Beverly Buchanan (1940-2015)
Beverly sharecropper's shack, a disappearing fixture in the rural southern landscape, is often associated with poverty, but Buchanan saw it as an enduring image of vitality and creativity that is animated by the hopes and dreams of its inhabitants. By depicting vernacular architecture and its environment, Buchanan, who lived and worked in Georgia for much of her adult life, constructed a narrative that serves as a metaphor for the triumph of the human spirit over poverty and adversity. Although academically trained, Buchanan utilized the tools often associated with the self-taught artist, such as inserted text, found objects, and loosely applied vibrant color, to create the visually rich textures of the humble, yet complex, structures in her drawings, sculptures, prints, and photographs.
Born in Fuquay, North Carolina, on October 8, 1940, Buchanan was the adopted child of Marion and Walter Buchanan. She spent her childhood in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where her father was
While working Macon. She later divided her time between studios in Athens, Georgia, and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Buchanan photographed specific structures and their surroundings to use as memory aids in her commemoration of the environments and rural farmers encountered in her childhood. Her work is a tribute
Buchanan was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in sculpture in 1980, was a Georgia Visual Arts honoree in 1997, and received an Anonymous Was a Woman Award in 2002. In 2005 she was a distinguished honoree of the College Art Association Committee for Women in the Arts. Her work has been widely exhibited throughout the United States and is held in numerous private and public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts; and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.
Buchanan died at the age of seventy-four on July 4, 2015, in Ann Arbor.
Media Gallery: Beverly Buchanan (1940-2015)