Sarah Buckner

사라 부크너

Sarah Buckner was born in 1984 in Frankfurt, Germany. She studied at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Palermo and at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Buckner lives and works in Cologne.

Sarah Buckner’s figures—a majority of which have been female in recent paintings—are powerful motifs condensed references to mythical women, literary characters and/or personal acquaintances. Often situated in indeterminable settings, her protagonists are expressions of emotional states, complex feelings, aspirations. Thinking in paint, and through painting, Buckner has developed an intuitive and fluid approach that transforms these impressions through her material practice. The figures and situations she depicts appear both open-ended and precisely observed, as if emerging from a fully formed narrative of which viewers can only catch a momentary glimpse. The works exude an interiority reminiscent of dreams, where an object can be many incongruous things simultaneously and signify opposite meanings without contradiction. Her works distill narratives into images full of mystery, their atmospheric scenes resonating with emotional potency—the exact nature of which remains elusive, even to the artist, she says.

Embracing the traditions of her medium, Buckner produces many of her painting materials, reveling in the laborious processes and their age-old alchemistic associations. Buckner mixes many paints from pure pigment and/or ground minerals, experimenting with the distinct viscosity of different colors and their varying opacity. In the past, Buckner has added minerals such as malachite or lapis lazuli to her paints to give her paintings an opalescent shimmer. Her materials, such as iron oxide, malachite or her gesso’s chalk, connect her practice to an ancient tradition of mark-making, from cave paintings to ancient ceramics, classical fresco painting and the origin of chemistry in alchemy.

In 2020, Sarah Buckner was awarded the Residence NRW+ grant, and at the conclusion of the residency period presented her work in the solo exhibition Head over Heels at the Westfälischer Kunstverein in Münster in 2021.

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