UPDATE (May 26): Thanks Erin Langner for including the exhibition in art ltd Magazine‘s “Critic’s Picks” section. The show is on view through June 3o:
New York artist Sharon Butler’s “Good Morning Drawings” play with expectations of painting’s role to the digital world. Pushing past the oft-revisited inquiry into the medium’s pending death, the ten works on view at Season instead bring out the question’s absurdity. Reversing the typical process of photographing paintings for sharing in the digital realm, Butler first created the series of line-based, abstract works on iPad, and posted them to Instagram as part of a daily routine, only later translating them into oil paintings. Citing “the common artists’ practice of showing images of paintings to one another by phone,” as the project’s starting point, Butler’s gesture nods towards the social exchange that’s been integral to painting throughout history. More surprising is the ease with which the work moves between mediums. The online iterations pop with high contrasts and assertive lines, while the paintings incorporate soft movements and textures, achieving their volume through a scale that feels grand against the confines of digital screens. Stack(2016) integrates several of the Instagram images into a single composition whose visible layers make a case for keeping the past and present in active dialogue. “Good Morning Drawings” is on view at Season through June 30, 2017.
UPDATE (April 23): The first edition of the Good Morning Drawings book has sold out. I’m printing a second edition, so please contact Robert if you would like to reserve a copy.
Please join Robert Yoder and me on Thursday, April 20, 6-8 pm, and Sunday, April 23, in the afternoon, at his gallery, SEASON, for a solo exhibition of paintings based on the drawings I post each day on Instagram. While in the great Northwest, I’m looking forward to giving a presentation at Cornish College of the Arts, visiting a few studios, checking out some exhibitions, and releasing a new limited edition book project. Here are some details about the show from the press release:
SEASON is excited to present a solo show of recent oil paintings by Sharon Butler, available for viewing from through June 30 with an opening reception on Thursday, April 20, 2017.
About the drawings that inspired this series of paintings:
“In March 2016 I began making digital drawings and posting them on Instagram each morning. I had planned to continue the ritual for one month and then use the images for a book project, but I find that, more than a year later, I’m still drawing and posting them each day. Initially, they were inspired by the common artists’ practice of showing images of paintings to one another by phone. I wanted to make original work that was actually intended to be seen exclusively on the phone, and practically could not be seen in any other way. I make the drawings directly in a phone app, using simple geometric shape tools. Sharing them on Instagram creates a layer of confusion. “How big are these? What is the medium? Where can I see them?” Are questions viewers often ask. “On the phone,” I always tell them. “They are made on the phone, to be seen on the phone.” –Sharon Butler
“Sharon Butler: Good Morning,” SEASON, 1222 NE Ravenna Blvd, Seattle, Washington. Through June 30, 2017. For more information, contact Robert Yoder at (206) 679-0706.
“Sharon Butler: New Paintings” at Theodore:Art in Bushwick
Sharon Butler in “Slow Enhancers” at Platform, Seattle
Sharon Butler and Alison Manch at SEASON: “Squeeze Hard (Hold That Thought)”