BENJAMIN BUTLER (American, b. 1975)
    Mountainside, 2003
    Oil on canvas
    24 x 30 inches (61.0 x 76.2 cm)
    Signed, titled and dated on the reverse

    Team Gallery, New York, April 2003

    Benjamin Butler was born in Westmoreland, Kansas and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He earned an MFA from Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. When Ted Pillsbury acquired this and another work by Butler in April 2003, the painter was freshly out of graduate school exhibiting with Team Gallery in New York. The critical response was positive from the start. In a December 20, 2002 New York Times review of his Mountain Paintings series, to which the present work belongs, Roberta Smith wrote appreciatively: "The abject-art sensibility of the early 1990's is enjoying something of a resurgence, and in unexpected places. It tends toward a semiabstract, decorative mysticism in the hands of Benjamin Butler, a 27-year-old painter from Kansas. Mr. Butler's promising, slightly overhung solo debut suggests what might happen if Karen Kilimnik or Elizabeth Peyton suddenly turned to Thomas Nozkowski for inspiration; but Edvard Munch, Milton Avery, Alex Katz and possibly Laura Owens would seem to be Mr. Butler's real heroes.

    His strange little paintings are at once conservative and experimental, and the best of them hold your attention more than you initially expect. Their mildly hallucinatory colors, economic brushwork and descriptive abbreviations counter the vast spaces implied by the artist's Northern Romantic subjects."

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2011
    26th Wednesday
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