Richard Van Buren: The 1970's

November 24th 2013--January 4th 2014

Garth Greenan Gallery
529 West 20th Street 10th Floor
New York, NY
Garth Greenan



Richard Van Buren: The 1970s

November 26 - January 4, 2013

Press Release

Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to announce Richard Van Buren: The 1970s, an exhibition of sculpture and drawings at 529 West 20th Street. Opening on Tuesday, November 26, 2013, the exhibition is the first ever large-scale presentation of Van Buren’s work from this period. Fifteen of the artist’s densely layered abstract sculptures will be on view, including a twenty-foot floor piece, Bennington (1970) and Strata (1977), a fourteen-foot wall piece. A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition, with an essay by Carter Ratcliff.


The exhibition and its accompanying publication provide a survey of the artist’s work during the 1970s—polyester biomorphs impregnated with materials as seemingly disparate as rock salt, cadmium, and wallpaper paste. Bennington—a highlight of the exhibition—consists of eight brightly colored elements cast from Mylar sheets buried in a snowbank. This piece marks the beginning of Van Buren’s career-long fascination with the relationship between natural/organic forms and man-made/inorganic materials, especially their ability to mimic each other.


Born in Syracuse, New York in 1937, Richard Van Buren studied painting and sculpture at San Francisco State University and the National University of Mexico. While still a student, Van Buren began exhibiting his work at San Francisco’s famed Dilexi Gallery, alongside artists as diverse as Franz Kline, H.C. Westermann, Ron Nagle, Ed Moses, and Robert Morris. In 1964, Van Buren relocated to New York. From 1967 to 1988, he taught in the Sculpture Department at the School of Visual Arts. In 1988, he began teaching at the Parsons School of Design. He remained at Parsons until September 2001. Van Buren lives and works in Perry, Maine.


During the 1960s and 1970s, Van Buren had solo exhibitions at many of the most influential and prestigious galleries, including: Bykert Gallery (1967, 1968, 1969, New York), 112 Greene Street (1972, New York), Paula Cooper Gallery (1972, 1975, 1977, New York), and Texas Gallery (1974, 1976, Houston). During this period, his work also figured prominently in many landmark museum exhibitions, such as Primary Structures (1966, The Jewish Museum), A Romantic Minimalism (1967, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia), A Plastic Presence (1970, Milwaukee Art Center), and Works for New Spaces (1971, Walker Art Center), among others. In 1977, the City University of New York, Graduate Center mounted a retrospective exhibition of Van Buren’s work. More recently, his work figured prominently in Pastorale, a group exhibition at New York University’s 80 Washington Square East Galleries, curated by Klaus Kertess. In 2011, Richard Van Buren: New Sculpture opened at Gary Snyder Gallery, New York.


Van Buren’s work is featured in the collections of major museums around the world, including: the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Modern Art; the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; and the Walker Art Center.


Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to represent Richard Van Buren.


Richard Van Buren: The 1970s will be on view at Garth Greenan Gallery, 529 West 20th Street (between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues), through Saturday, January 4, 2014. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. For more information, please contact Garth Greenan at (212) 929-1351, or email