Since the early 1970s, John Buck has been making narrative sculptures that employ his signature motif of disparate objects and figures precariously in balance with each other. Among the various carved items are globes, chains, quatrefoils, symmetrical floral patterns, birds, forked sticks and flames.
Buck often uses myriad geometric shapes in his sculptures, with the figures balancing a grid of sticks with a shell or rocks or other items positioned in one of the square openings of the grid. He also stacks items without the grid or skewers them as seen in the work below. Buck uses jelutong wood as his primary material. It is a soft white wood culled from Malaysian farming operations. Too soft to have any value as a building material, it is perfectly suited to the furniture maker and wood sculptor. The process of its own making becomes very apparent in the finished piece. Every hack mark and chisel cut remains visible. These are not slick, polished pieces. Instead they follow in the tradition of folk art, handmade crafts and votive figures.
Recently, Buck produced the blocks for several new large-scale color woodblock prints. These works on paper are made by rubbing graphite over the carved but, as yet, unprinted blocks. One illustrates, among other images, a pine tree growing out of a tire. The other, "A Thousand Cranes," illustrates a flock of origami paper cranes forming the shape of a human figure. These variant rubbings range in price from $1,200 to $3,000. Buck also produces large-format wood block prints in vibrant color. Below are examples of currently available works. Prices are subject to change as edition sells out.
click on an image to enlarge:
Prices are subject to change as editions sell out
THE LAMP, 1994
Woodcut with rubber stamp and hand coloring
66 x 40.75 inches
THE NIGHT PRISM, 2008
Four color woodcut
74.25 x 37 inches
Color woodblock print on paper, 62.5 x 37 inches, Edition of 15
CRYSTAL LAKE, 2001
Color woodblock print on paper, 61 x 37 inches, Edition of 15
THE EMPTY HAND, 1996
Color woodblock print on paper, 72 x 37 inches, Edition of 15
THE MECHANIC, 1994
Color woodblock print on paper, 73 x 37 inches, Edition of 15
THE PRESERVE, 2005
Color woodblock print on paper, 62 x 37 inches, Edition of 15