Pocket Utopia presents "Precisionist Casual," a solo exhibition of new paintings by ShaRon Butler. The exhibition will feature Butler's stapled, washed canvases, unstretched yet arranged on stretchers.
(Opening Reception, today, January 6th from 6 to 8pm. Gallery hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 11am to 6pm.)
Butler finds herself pulled between the worldly confines of the Precisionists of the early twentieth century and the fey liberation of today's Casualist abstraction. Like the Precisionists, Butler is drawn to urban settings, structures, and HVAC architecture - all in evidence from the windows of her Bushwick studio. Yet, like the Casualists, she seeks a mode of presentation that evokes more than the triumphs and laments of industrialization that earlier artists have already plumbed so well, embracing those inconsistent realities and searching for new ones.
In Butler's new work, stretchers are no longer hidden, voiceless platforms for paintings but rather partially revealed elements of the work, haphazardly wrapped with wrinkled tarps. The resulting Rauschenbergian sense of earthy imperfection and chaos, though, is balanced by well-anchored painting distinguished by skewed perspective, geometric structure, sensitivity to form, minimalist economy of detail, and worn-out pastels.
With a sensibility that resists serial rigor and jettisons the notion that you can get everything right, Butler fully realizes her belief that the most interesting and enduring stories are imperfect and incomplete, showcasing an appealingly unresolved tension between restless impetuosity and grounded rigor. Her new paintings seamlessly combine the irresoluteness of contemporary abstraction with the confidence of the Modern.
Since 2009, ShaRon Butler has exhibited at SEASON (Seattle, WA), John Davis Gallery (Hudson, NY), STOREFRONT (Brooklyn, NY), and Real Art Ways (Hartford, CT). In addition to painting, Butler publishes the award-winning art blog Two Coats of Paint and has contributed to The Brooklyn Rail and Hyperallergic. She divides her time between New York City and southeastern Connecticut. "Precisionist Casual" is her first solo show at Pocket Utopia.
Pocket Utopia is located at 191 Henry Street between Clinton and Jefferson Streets in New York City. Hours are Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-6pm.
For further information, visit www.pocketutopia.com.
Pictured: ShaRon Butler, "Installation View: Precisionist Casual," 2012 size variable, pigment and silica binder on linen tarp.