ in their titles because I think that tells you this object has been through a lot and survived — that’s the idea behind my sculptures,” she explained “it’s like, ‘Here I am; I’m still here!’”


Red Shack

tin and wood
27 x 15 x 11 in. (68.6 x 38.1 x 27.9 cm.)
Executed circa 1990.

Estimate On Request


New York Selling Exhibition 10 January - 8 February 2019