Tag: Sharon Butler

Gallery shows

Seductive non-objectives at Mother

Contributed by Sharon Butler / I’ve always thought of non-objective art as an especially challenging type of abstraction that doesn’t rely on a visual relationship to the world for meaning. Rather, it conveys meaning through metaphor, material choices, and processes. Sometimes text is incorporated, and, in painting, color and compositional selections play important roles. But the underlying ideas are equally important. Non-objective artists like to mull and ruminate, creating work that gives the viewer something to not only to experience but also to think about. In “I am the Passenger” a two-part group show at Mother Gallery in Beacon, NY, artist-curators Paola Oxao, Trudy Benson, and Russell Tyler articulate two key aspects of non-objective approaches. One is the relationship that non-objective art has with the body – sight, touch, and proximity. The second is the mysterious ability of materials – through texture, shape, and color – to “stir something” that is both personal and universal, as the stars and the sky do in the passenger of Iggy Pop’s eponymous song. The work in the second part of the project, now on view, focuses on this uncanny allure.

Solo Shows

Peter Halley: On the cusp

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Peter Halley’s catalogue raisonné needs to be updated. This month, a group of his paintings from 1980 and 1981 are on display in a gratifyingly revelatory two-gallery collaboration between Craig Starr on the Upper East Side and Karma in the East Village. Most of the paintings have rarely been shown, a few never, and I was delighted to see them, however belatedly.

Artist's Notebook

The Off-Season

Contributed by Sharon Butler / There’s no sweeter time to visit a seaside town than during the springtime off-season, before the tourists jam the streets, take all the parking spots, and hog the waterfront picnic benches. One beautiful morning last week, I dropped everything and drove out to the East End of Long Island to smell the salt air and feel the sea breeze on my face. Enroute, I stopped at three terrific venues.

Solo Shows

Chris Dorland, historian for the future

Contributed by Sharon Butler / As curators Eleanor Cayre and Dean Kissick pointed out for their 2022 summer show “The Painter’s New Tools,” most painters use computers in the studio, whether to make composite image studies, scan and print 3-D models, create animations, or simply display large-scale imagery. To a greater or lesser degree, all artists are engaged in digital practice these days. Chris Dorland goes at least a meta-step farther. His dazzling paintings, on display in “shellcode” at Lyles & King, are indeed made with digital tools. But Dorland’s new work is primarily about the evolution of the digital environment itself.

Solo Shows

Howard Smith: One brushstroke at a time

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Howard Smith’s understated paintings, on view at Jane Lombard Gallery, are created through a meticulous process of accumulation. Call the technique abstract pointillism. The surfaces are covered with small dots, dashes and brushstrokes, building loosely woven fields of color that sometimes form recognizable geometric shapes. The pieces in this show vary in size from one-inch to eight-feet wide, but the size of the marks remains the same. In most, the color at first glance appears monochromatic, but subtle variations within unified fields create illusions of light and shallow space. In his most recent paintings, the smallest flecks of color are innovatively contrasted with larger dots of different colors. Smith has spent years working in this way. It must be intensely hermetic and time-consuming, but it seems to have been rewarding.

Solo Shows

Michael Krebber: The poetry in painting?

Contributed by Sharon Butler / I used to think about beginnings, doubt, and irresolution. Lately, though, in my own work and that of other painters, I’ve come to appreciate more rather than less paint on the canvas. It appears that Michael Krebber, now painting in oil, has evolved in a similar direction. In his eighth show at Greene Naftali, two large diptychs, Doll in Pink and La Poupe, look to question his once emphatic emptiness, manifesting more pronounced back-and-forth between layers, edges, shapes and color, more varied brushwork, and, overall, a more intense engagement with paint and brushwork.

Solo Shows

Karin Davie’s new sense of self

Contributed by Sharon Butler/ At Chart, Karin Davie, in her first NYC show since 2007, has moved with elegant decisiveness from pop-inflected stripes, slapdash and dripping, to wide, sine-wave brushstrokes that gently oscillate in glowing geometric formations.

Solo Shows

Jack Tworkov: Laying down line

Contributed by Sharon Butler / In the 1960s, Jack Tworkov began to feel as if he had taken Ab-Ex gestural abstraction as far as it could go without repeating himself. Reluctant to keep making paintings in which the once wild and expressive brushstroke would appear a predictable go-to move determined […]

Solo Shows

Invitation: Sharon Butler and “Morning in America”

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Please join me for “Morning in America,” an exhibition of new paintings at Theodore:Art that opens on January 15, 2021. From the press release: “For the past few years, Butler has produced daily drawings on her phone. The Good Morning Drawings, digital sketches uploaded to […]