Click on photos to enlarge.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Marie Bukowski

Iris-11, 2016, Marie Bukowski
One of the great delights in spending my retirement in cruising to various places around the world is not so much the ports themselves, but in getting there, and in particular, the wonderful people I meet along the way. A couple days ago we returned home from a seven-day cruise aboard Princess Cruise Line's Caribbean Princess. Except for a minor mishap or two (one of which I mentioned yesterday) it was an great Christmas leading to a Happy New Year (so far at least). Along the way, we twice had as a dinner companion Ms. Marie Bukowski, a fellow artist, who happens to hold the exalted position of Director of the Southern Illinois University School of Art and Design (Carbondale, IL). She was, in every way, a bubbly, friendly delight to talk with, even though my wife kept elbowing me reminding me that she likely didn't come on the cruise to "talk shop." Perhaps, but if that was the case, she hid it well. Personally, I find myself starved for the opportunity to do so with anyone so inclined, in that it so rarely happens. I love it when I encounter someone who knows more about art than I do.
With a smile like hers, she might have a second career
selling toothpaste.
This is where I usually delve into the intimate details of an artist youth. But in Marie's case I didn't really get the chance to ask, though I'm guessing, given her Pennsylvanian academic roots at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pennsylvania she was born somewhere within the confines of the Keystone state. As for when she was born, she hides that well, both figuratively and literally. I could find nothing definitive though it would seem to have been during the early 1970s. I noted she once entered a student art exhibit at my old alma mater, Ohio University, as early as 1992. Given the spelling of her name, Marie's parents seem to have been of Polish descent. She also speaks that language fluently along with a working familiarity with several other European tongues. She's represented by the Stowarzyszenie Miedzynarodowe Triennale Grafiki in Krakow, Poland, an important, tongue-twisting clue as to her heritage.

Iris-02, 2016, Marie Bukowski
Although Marie has majored in painting and drawing at various times, her real strength and chosen medium is printmaking. In general, I like her work, especially her recent Iris series (top and above). But I must also confess that most of it is somewhat "over my head" as to theme and conception. As the graph-like visual texture of her prints would suggest, Marie is something of a "rare bird" insofar as artist are concerned, exhibiting a hemispheric brain dominance far to the left of most such creative individuals. She actually employs (gasp) mathematics in creating her images! She notes that: "Printmaking is a process of testing differences. In the process of questioning distinctions, the mind, eye, and hand sometimes shift in and out of synchronization. Speculation, or the suspension of decision, leads below the surface of order into the ambiguity of conflicting perceptions. Printmaking, therefore, becomes a meditation on the meaning of certainty." I'll make no comment in that I'm tempted to say something "smart" which would likely be stupid, and just as likely to say something stupid in trying to sound smart.

Interstices-7, 2011, Marie Bukowski

Cortex-26, 2012-13, Marie Bukowski

Paracosm-10, 2014-16, Marie Bukowski,
another favorite of mine.


No comments:

Post a Comment