Sculptures by Alex Buchanan

July 27 - October 29
Opening Reception: August 8

The Art Museum is pleased to present a solo exhibition of recent work by acclaimed artist, Alex Buchanan.


While viewing my sculptures, it's sometimes difficult to see that the core material used was considered waste. Retired tugboat towing rope, construction culls, iron rod, and stainless steel shackles all headed for an end of life disposal.  By taking these materials in that exact state of dismissal and organizing them into patterns, I ask you to look again and determine whether what we are viewing should have even been considered a discard. Part of our surmounting waste problem stemming from rapid industrialization and overconsumption is because we fail to view beauty and purpose in materials after they have completed the tasks we expected them to do.

I believe the ropes I chose that were replaced by the maritime industry, are being done so at their richest aesthetic stage, and have only just begun their journeys as a peak grade textile. Patinas from stress and wear of the industrious nature act as scribed tales about the material's life and environment.  The surfaces soften and become more tactilely pleasing for a gazing touch.  This transition ironically pays homage to the industry in which the material originated while suggesting we also consider the supporters of such a conquesting field.  The ethnographic qualities of field-related knots amplify forms reminiscent of braided hair, dimity patterns, and stitching found in marine culture on land.  This offers additional delicate and refined perspectives and acts as an important alkalizer to the harsh problems we know as piles of plastic.
- Alex Buchanan

Artist Bio

Alex Buchanan (Born in Boston, Massachusetts) studied sculpture, printmaking and photography at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. Alex also served four years active duty and began his journeys at sea in the U.S. Coast Guard. He focuses on the cultural relevance in his maritime influences and conveys them intriguingly by layering inclusive translations of coastal humanities in semiotic form, and tackles environmental subjects through humor and poignant metaphors. He exhibits work regularly and was a 2020 SMFA at Tufts Traveling Fellow recipient. Alex lives in New Bedford with his wife and daughter.

Alex Buchanan
Sucker For Sunsets,
Retired blended synthetic hawser, VHP

BSQUARE_efore During After_Buchanan_30_3300

Alex Buchanan
Before, During, & After Anything

Cotton, hemp, manila, steel
29" x 4"

Blind To Its Own Cover Up_4000

Alex Buchanan
Blind to Its Own Cover-Up

Tarred polyester, spectra line, shipwreck driftwood, oyster shell
54" x 5"