If this exhibition was your first introduction to Derek Buckner's paintings, you'd be forgiven for branding him a classicist, even a (gasp) academic. He has a penchant for working on series in which a single main subject is explored in variations on a theme; in this case, it's white linen, a classical choice to be sure. But last time, it was marshmallows, and the time before that, UFOs. He does not abandon realism altogether, but rather uses diverse images as excuses for rendering his expressive, color-inflected whites. Nor does he allow his compositions to ever completely dissolve into abstraction, despite the fact that color-field passages are where all the action is. Reverential and iconoclastic, whether it's mottled, overcast skies or bunched-up, overstuffed pillows, what Buckner really paints is always the same thing: qualities of light.
- Shana Nys Dambrot