Various Agents
April 16 – May 29, 2021
Galleries One and Two

Exhibition Text


ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce Various Agents, a solo exhibition of new works by Zachary Buchner in Galleries One and Two. The exhibition continues through Saturday, May 29, 2021. This is the artist’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery.

Zachary Buchner presents Various Agents, an exhibition of new works that continues his investigation into the material possibilities within the expanding field of painting, through his use of colored acrylic, acoustic foam, and memory foam.

Utilizing both additive and subtractive processes and incorporating soft and rigid plastics, Buchner’s works deploy a shallow illusionism, a backlit glow, and overlapping translucent layers that suggest our omnipresent digital field. Replacing the open browser windows, guides and grids of our digital lives with physical materials, they remind us– through frontality, reflection, and scale– of our own bodies. They suggest an alternative way to view the lives we navigate, through a disruptive combination of reflection and absorption, consciousness and its construction.

For Buchner the works in this exhibition speak to the ongoing and complicated relationship that painting has to its own medium and to the ends that artists have gone to in order to expand its accepted forms. The exploration of the material possibilities of painting has been at the root of the artist’s practice for the last two decades. The artist’s newest works further explore color combination and interaction, compositional possibility in the carving, spraying and dyeing of foam, and geometric construction of their final forms.

With this exhibition, Buchner also presents these works installed over background imagery for the first time. Pulling from a vast collection of archived images– both found and personal– he has stretched and manipulated them to fit, distort or complicate the objects they support. Printed in lush, colorful detail and installed directly to the gallery walls, these amalgams articulate a series of complex relationships between his work and the worlds they collide with, furthering the narrative possibilities potentially signified in them. Buchner links these two seemingly disparate parts, joining the subject of the image with the shape, color and title of the individual works. However, the pairings are not always direct and offer further interpretive possibilities.

Buchner is interested in mining a social landscape built on complex systems of connectivity and isolation in an attempt to better understand the contingencies of contemporary experience and space. He inserts references to art history, film, natural disasters, climate change, urban sprawl, mass information and surveillance, as well as images he captured during the past year of quarantine and lockdown.

His newly introduced imagery, together with his use of and fascination with plastics, speak to the constant and malleable way he views the history of painting and its connection to our contemporary time. The systems at play in this exhibition are simultaneously nurturing and damaging, reflective and absorbing, inputting and outputting. For Buchner, the work in Various Agents questions how far this dispersion and connectivity can stretch.

ZACHARY BUCHNER (Canadian, b. 1979) lives and works in Oak Park IL. Buchner received a BFA from Bowling Green State University in 2001 and an MFA from Northwestern University in 2005. Zachary Buchner has had recent solo exhibitions at Monaco Gallery (St. Louis, MO) and Laramie County College (Cheyanna, MY). Recent group exhibitions include Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (Aachen, Germany), Heaven Gallery (Chicago, IL), Soccer Club Club (Chicago, IL), Circle Contemporary (Chicago, IL), the Fine Arts Center at Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH), Elder Gallery at Nebraska Wesleyan University (Lincoln, NE), and Gallery 400 at The University of Illinois (Chicago, IL). He has exhibited at art fairs in Chicago and Miami. His work is included in numerous public and private collections. This is his fourth solo exhibition with the gallery.