John Buck (American, b.1946) is a printmaker and sculptor best known for his bronze sculptures and woodblock prints. Buck was born in Ames, IA, and he graduated from Kansas City Art Institute with a BFA in 1968. In 1971, he began studying at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, ME. The following year, he received an MFA from the University of California, Davis. Buck became a teaching assistant at the University of California, Davis in 1971. The next year he taught at Gloucestershire College of Art and Design in Cheltenham, England. Buck was also a sculpture instructor at Humboldt State University for two years, and he served as assistant professor of sculpture at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT, from 1976 to 1990.
Considered to be a master carver, all of Buck's works are first grounded in wood carving. His artwork also commonly features unique woodblock prints, massive wood sculptures, and colorful wood panels. Evoking political broadsides, cartoons, and graffiti art, his sculptures often either draw from or comment on elements of popular culture. Buck's works have become known for the significant inclusion of icons, images, motifs, and symbols evoking both the natural and the social worlds. He often uses a nail, pen, or even his fingernail to inscribe the planks of wood that form the base of his sculptures. His works frequently reflect a carved image with three-dimensional symbols used for the purpose of commentary on the surrounding world and the position of humans in that world. Buck married Deborah Butterfield (American, b.1949) in 1974. He currently divides his time between homes in Montana and Hawaii.
Buck's works are contained in a number of museums, including The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, HI, the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA, the Hawaii State Art Museum, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Yellowstone Art Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Among Buck's works on display at the Smithsonian are Father and Son and Red Jesus. The artist currently divides his time between his homes in Montana and Hawaii.