|Hydrangeas, Oil on Board, 12"x12"|
Van Buren’s understanding of time is what sets him apart from his peers. His works are not about the timeless present (Judd and Dan Flavin) or the body (Eva Hesse), nor do they reference art history — Jackson Pollock’s poured paintings, for example. Rather, they acknowledge that time shapes us into forms that we may be unable to recognize, which, if you think about it, is a rather disquieting perception of infinity.
Deeply, I think this refers to more than our bodies. Our characters form into qualities that would have shocked us as children or young adults. Sometimes this revelation is a pleasing one, sometimes not so.
John Yau was a writing teacher when I was at Bard. And, as a poet not a painter, he was a wonderful critic and would astound me at his insight into both the aesthetic and plastic elements of art. John would probably find Hydrangeas uninspiring, boring and commonplace.