Richard Buswell: Close to Home

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Close to Home

Richard Buswell

January 19 - April 12, 2018

Opening Reception on Friday, January 19th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm

Richard Buswell: Close to Home

The title of this exhibition is from a statement by Julian Cox, the Founding Curator of Photography and Chief Curator at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, “In the panoply of photographic images that now sustains our optical understanding of nature, Richard Buswell’s work occupies a special place—and provides a lasting reminder that the most unique forms of beauty and invention can often be found close to home.”

Richard Buswell, M.D., is a determined photographer, persistent and certain in his work. He is like the natural processes that he records—he makes decisions according to the long view, with considerable investment. If the shot he wants does not present itself, he is not dissuaded. He will return to the same site next year, or the following decade. He is patient and observant, a characteristic result of his medical training that inevitably spills over into his artistic practice.

Rather than strictly working as a documentary photographer, Buswell has increasingly moved closer to his subject matter. He photographs objects that have been retired from popular use by the time they are fixed in the alchemy of silver, selenium and gelatin that Buswell favors.

His impulse to record disappearing sites is ironic since his photographs are often rendered abstractly. His close-up photographs focus on corroded artifacts and decayed bones which highlight loss and the ravages of time. Buswell’s photographs are hopeful, describing the slow renewal of the land affected by but indifferent to the human imprint of extraction and industry.  Individually, his photographs are single moments taken at intervals over a number of years. Collectively, they resonate as a song of the West.

—Brandon Reintjes, past Curator of Art, Montana Museum of Art & Culture

Richard Buswell: Close to Home was organized by the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana.

This exhibition is sponsored in part by Bjerke Architects of Helena, MT. 

currentSondra Hines