4 June – 23 July

Opening reception:
4 June 6 – 8pm

Exhibition catalogue (PDF)

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Exhibition essay

Events

Confined to his studio when the lockdown hit Switzerland in Spring 2020, Dorian Büchi found himself looking for inspiration within his immediate surroundings – an abnormality for the Swiss artist who normally spends large amounts of time in his country’s famous mountains. He had been intrigued by a prickly pear plant that he brought back from a recent trip to Italy, and which was thriving in the very different climatic conditions in his Swiss studio. He was initially drawn to the plant as a symbol for the resilience of nature in different climates, but it had also become his last connection to nature now that he was unable to leave his studio and apartment.

The series of paintings that emerged are very much of our time. The cacti, themselves a symbol for an eco-conscious generation that likes to surround itself with plants, have been portrayed (quite literally in portrait formats) as heroic figures, often from quite dramatic angles and dynamic compositions. Set against a blurry, airbrushed background, the prickly pears are the protagonists of our recent history, symbolising not just the resilience of nature in the face of climate change, but also of humanity in lockdown.

The paintings are complemented by four related sculptures in oak, red pear and white pear wood, sourced from nearby the artist’s studio. Executed using traditional furniture-making techniques, the abstract compositions elevate an old craft into the artistic realm by emphasising the creative potential inherent in the technique.

DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #1, 2021
signed and dated on the reverse
oil and acrylic on canvas
80.2 by 70.2 cm.

DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #2, 2021
signed and dated on the reverse
oil and acrylic on canvas
80 by 60 cm.

DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #3, 2020
stamped with signature and dated
oak wood, on olive wood base
sculpture: 79.8 by 7 by 7 cm.
with base: 132.5 by 15 by 15 cm.

DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #4, 2021
signed and dated on the overlap
oil and acrylic on canvas
50.5 by 50.5 cm.

“The prickly pear can survive almost anywhere. All you have to do is throw one of its cladodes on the ground and roots will form. This ability to adapt is absolutely fascinating to me, and is a compelling illustration of our times.” – Dorian Büchi

DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #5, 2021
signed and dated on the reverse
oil and acrylic on canvas
40.5 by 30.5 cm.

DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #6, 2020
stamped with signature and dated
red pear wood, on olive wood base
sculpture: 57.5 by 5 by 5 cm.
with base: 119 by 11 by 10.5 cm

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DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #7, 2021
signed and dated on the reverse
oil and acrylic on canvas
50.5 by 40 cm.

DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #8, 2021
signed and dated on the reverse
oil and acrylic on canvas
100.2 by 80.2 cm.

DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #9, 2021
signed and dated on the reverse
oil and acrylic on canvas
100 by 100 cm.

DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #10, 2021
acrylic on wooden chips in glass decanter, on olive wood base
sculpture: 26 by 20 by 20 cm.
with base: 100 by 20 by 20 cm.

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DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #11, 2021
signed and dated on the reverse
oil and acrylic on canvas
40 by 30 cm.

DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #12, 2021
signed and dated on the reverse
oil and acrylic on canvas
70 by 60 cm.

DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #13, 2020
stamped with signature and dated
white pear wood, on olive wood base
sculpture: 76 by 10 by 10 cm.
with base: 140 by 14.5 by 14.5 cm.

DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #14, 2021
signed and dated on the reverse
oil and acrylic on canvas
40 by 30 cm.

DORIAN BÜCHI
Resilience #15, 2021
signed and dated on the reverse
oil and acrylic on canvas
70.5 by 50.5 cm.

Dorian Büchi: Resilience
In a world where it feels like every subject has already been painted in every possible style, it is increasingly rare to encounter work that stands out – particularly when the genre has been around for centuries, as is the case with still life painting. Dorian Büchi’s recent series of paintings, Resilience, is situated somewhere within this historical lineage yet approaches its subject from a decidedly novel angle. The works are in fact ‘contemporary’ in the most literal meaning of the word (of our time):in subject, medium, style and narrative they reflect the world in 2020-21, when humanity is forced to come to terms with its place in the world, aware of its vulnerability to new diseases and its own destructive impact on the planet it inhabits.

Most noticeable in this new body of paintings is the subject matter. The prickly pear cactus is a recognisable plant almost anywhere in the world, and the plant’s global distribution is a testament the world’s interconnectedness: native only to the Americas, the cactus is now found across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and even on remote islands in the Pacific Ocean. Here in Australia, the prickly pear was introduced from Brazil around 1839, and has since become an invasive species. It was precisely this remarkable ability to adapt to different conditions that fascinated Dorian Büchi. (…)

Continue reading or download the catalogue

Brisbane Art Design Preview
Fri 14 May – Sun 16 May 10am – 6pm
A selection of works from Dorian Büchi’s exhibition will be on view during the Brisbane Art Design weekend in the Valley.

Opening reception
Friday 4 June 6 – 8 pm
Please join us for the opening reception to celebrate Dorian Büchi’s exhibition Resilience at ILEANA.
RSVP to attend

Exhibition Talk
Thursday 17 June 6 – 7 pm
Join us for a drink followed by a talk about the exhibition.
RSVP to attend

ILEANA
897b Brunswick St
Wed – Sat 11.30 – 6pm
19 February – 23 April