John Buck -
East West, 1988
Color woodcut, 74 x 73.5 inches
Trial proof 2/2 (from an edition of 15)
Gift of Judy and J.D. Williamson, II (BBA '67, MBA '68)
John Buck is a sculptor and a printmaker. His work includes carved wood and bronze sculptures and large woodblock prints. He typically juxtaposes the human figure with everyday objects and images drawn from the daily news, nature, and his fertile imagination.
In East West, Buck encases a figure in a spherical cage whose lines of latitude and longitudesuggest the earth's globe. Both are embedded in a sea of contrasting images, including a crucifix, a Buddha, and a Hindu deity, that generate the title of the work. In addition to other more enigmatic shapes, the religious references prompt the viewer's own free-associations and a reflecting upon social and political realities. Recalling Leonardo da Vinci's celebrated drawing of a man circumscribed by a circle and a square, East West is likewise a meditation on humanity's place in the greater scheme of things.