Deborah Buck has said of her own work that, “It’s the story of a process and what’s left.” Process is not just her guiding principle in making art but also in creating her life, one that has been radically open to the art, the people, and the experiences that she has encountered.
Buck grew up on a farm in Maryland where her urbane parents had relocated the family from New York. Growing up on the farm challenged the young artist to use her imagination to entertain herself. “As a kid, I spent a lot of time by myself reading fairy tales and ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ and I just really wished that the frog on the edge of the pond would talk, or he’d wear a crown, or I could walk outside and see something like a huge pink caterpillar, and that she could talk. I paint these characters now because I still wish that they existed and so, I bring them to life with paint. “(Southampton Art Center, East End Collects6, reviewed by Michelle Trauring)
While in high school Deborah encountered the abstract expressionist painter, Clyfford Still. Impressed by her talent, Still chose Buck as the recipient of a scholarship in his name to attend the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, a remarkable opportunity as well as a difficult challenge for the 18-year-old painter. Buck’s relationship with Still continued and was important in the last several years of Still’s life; his correspondence with Buck and hers to him, is housed in the archives of Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum.
Mr. Still convinced Buck that she should not go to art school, but instead, should educate herself as broadly as possible, across all academic disciplines. This advice resonated bringing Buck to Trinity College in Hartford where she studied everything from Buddhism to Theater Set Design while receiving a degree in Fine Arts and graduating with Honors.
Exhibiting professionally since the 1980s, Deborah moved to New York City where she was selected to be an Artist in The Marketplace (AIM) by The Bronx Museum. Buck has since maintained an active exhibition schedule, showing recently in The Hamptons, Connecticut, and New York City. She continues to explore the interplay of surrealism and abstraction in her work, where her long held interests in absurdity, romanticism, and the darker side of fairy tales lend a strong narrative sense to her practice. Esteemed critic, Gregory Volk, wrote succinctly about Buck’s work in 2017. http://deborahbuck.com/essays/4-essay-by-gregory-volk
Deborah has long been involved with arts education as both member of the faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Master of Design Program and as a Trustee of The Pratt Institute in Brooklyn New York. Deborah works with fine arts institutions on a regular basis in her work as the director of The Deborah Buck Foundation which addresses issues of feminism and the fight against marginalization of women in the art world.