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The establishment of a purpose-built fine art Gallery by John Buckley marks an important progression for one of Australia’s leading authorities in contemporary art.

Located in the rapidly expanding gallery precinct of Albert Street Richmond, the John Buckley Gallery will feature senior, established artists; emerging talent; curated shows and international exhibitions opening on 26 April 2006.

John Buckley’s encyclopedic knowledge of contemporary art comes from his lifelong association across art practice, public galleries and the commercial scene.

His earliest interest in art came while still at school where Buckley had the good fortune to be taught by Angry Penguin Artist, Danila Vassifieff.

As a student of Fine Art at RMIT Buckley rubbed shoulders with artists such as George Baldessin, Robert Jacks, Paul Partos and Gareth Sansom.

Buckley went on to teach art at Geelong Grammar, and in Vancouver, where he completed a Masters Degree in Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia.

His public art career began at the Vancouver Art Gallery where he organized special programs and conducted exhibition research.

On his returm to Australia, Buckley was appointed Director of the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane. During his term he established a national and international profile for the Institute. He conducted groundbreaking exhibitions involving senior Australian artists such as Arthur Boyd, Fred Williams and Sidney Nolan whilst organizing exhibitions and visits by overseas artists such as Carl Andre, Michael Craig-Martin, Tim Head, John Danvers and William T Wiley.

Recognition of Buckley’s comprehensive knowledge of the Australian contemporary art world was recognized when he was appointed Australian Commissioner, Paris Biennale in 1982.

In 1984 Buckley was appointed foundation director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) in Melbourne. His eclectic vision was demonstrated by his choice of new local talents Howard Arkley, Juan Davila and David Larwill in the opening ACCA exhibition. His progressive insight was demonstrated with international curatorial projects with then little-known US artists Keith Haring, Philip Guston and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Buckley developed his expertise as a curator and independent consultant for major private and corporate collectors including the Michael Buxton Contemporary Art Collection, the Art collection for the Westin Hotel, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and The Loti and Victor Smorgon Collection of contemporary Australian art.

In recent years Buckley has conducted a studio gallery in Bendigo Street Prahran, while progressing his reputation as one of Australia’s foremost independent art consultants.

The establishment of a major commercial gallery is a logical culmination of what has already been a significant career in contemporary art on a national and international level.

Betty Churcher, a former director of the Australian National Gallery wrote:

"John Buckley has what is known in the profession as 'an excellent eye'; which means he not only has the experience and knowledge to know which artist's to buy, he can also distinguish an artists good works from the less successful: a talent not possessed by many".

He is thoughtful and careful in his collecting policy; but can also detect promise in unexpected art practice: for this reason his personal collection is of extraordinary quality for one purchased 'on a shoe string'. In many cases he was anticipating the market and purchasing while he could still afford the work of burgeoning Australian artists.

 

Gallery hours: 11 – 5 pm, Wednesday – Saturday


 

 

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