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Showing posts from June, 2017

Mining the Burchfield Archives

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Charles Burchfield, drawing (undated)  panoramic view of  Gardenville, NY Catholic church steeple, Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY
Charles Burchfield's expressiveness grew out of his highly-trained eye.  I am convinced his life-long habit of making drawings, lots of them, sharpened his remarkable imagination. He knew his art depended on an empathetic responsiveness and a finely-tuned selectivity. By making drawings he strengthened these attributes. His 20,000+ drawings  at the Burchfield Penney Art Center (BPAC) attest to the seriousness he attached to his task.


Philip Koch,  Gardenville, NY, vine charcoal, 9 x 12 inches, 2015 This is the same church Burchfield drew in the illustration at the  beginning of this post. Ironically it was the fist artwork I made  when I began my Residency at BPAC.

The vast majority of his drawings in the Archives are quick studies, often done in rapid succession from the same source. Clearly he valued these drawings as he saved an enormous number…