Eric R. Buechel: The Water Collection
About the Artist:
Eric R. Buechel
Born in 1968 and based in Tribeca, New York, Eric Buechel is best known as a visual artist for his combination of subtle technical grasp and fierce emotional intensity.
His life studies, primarily of nudes, recall those of the Italian masters, while his more abstract works are evocative of the naturalistic, lilting designs of classical Chinese paintings. The fundamental concentration of his works is an ongoing sequence of charcoals on paper. What seem at first to be overexcited, restless silhouettes and contours become, on reflection, calm, unburdened reflections on the natural world. These works have recently begun to border on the partially figurative: within the dense patterns, animalistic forms emerge, resulting in a contemporary equivalent to Byzantine and Early-Christian bestiaries, with totemistic animals recurring as motifs.
The juxtaposition of partial or whole living forms with transcendental visual gestures compels the viewer to question the reality of perception at its very root. How do we see? How do we know? If the visual implication of a wing and beak conjure an entire bird, what does this say for the ability of the human mind to project reality outwardly as well as create it inwardly? Buechel’s Rorschach-like patterns invite interpretation on a level altogether different from strictly abstract artists. His uninhibited and frenzied organization of line and shape questions the relationship between representative art and the physical world. Unlike more radical post-modern art, his turbulent optical chaos inevitably resolves into an attainment of form through suggestion. There is a poised fractal essence to his works; details that stand alone on a diminutive scale contribute to larger forms when focus is drawn outward. As a result, his works, while never stagy or overly symbolic, reward prolonged concentration.
His organic formations borrow as much from the mischievous spontaneity of abstract expressionists like Franz Kline and Willem de Kooning as from their pan-optical cubist predecessors like Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris.
E. A. Hilbert
Ph.D., M.St., Oxford University