Jody Klotz Fine Art is pleased to host the renowned San Francisco watercolor artist Gary Bukovnik, and his new collection of floral watercolors, created specifically for our exhibition "Gary Bukovnik: Forever Spring." Come see his thrilling coalescence of vivid color and fluid motion that bring the flowers to life!
Thursday, September 12th
5:30 - 7:30 pm
+ Book Signing
with Gary Bukovnik
Saturday, September 14th
1:00 - 3:00 pm
About Gary Bukovnik
Gary Bukovnik was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1947 and studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art. The internationally acclaimed painter and printmaker now lives in San Francisco, his home since 1974. His dramatic art conveys a highly monumental quality, both in the size of some of his works and in his use of space. Primarily using the mediums of watercolor, monotype and lithograph, Bukovnik fuses sensual vitality with fluid yet powerful colorations, creating floral images of great depth and intensity.
Bukovnik’s watercolors are poetic and dynamic, both realistic and marvelously abstract. Isolation on a white background is a significant feature in the artist’s work. He creates a shallow and abstract space, eliminating any figure-ground ambivalence. The blankness and starkness of the paper idealizes and universalizes his floral subjects, and his works have a sense of purity and simplicity.
Often his art has a musical quality, with vividly colored flowers leaping and dancing across the paper. In other works, he paints images of cut flowers in vases, suggesting space by indicating the way in which the container sits on a surface. In creating these unique compositions, he moves away from academic notions of space. He breaks traditional still-life structure, and in turn, predictability. Through Bukovnik’s creativity, his watercolors acquire an energy that palpably enriches the lives of their audience.
In an interview with Clare Henry, art critic for the Financial Times in London, when asked why he chose to paint flowers, Bukovnik stated, “It’s not an option. Flowers chose me. I tried for years to escape. Flowers are the vocabulary of the language that I speak. I originally fought it, with varying degrees of success. You search and travel to explain who you are. Eventually I understood. These are true representations of me - for better or worse. Take it or leave it. It has to be.”
To produce his graphic works, Bukovnik collaborated with Trillium Press, whose owner and master printer, David Salgado, studied at the Tamarind Workshop, formerly in Los Angeles.
Bukovnik's works are the subject of numerous publications, including Flowers: Gary Bukovnik Watercolors & Monotypes, 1990 and Gary Bukovnik: Watercolors, 2005. His most recent publication, Forever Spring: Gary Bukovnik, 2019, a bilingual book in English and Chinese, was published this spring in Shanghai. It chronicles his floral watercolors of the past ten years, and is the inspiration behind the title of this exhibition.
The artist’s work is represented in diverse public and private collections, including museums and corporate collections. Among the most notable museums to feature his work are The Hague, The Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum. He has also enjoyed great success in China through a number of museum shows, including the Today Art Museum in Beijing, the Shanghai Hongqiao Contemporary Art Museum, and the art museums of Tianjin, Xiamen and Suzhou.
Bukovnik is also widely exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions in Beijing, Madrid, Ontario and Luxembourg. He was Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome in 2003 and 2005, and was an artist-in-residence at the Michigan Institute of Arts in 2010.
Bukovnik also donates his art to benefit community and civic organizations such as the San Francisco Symphony, which has commissioned a poster announcing its fall season each year since 1982. It is the longest running collaboration between an artist and a performing arts organization, even surpassing Georgia O’Keefe and her work with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. The artist’s work has also become a permanent fixture within the Davies Symphony Hall.
In 2001, he was selected by the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York to be a part of the prestigious List Collection, which commissions artists to create posters to commemorate programs at the center. Past contributors have included Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Motherwell, and Helen Frankenthaler. The New York Metropolitan Opera also commissioned the artist to create a poster commemorating their 1990-1991 season. Other organizations to feature Bukovnik’s work include the New York Metropolitan Opera, Refugees International in Japan, and Project Open Hand in San Francisco.