Richard Buckheim




In the interest of creating a vision we often look to mentors and fellow artists for support and inspiration. True artists exist as conduits to visions that build up in their subconscious and are released in ways that are mysterious and profound. We watch each other create, we look at the context of history and technology and somehow the images we see in our heads are made whole. Dick Buckheim is synthesizing the auras of some of the best creative minds in the late modern art world.
His major influences, Richard Diebenkorn, Nathan Olivera, David Park, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, and ceramic artist Peter Voulkos were and still are critical factor’s in Buckheim’s creative process. Buckheim knew many of these people personally as he oversaw the production of their exhibition catalogs in an earlier life. As a serious artist Buckheim holds his center and comes to maturity as an artist who respects and acknowledges the quality of both his university and real- life experiences.
Buckheim’s paintings read like palimpsests of his experiences and encounters with great minds. The layering of color and texture, shape and form, edge treatments and washes all coincide to reveal intuitive homage to his roots. He moves easily between abstraction and figurative works, seeking a balance between art and craft, gesture and solidity, tension and calm reflection. His works are engaging and demand more than one viewing.
The details in Buckheim’s paintings and collages seem to stem from the sensibilities he nurtured as a graphic designer. There is a precision to every edge, but the accuracy Buckheim practices exists in a sphere of spontaneous happenstance. There is a print by Stephen Edlich on the wall of his residence that gives some insight into Buckheim’s worship of classic modernism, we can see this same affiliation with a kind of alchemy of material, destruction and graphic reconstruction in his collages and monoprints . This attention to treatment of material creates a dynamic tension between art and craft that is both restrained and wildly intuitive.
There is a lovely attraction to color and form in the works on canvas and board – sensuous washes, bold brushstrokes and fields of color are laid against tear patterns created to look as if they were from torn notebook pages or shapes that mimic sprocket holes on film. The ephemeral properties of paint form a point of departure for Buckheim’s visual adventures.
There is a potential for variation in each work and the viewer walks away with the desire to see the next installment and you seem to believe that the metamorphosis of bold compositions and striking color combinations will never end with their delightful surprises. Coming back to the same painting, you will always discover something new – a satisfying sojourn made easier by the large scale of the paintings and Buckheim’s attention to the sublime. His mentors would probably applaud this homage to painterly skill and intellectual vigor. Whether abstract or figurative, with paint or collage, Buckheim will always be at his best when he works with his rich, restrained substance of light and color. Throughout his practice he consistently remains relevant, a high note for the man who says more than anything that he “would rather be a painter.”
Professor of Art and Humanities.


Born April 7, 1943

1964 Attended San Diego State College. Studied painting and sculpture.
1966 Graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Fine Art (major in painting.)

1968 Worked as an advertising art director in the San Francisco area, where Bay Area artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, Nathan Olivera, and David Park were major influences.

1970-83 Taught art at the University of Michigan and at Eastern Michigan University. Served on the advisory board of the University of Michigan Museum of Art and on the board of directors of the Ann Arbor Art Association.

1983-85 Worked in New York in public relations, clients included the Newberger Museum, Marlboro Galleries, Andre Emerick Gallery and Robert Elkon Gallery. While in New York, worked with many artists including Alex Katz, Ruben Nakian, Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Adja Yunkers and Sam Francis.

1985 Moved to the Florida Keys and married Susan Bailey, also an artist.

1997-98 Spent summers in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico painting and studying local ceramic techniques.

1999 Meets Peter Voulkos, begins collaboration with him by pit firing many of Voulkos’ ceramic bowls, a technique Buckheim learned in Mexico.

2004 Establishes summer studio in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.


1966 56th Exhibition of Michigan Artists, Detroit Institute of Arts.
1980 One-person show and guest Lecturer, University of Wisconsin at River Falls.
1989 Exhibited, Peter Drew Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida.
1998 One-person show, City Art Gallery, Columbia, South Carolina.
2001 Invitational Exhibit, Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri.
2002 Juried Exhibit of South Florida Artists, Key West Art and History Museum
Lucky Street Gallery, Key West, Florida. Exhibit of recent paintings.
2003 Robert Kidd Galley, Birmingham, Michigan, group exhibit.
Ward Gallery , Harbor Springs, Michigan, 2 person show.
Lucky Street Gallery , Key West, Florida. One-person show.
2004 Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan, “Dealers Choice” Group exhibit.
Lucky Street Gallery, Key West, Florida. “Creative Juices Flowing” 3 person show.
2005 Lucky Street Gallery, Key West, Florida. One-person show.
Key West Art and History Museum, One-person show.
2006 Lucky Street Gallery, Key West, Florida One-person show.
2007 Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan. One-person show.
2009 Lucky Street Gallery, Key West, Florida, 2 person show Husband and wife.
2010 Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan. Group show, gallery stable.
2011 Lucky Street Gallery, Key West, Florida exhibit of new work – figurative and collage.
Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham, MI. Fall Season show featuring two 66 x 66 in oils
2012 Lucky Street Gallery, Key West, Florida. New Work, Large images
2013 Lucky Street Gallery, Key West, Florida. Figurative Works
2014 Lucky Street Gallery, Key West, Florida. Group show
2015 Gildea Contemporary Gallery, Key West, Florida. One-person show