Pinky, 2014. Polyester resin, feathers, shells, and dry pigment, 32 x 26 x 15 in.

Nothing is Static: A Conversation with Richard Van Buren

What are these exquisite, abstract forms? What are the materials? How were they made? What are their visual references and influences? These are some of the questions that came to mind when I first saw Richard Van Buren’s mysterious sculptures. Active in the gallery world in the 1960s and ’70s, Van Buren then decided to take a long break, despite solo shows at New York’s famed Paula Cooper Gallery, focusing his creative energy on sculptural forms for his wife, dancer Batya Zamir, to “dance off the ground in the air.” He later moved to coastal Maine, just over the water from Canada. In the 2010s, he made a comeback, exhibiting contemporary-looking older works alongside new productions. Should Van Buren be placed more prominently in 1970s art history, positioned among more highly recognized artists? After reading Raphael Rubinstein’s December 2015 essay, “Richard Van Buren,” one definitely might think so …see the entire article in the print version of November’s Sculpture magazine.