inheriting the sculptural idiom

Works by Arthur Bucknor
March 29-May 12
Cherry Gallery
130 Cherry St, Ithaca

Saturdays & Sundays, 1-5 pm
Opening Reception: March 29, 5-7 pm

Presented by KeyBank

Hindrance and Flow (Inheriting the Sculptural Idiom) is a solo exhibition of works by Ithaca-based artist Arthur Bucknor. Bucknor is the son of celebrated Ghanaian painter Kobina Bucknor, and Arthur grew up living in both Ithaca and Ghana. Bucknor senior’s paintings channeled the three-dimensional language used by traditional Ghanaian wood carvers. He called the process the “sculptural idiom”, and his work has profoundly inspired and influenced Arthur’s.

The paintings in this show reflect Arthur’s life-long exploration of his father’s technique, but more than that they tell the story of a profound and traumatic reinvention of his own artistic practice. In 2010 Bucknor suffered a traumatic brain tumor that left him without the use of his dominant (left) hand, and needing to use a wheelchair for mobility.

The unexpected loss of control forced Bucknor to relearn the basic mechanisms of painting as well as living. Though full of struggle, Bucknor’s journey of reinvention became transformative. He describes his right hand, initially weakened by the trauma, emerging as a newly-freed vessel of expression, infusing newfound fluidity and emotion into his paintings.

“The more challenging the piece, the more fun it is. … Hindrance is mostly opportunity. … Initially, the pain showed in the paintings … but after a while, I learned to roll with the flow.”

—Arthur Bucknor