Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Butler’

Taken by Trees

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Art lovers at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery

Defend Brooklyn, Chelsea Girls!  The triumvirate behind Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery recently uprooted from Union Ave in Williamsburg and will soon transplant to a new space downtown.  For now, Klaus Gallery has set up a temporary outpost on West 21st, formerly occupied by Andrew Kreps Gallery.  The high ceilings and expansive walls, dramatically raw, might form a launch pad for the resilient gallery, especially in the prime Chelsea location it deserves. “We’ve never had a wall that big,” said co-owner Sam Wilson, pointing to the epic-scaled diagonal west wall.  (And we love what you’ve done with it!)

Artist Glen Baldridge (l) with Sam Wilson of Klaus Gallery

Glen Baldridge, artist and co-founder of printing powerhouse Forth Estate, exhibits five new works on paper completed through a process that fuses photography, printing, and drawing.  First, he covers the paper with a homogenous imprimatura of graphite.  Over this graphite sheen, he screenprints arboreal photographic images in clear acrylic polymer, and then erases away the remaining areas to uncover/recover the fields of white, now “standing in for snow, light, and sky in a barren terrain.”   Through traditional imagery, Baldridge relegates “gesture” to oblique, auxiliary labor and offers a distinctly contemporary approach to the centuries-old legacy of landscape imagery.  Moreover, these unique pieces could, theoretically, be reproduced in near exactitude.  (How bout it, Glen?)  The “original” image would then be a fertile ancestor to a litter of 20 sibling drawings.  A family tree.

(l-r) Dealer Rachel Uffner, Dan Nadel of Picturebox, and artist Benjamin Butler

Benjamin Butler‘s paintings are as fractal and multi-faceted as the finest gems, yet they don’t feel excessively precious.  His palette is liberating and his handling elegantly stress-free.  The inclusive range of hues reaches multi-mood and inter-seasonal levels, successfully connecting to – and beyond – the show’s equinoctial title and timing.

(l-r) Artists Yuri Masnyj and Ernesto Caivano

(For me, the predicament of this focused show is that Glen Baldridge stages the inhospitable, skeletal tundra of winter; while Ben Butler’s vivacious, delicious course of rich color seems like the antidote to the S.A.D. symptoms – except that the paintings won’t be up when winter sets in.)

Stunned Brian Droitcour all like "OMG it's a double rainbow"