Beverly Buchanan—Ruins and Rituals at Brooklyn Museum, October 21, 2016 – March 5, 2017

“Through incisive considerations of site, history, biography, and portraiture, Beverly Buchanan (1940–2015) produced landmark bodies of work, including cast concrete and mixed-media sculptures, drawings and books, and evocative paintings and photographs. The Brooklyn Museum presents the most comprehensive exhibition of Buchanan’s work to date through approximately 200 objects, including sculpture, painting, photography, drawing, notebooks of the artist’s writings, and documentation of private performances. The exhibition also debuts a video installation documenting her existing site-specific earthworks in locations across the American Southeast. Emphasizing how Buchanan’s work resisted easy categorization, this exhibition investigates her dialogue not only with a range of styles, materials, movements, and literary genres, but also with gender, race, class, and identity.” — Brooklyn Museum

Referring to the importance of place for her work, Buchanan wrote in 1998, “I think that artists in the South must at some point confront the work of folk artists not so much in terms of the work but of the persons and the work as being of and from the same place with the same influences, food, dirt, sky, reclaimed land, development, violence, guns, ghosts, and so forth.”

“I’ve read that my work is about nostalgia. It is not,” Buchanan stated. “It is about drawing with my camera and documenting old, former, slave cabins, turned tenement houses instead of drawing with oil pastels.”

Beverly Buchanan (American, 1940–2015). Untitled (Self-Portrait in Mirror), 1977. Black-and-white photograph affixed to notebook paper, 11 x 8 ½ in. (27.9 x 21.6 cm). Private collection. © Estate of Beverly Buchanan

Beverly Buchanan (American, 1940–2015). Untitled (Self-Portrait in Mirror), 1977. Black-and-white photograph affixed to notebook paper, 11 x 8 ½ in. (27.9 x 21.6 cm). Private collection. © Estate of Beverly Buchanan

Beverly Buchanan (American, 1940–2015). Untitled (Double Portrait of Artist with Frustula Sculpture), n.d. Black-and-white photograph with original paint marks, 8 ½ x 11 in. (21.6 x 27.9 cm). Private collection. © Estate of Beverly Buchanan

Beverly Buchanan. Untitled (Double Portrait of Artist with Frustula Sculpture), n.d. Black-and-white photograph with original paint marks, 8 ½ x 11 in. (21.6 x 27.9 cm). Private collection. © Estate of Beverly Buchanan

untitled-slab-works-1

Beverly Buchanan. Untitled (Slab Works 1), circa 1978–80. Black-and-white photograph of cast concrete sculptures with acrylic paint in artist studio, 8 ½ x 11 in. (21.6 x 27.9 cm). Private collection. © Estate of Beverly Buchanan

Beverly Buchanan (American, 1940–2015). Untitled (Walter Buchanan Postcard), n.d. Photocopy of archival black-and-white photograph, 3 x 5 in. (7.6 x 12.7 cm). Private Collection. © Estate of Beverly Buchanan

Beverly Buchanan). Untitled (Walter Buchanan Postcard), n.d. Photocopy of archival black-and-white photograph, 3 x 5 in. (7.6 x 12.7 cm). Private Collection. © Estate of Beverly Buchanan

Beverly Buchanan (American, 1940–2015). Untitled (“The doctor will, if you’re lucky, see you, now.”), July 1993. Unpublished writing in notebook. Private collection. © Estate of Beverly Buchanan

Beverly Buchanan. Untitled (“The doctor will, if you’re lucky, see you, now.”), July 1993. Unpublished writing in notebook. Private collection. © Estate of Beverly Buchanan

Beverly Buchanan (American, 1940–2015) with poet Alice Lovelace (American, born 1948). Shack Stories (Part I), 1990. Unpublished handmade book of ink and crayon drawings with watercolor and collaged typewritten text, 11 x 8 ½ in. (27.9 x 21.6 cm). Private collection. © Estate of Beverly Buchanan

Beverly Buchanan (American, 1940–2015) with poet Alice Lovelace (American, born 1948). Shack Stories (Part I), 1990. Unpublished handmade book of ink and crayon drawings with watercolor and collaged typewritten text, 11 x 8 ½ in. (27.9 x 21.6 cm). Private collection. © Estate of Beverly Buchanan

Beverly Buchanan (American, 1940–2015) with poet Alice Lovelace (American, born 1948). Shack Stories (Part I), 1990. Unpublished handmade book of ink and crayon drawings with watercolor and collaged typewritten text, 11 x 8 ½ in. (27.9 x 21.6 cm). Private collection. © Estate of Beverly Buchanan

Beverly Buchanan (American, 1940–2015) with poet Alice Lovelace (American, born 1948). Shack Stories (Part I), 1990. Unpublished handmade book of ink and crayon drawings with watercolor and collaged typewritten text, 11 x 8 ½ in. (27.9 x 21.6 cm). Private collection. © Estate of Beverly Buchanan

Beverly Buchanan (American, 1940ñ2015). Low Country House, date unknown. Wood, 17 3/4 x 16 3/4 x 13 1/4 in. (45.1 x 42.5 x 33.7 cm). © Estate of Beverly Buchanan, courtesy of Jane Bridges. (Photo: Adam Reich, courtesy of Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York)

Beverly Buchanan. Low Country House, date unknown. Wood, 17 3/4 x 16 3/4 x 13 1/4 in. (45.1 x 42.5 x 33.7 cm). © Estate of Beverly Buchanan, courtesy of Jane Bridges. (Photo: Adam Reich, courtesy of Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York)

Beverly Buchanan (American, 1940ñ2015). Old Colored School, 2010. Wood and paint, 20 1/4 x 14 3/4 x 18 1/2 in. (51.4 x 37.5 x 47 cm). © Estate of Beverly Buchanan, courtesy of Jane Bridges. (Photo: Adam Reich, courtesy of Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York)

Beverly Buchanan. Old Colored School, 2010. Wood and paint, 20 1/4 x 14 3/4 x 18 1/2 in. (51.4 x 37.5 x 47 cm). © Estate of Beverly Buchanan, courtesy of Jane Bridges. (Photo: Adam Reich, courtesy of Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York)

Beverly Buchanan (American, 1940ñ2015). Old Colored School (detail), 2010. Wood and paint, 20 1/4 x 14 3/4 x 18 1/2 in. (51.4 x 37.5 x 47 cm). © Estate of Beverly Buchanan, courtesy of Jane Bridges. (Photo: Adam Reich, courtesy of Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York)

Beverly Buchanan. Old Colored School (detail), 2010. Wood and paint, 20 1/4 x 14 3/4 x 18 1/2 in. (51.4 x 37.5 x 47 cm). © Estate of Beverly Buchanan, courtesy of Jane Bridges. (Photo: Adam Reich, courtesy of Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York)

Beverly Buchanan—Ruins and Rituals is organized by guest curators Jennifer Burris and Park McArthur, and coordinated by Catherine J. Morris, Sackler Family Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, and Cora Michael, Associate Curator of Exhibitions, Brooklyn Museum.

Images courtesy Brooklyn Museum.