Born 1940 in Fuquay, NC; died 2015 in Ann Arbor, MI
Though she was born in North Carolina, Buchanan grew up in South Carolina and earned several university degrees in the sciences before beginning her professional career in New York as a health-care educator. However, in 1971-- about two years after that-- she enrolled at the Art Students’ League in Manhattan, where she studied with Norman Lewis (1909-1979), the black, American, abstract-expressionist painter. From that time on, Buchanan devoted her time to making art.
Her 2014 show exhibiting shotgun shack sculptures at the gallery “And You May Find Yourself…” was widely acclaimed and reviewed by several publications including Art in America, Art Forum and the Brooklyn Rail. Brooklyn Rail contributor Chloe Wilcox wrote in an article focusing on the artist:
“…Buchanan’s small-scale sculptures emit a strong affective power, the pathos of a recently extinguished vitality. It is as though the activities of a whole cadre of people—milling about, building, calling out to one another, laughing, playing catch—have suddenly ceased. This push and pull between life and death, presence and absence, gives these structures their peculiar potency.”
Columbia University, M.P.H.
Columbia University, M.S.
Bennett College, Greensboro, NC
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Beverly Buchanan: Low Country, David Klein Gallery, Detroit, MI
Beverly Buchanan and William Christenberry: The Streaming Light Through All Your Shacks' Cracks, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York
Independent Art Fair, New York, Andrew Edlin Gallery
2016 - 2017
Beverly Buchanan: Ruins and Rituals, 1976-2013, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, Spelman Fine Art Museum, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA
And You May Find Yourself..., Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY
The Art of Beverly Buchanan, N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI
Home Place, Barbara Archer Gallery, Atlanta, GA
Response and Memory, Asheville Art Museum, NC & Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA
Beverly Buchanan: Recent Work, Mary Pauline Gallery, Augusta, GA
Beverly Buchanan: Southern Saddlebags and Shotgun Houses, Lane Hall, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Beverly Buchanan ‐ 6th Annual Masters Series, City Gallery East, Bureau of Cultural Affairs, Atlanta, GA
Beverly Buchanan: Home is a Magnet, Steinbaum Krauss Gallery, New York, NY
Beverly Buchanan, Art Museum of Missoula, Missoula, MT
Beverly Buchanan, The Rural South: Drawings and Sculptures, Opelika Arts Gallery, Opelika, AL & Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Beverly Buchanan, Mclintosh Gallery, Atlanta, GA
Beverly Buchanan, Visual Witnessing: Portraits of Shacks and Their Yards, Steinbaum Krauss Gallery, New York, NY
Beverly Buchanan, Spirit Square Center for the Arts and Education, Charlotte, NC
Beverly Buchanan, Tubman African American Museum, Macon, GA
Beverly Buchanan, American Architecture: The Shack, The Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT
Beverly Buchanan: ShackWorks, A 16 Year Survey, traveling mid-career retrospective hosted by The Montclair Museum of Art, Montclair, NJ
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
She Persists: A Century of Women Artists in New York, Gracie Mansion, New York, NY
The Warmth of Other Suns, Phillips Collections, Washington D.C.
Downsized: Small Scale Sculpture by Contemporary Artists, The Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT
One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
GWTW, Martos Gallery, New York, NY
Rolling Stone Press: Human Considerations, Jepson Center for the Arts, Telfair Museums, Savannah, GA
Dialectics of Entanglement: do we exist together?, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Beverly Buchanan, Thornton Dial, and the Gee's Bend Quiltmakers, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY
Room, Sadie Coles HQ, London, UK
POWER, Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles
Southern Accent: Seeking The American South in Contemporary Art, Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC, Speed Museum of Art, Louisville, KY
THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI
The Armory Show, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY
Haunts and Habitats, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI
Purple States & Cafe Dancer Pop-Up, curated by Sam Gordon, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY
When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
African-American Voices, Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, GA
African American Artists From The Flomenhaft Collection, Flomenhaft Gallery, New York, NY
Mixing Metaphors: the Aesthetic, the Social and the Political in African American Art, Carter Presidential Museum in Atlanta, GA
Beverly Buchanan & Lillian Blades, Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA
Howard University BEWARE: Women Working at Flomenhaft's, Flomenthaft Gallery, New York, NY
Recollection: The Past Is Present, Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC
Collected. Propositions on the Permanent Collection, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD
SELECTED HONORS AND AWARDS
Women's Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award
College Art Association Achievement Award
Visiting Artist, Spring Island, SC
Anonymous Was A Woman Award, Anonymous Was A Woman, New York, NY
199 Georgia Women in the Visual Arts Honoree, The Georgia Commission on Women and the Georgia Women's History Month Committee
McArthur, Park and Jennifer Burris Staton. Beverly Buchanan: 1978-1981. Mexico City: Athénée Press.
