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Jay Van Buren

born: Kansas 1971
lives: Brooklyn



Michael Cross Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, 1997

Selected Group

hit & run4, New York, NY 2000

en garde: Works on Paper by 8 Emerging New York Artists, Burton Marinkovich Fine Art, Washington, DC, 2000

Ship of Fools, The Frying Pan, New York, NY, 2000

MFA Thesis Show, Brenda Taylor Gallery, New York, NY, 1999

Bang on a Can Benefit Show, GaGa Gallery, New York, NY, curated by Patrick Callery, 1998


Hall Farm Center for Arts and Education, Towsend Vermont, 2001

Selected Publications

"Confessions of a Curator" New York Arts Magazine, 1999
"Certain Homage", the Pitch, Kansas City Mo. 1997


MFA painting, Parsons School of Design, 1999
BFA painting, Kansas University, 1994


Jay was born and raised in the land of strip-malls, mini-vans and row upon row of lovely identical houses. He has worked as a factory worker, a school bus driver, an art teacher, and a cubical slave, among many other things.

After 25 years of that he escaped to New York and now lives and paints in Brooklyn.


I have been, and still am, working on a series of abstract, geometric, paintings, based on the robes of Obiwan Kenobi. I intend to carry on making them until I attain the wisdom of a Jedi Master.

They are an expression of my longing for genuine wisdom and centeredness. I long for the kind of calm presence that I find in the paintings of Ad Reinhardt and Barnett Newman, and the loving, hand-made geometry of Piet Mondrian's calm little brushstrokes.

I want to reclaim (post Haley and post Taaffe) the ancient meaning of geometry as a sign of the transcendent, or the otherworldly while also finding out if the pop-culture of my youth can be redeemed by hard work, and devotion.

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ALL IMAGES © Jay Van Buren