Arts preview: Robert Beck | Robert Buck: States of America

Jim Fischer

The Pizzuti Collection presents a solo exhibition of works by Robert Buck, opening May 11. (So yes, this is a Short North gallery, but no, this exhibition will not be open for this weekend's Hop.)

An important voice in contemporary art whether rendered under the surname Beck or Buck (the artist changed his name in 2008), his work deals with a range of often interrelated topics, including early childhood development, psychology, gun violence, the American West, religion and more. Buck's work is informed by a curiosity and a willingness to ask questions which may not have ready answers, and also by a scholarly pursuit of art history.

"You can't ever say (Buck) makes one kind of art," Assistant Curator Greer Pagano said.

The artist employs a variety of techniques, including UV printing, hydrographic print, hand-drawn reproductions of found images, video installation and even inkjet printing.

The exhibition includes works from the private collection of Ron and Ann Pizzuti, as well as a handful of pieces borrowed from other collections. The title reflects the full span of the artist's career, representing pieces made both as Robert Beck and Robert Buck, and also the artist's determination to examine the American condition from a variety of perspectives.

"States of America" includes pieces from several series, including two, "At the end of the day…" and "Thirteen Shooters," that deal directly with the tragedy of youth gun violence and our window into that world as provided by the media.

The artist will discuss his work in a talk set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, in CCAD's Canzani Center Screening Room.

In addition, the Pizzuti Collection has extended the run of "Us Is Them," an exhibition featuring paintings, sculptures, photographs and videos by a group of 41 international artists whose work confronts issues of politics, religion and racism, through Memorial Day weekend.