PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURES BY FREA BUCKLER
Garages are often highly creative places. Great inventions were developed there, famous rock bands got started there, and many artists found their inspiration in the familiar yet informal environment of their garage. It is a breathtaking experience to visit the immersive mixed-media installation Central Meridian (The Garage) of Michael C. McMillen at LACMA, as we are being projected into a full-scale garage of a middle-class American home of the 1950s with lots of intriguing details to discover.
In this vibrant solo show, the British artist Frea Buckler presents a series of paintings and installations all created in her new garage-style studio colocated on an industrial estate in a disued quarry. The materials and occupants surrounding her in this new space inspired her to develop her artistic process into a new direction. While her previous practice was mainly focused on silkscreen monotypes on paper, she now started to explore the combination of house paint with rougher materials used in construction works. Some works of this new series were shown in September in Montreal/Canada for the inauguration of Espace Transmission, a former garage transformed into a striking new art space by Clara and Alexis Cousineau.
Frea’s first solo show in Belgium reveals her outstanding capacity of combining geometrical shapes and colors in a way that seems simple and familiar at first sight, but invites us to get immersed into her universe of subtle shades and notes. She sees similarities between her work and the beautiful lied “Nacht und Träume” (D. 827) by Franz Schubert, its ethereal melody being combined with a rather simple rhythmic structure. This music will nicely accompany the show and be played intermittently.
With the works on show, the artist explores the interaction of materials, surface, space, color, and form. She uses them as metaphors for the frameworks we live by as individuals and collectively. Simple construction techniques and problem-solving often seen in the underlying geometric structures of building work in our cities, e.g. hoardings, signage, and scaffolding, provide a matrix for her experimentation, improvisation, and expression. Using materials associated with construction and DIY, such as timber, plywood, aluminium, tarpaulin, and house paint, she dares to deconstruct and reconstruct her earlier works on paper. Her new paintings, objects and installations thus all reveal a process of transformation, both for her and for the world we live in.
Frea Buckler lives and works in Bristol (UK). She studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, London, and MA Multidisciplinary Printmaking at the University of the West of England, Bristol. She has presented solo shows in London with Smithson Projects and Jealous Gallery, in Dublin at Graphic Studio Gallery and in the US at New Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas and Space Gallery in Denver, Colorado. She also has participated in group shows, e.g. at the Royal Academy, London and Davidson Gallery, New York. She has been commissioned for projects by Denver Art Museum, Facebook, Ginkgo Projects, and Imperial Health Charity, among others. Her work is held in many private and public collections, e.g. University of Warwick, University of Edinburgh, Trinity College Dublin, Imperial Health Charity Collection, The National Archives of Ireland and the Office of Public Works, Ireland.
We are very glad to present Frea’s first solo show in Belgium, with striking new works straight from her garage in Bristol. This is a great opportunity to discover her minimal geometric explorations in an appealing color palette, to lighten up our foggy days of autumn.
Text: Robert Klotz