Lax, Thomas J., When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South. New York: The Studio Museum in Harlem.
Fiske, Courtney, "Beverly Buchanan, Thornton Dial, and the Gee's Bend Quiltmakers," Artforum, October.
Russeth, Andrew, "Brooklyn Museum Adds Works by Emma Amos, Beverly Buchanan, Betty Tompkins, and Many More Women Artists to Its Collection," Art News, May 29.
Anastasia, Rhea, “Beverly Buchanan, Brooklyn Museum, New York,” Artforum, January.
Fox, Catherine, “Art history rewards the vanguard: Beverly Buchanan’s Ruins and Rituals,” ArtSatl, October 9.
Greenberger, Alex, "Beverly Buchanan House Sculptures Charm at Independent Art Fair," Artnews
Koplos, Janet, Beverly Buchanan: Ruins and Rituals at Spelman Museum, Burnaway: The Voice of Art in the South, October 20.
Martinique, Elena, “Beverly Buchanan's Iconic Sculptures and Works on Paper at David Klein Gallery,” Widewalls, June 19
Sharp, Sarah Rose, “Beverly Buchanan’s Shack Sculptures Feel at Home in Detroit An exhibition at David Klein Gallery brings together Buchanan’s evocative shack constructions and pastel drawings,” Hyperallergic, July 2017
Villarreal, Jose, “Exhibition of Beverly Buchanan’s Shack Sculptures and Drawings opens up at David Klein Gallery,” Artdaily.org, June 16.
Rosenberg, Karen, “Haunting ‘Ruins and Rituals’ Begins ‘A Year of Yes’ at Brooklyn Museum,” The New York Times, November 10.
Maine, Stephen, “The Political Abstraction of Beverly Buchanan,” Hyperallergic, October 29.
Gotthardt, Alexxa, “The Brooklyn Museum Gives Fiercely Independent Artist Beverly Buchanan the Retrospective She Deserves,” Artsy, October 27.
Vogel, Wendy, “Beverly Buchanan Brooklyn Museum,” Artforum, October 21.
Cotter, Holland, “In Art This Fall, Women Win in a Landslide,” The New York Times, September 16.
"Beverly Buchanan at Andrew Edlin,” Art in America, May 21.
"Beverly Buchanan: Southern Vernacular," Museum of Arts and Sciences, September 3.
Son, Angela, "Interview with Beverly Buchanan," Art Animal, Nov. 8.
Dorian, Donna, "Telling Stories," Southern Accents, Vol.24: No.1.
Burchard, Hank, "Sculpting Women: Carving their Niche", Washington Post, June 26.
Glueck, Grace, "Beverly Buchanan", New York Times, Art Guide, March 6.
Iverem, Esther, "Sculpture Shaped from Time, Trouble and Triumph" Washington Post, July 7.
Donn, Jeff, "Athens artist turns southern shacks into her own personal parthenons," Savannah Morning News, March 10.
Sozanski, Edward, "Showing how a Shack can be a Work of Art," The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 2.
Murphy, Anthony, "Portfolio," American Visions, Vol.9: No.4.
Slesin, Suzanne, "The Shack as Art and Social Comment," New York Times, January 18.
Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC
The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA
Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, GA
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Mead Art Museum, Amherst, MA
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
The Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ
Morris Museum of Southern Art, Augusta, GA
Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA
Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
Pennsylvania Museum of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL
The Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, GA
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
activities of a whole cadre of people—milling about, building, calling out to one another, laughing, playing catch—have suddenly ceased. This push and pull between life and death, presence and absence, gives these structures their peculiar potency.”
The winner of numerous honors during her long career, including, among others, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and an Anonymous Was A Woman award, Buchanan became best known for her art’s exploration of the vernacular architecture of the American South. She has written: “Remembering the look and feel of structures has been a strong focus in my drawings and sculptures. My vision and interest shifted to the reality of current places and their surrounding landscape. The house and its yard and the road behind and across.”
Buchanan’s art has been exhibited widely at galleries and museums in the United States, including, notably, "Ruins and Rituals, 1976-2013," a 2017 solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum.