Sharon Butler

11 January 2016

Sharon Butler
08 January – 14 February 2016
by Zach Seeger

Stanzer, 2015, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches; image courtesy of Theodore:Art

Butler, “Stanzer”, 2015, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches; image courtesy of Theodore:Art

NEW YORK — I must warn you, this is not an emergency: Sharon Butler’s solo show at Theodore:Art is great.

Hooped, sanded, centralized, Butler’s paintings are skimming the cake icing’s edge, it is the sound of cutting butter: a clumsy non-refined wobble that is her signature. Gone, however, is the precarious panic of waning studio security.

Theodore:Art’s Press Release states,

Butler has incorporated the migrational spatial experience of a contemporary painter into shifting imagery, material, and process, reflecting the transient and often tenuous existence of artists in New York.

Now settled into a permanent studio overlooking the Manhattan Bridge, Butler has moved her practice to a more fixed ground on which to build firm structures that investigate painting and its discontents more thoroughly.

Eye level and consistent, each painting steadily smirks a painterly grin, charming the viewer with a singular earnestness. They are not proclamations drawing attention to painterly flourishes and not caricatured fakers. They are strong, bold, resilient, and formally focused. Butler directs the paint with aesthetic utility.

They are not just about paint | They are aesthetically approachable, personable, yet unpronounceable.
They are not just about image. | They are at home in the studio.
They are not just about object. | They are at home in the gallery.

They are not acquiescent shoulder-shrug paintings about painting. | They are home.
They are not hyper-linked referential flipbooks of contemporary painting sprawl. | They are home.
Their sincerity is not meditative, conversational, or confrontational. | They are home.

Breathe deep viewer.

They are home: elegant houseguest, old friend, familiar setting. They represent a return to structure, a return to form. Comfortably dignified, they are charmed that you are looking. They are looking back.