BIG TOP AT DUMBO Open Studios 

Please join us: For the 2024 iteration of Dumbo Open Studios, painter and Two Coats publisher Sharon Butler will have some new paintings on view, and she has also organized “BIG TOP,” an exhibition of 13 talented young artists she met while teaching in the University of Connecticut’s MFA Program.


Butler’s recent paintings and drawings capture her perceptions of New York, focusing on the light, space, geometry, and her experience of the city. In the work selected for “Big Top,” she was looking for visually seductive approaches that might stir the viewer. 

Artists in “BIG TOP” include: Mahsa Attaran, Becky Bailey, Logan R. Bishop, Jennifer Davies, Monica Hamilton, Kenny Heyne, Hanieh Kashani, Ben Kue, Sonja Langford, Erick Maldonado, Rossie Stearns, Noah Thompson, and Sammy Wood / See images of their work here —>

We wish to thank the University of Connecticut Department of Art and Art History and their MFA Program for making this show possible. Special gratitude to Department Chair John J. Richardson, and exhibition assistant Kenny Heyne.

Check out all artists, galleries, and events on the 2024 DUMBO Open Studios official website.

Newsletter, February 24, 2024

The shortest month, solo at the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, studio news, more. Distributed via email by Substack. Click here to read.

Image: Sharon Butler, February, 2024, oil on linen, 32 x 52 inches, four canvases.

Sarah Moody Gallery of Art Presents Sharon Butler

The Sarah Moody Gallery of Art is pleased to present the exhibition, Sharon Butler: March, February 27 through April 5, 2024. Butler will present a lecture on Wednesday, March 20, at 3:00 p.m. in the Camellia Room of Gorgas Library (2nd floor). There will be a reception for the artist following the lecture in the SMGA from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Sharon Butler is an American artist and writer on art interested in ideas about contemporary abstraction, especially in a style she identifies as “new casualism.” Butler describes her paintings and drawings as exploring “the tension between exacting, mechanical processes — often digital and screen-based — and the humanism inherent in images and objects made by hand.” And, she writes, “the slippage between the two.”

In 2007, Butler founded Two Coats of Paint, an NYC blogazine. The project has expanded to include a small residency program, podcast, small press, and other initiatives. Between 2016 and 2020, she became obsessed with drawing on her phone, posting one digital drawing each day on Instagram. The visual language developed in these tiny digital images — the ‘Good Morning Drawings’ — eventually became the basis for the paintings she continues to make today.

Sharon Butler’s solo exhibitions in New York at Jennifer Baahng Gallery, Theodore Art, and Pocket Utopia have been written about in The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, artcritical, The New Criterion, The James Kalm Report, Time Out New York, Tussle, and New York Magazine. She has received awards and residencies from Creative Capital and the Warhol Foundation, Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Connecticut State University, Pollock Krasner Foundation, Yaddo, Blue Mountain Center, Pocket Utopia and Counterproof Press at the University of Connecticut. She holds an MFA from the University of Connecticut and a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art. Butler lives in Queens, NY, and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her website is

Funding for this exhibition is provided by the Farley Moody Galbraith Endowed Exhibition Fund.

Gallery Director: William Dooley
Department of Art and Art History
The University of Alabama
307 Garland Hall
Box 870270
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0270
(205) 348-5967

Image at top: Sharon Butler, Among Friends, 2020-2023, oil on canvas, 52 x 135 inches (3 panels).

January 25 Newsletter, 2024

"Exhibition news: The art handlers are scheduled to arrive on Monday. They’ll be picking up a slew of paintings and a few working drawings to transport down to Alabama for “Sharon Butler: March,” a solo show at the beautiful and spacious Sarah Moody Gallery of Art at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. The gallery has hosted many exhibitions of notable abstract artists, including Cora Cohen, Joan Waltemath, and Thornton Willis...."  Read more.

Subscribe to Sharon Butler Notebooks, a free newsletter published and distributed each month via email by Substack.

Winter 2024

Small work: I have two pieces in community-minded winter shows. A digital drawing of a weedwhacker is on view through February 11 in “Holiday,” at LABspace, 2642 NY Route 23, Hillsdale, NY. (Inquiries: / At Tappeto Volante Projects, 126 13th Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn, NY, a small painting (image above) will be included in “La Banda 2024,” a group show opening on January 18 with a reception on January 30.

And, finally, I started writing a monthly newsletter on Substack a couple months ago. It's free and distributed via email, so if you want to sign up for it, click here. The next one ships on January 25.

Image at top:

Sharon Butler, Browns (June 8, 2018), 2021, oil on linen, 20 x 24 inches

DUMBO Open Studios

Dumbo Open Studios 
20 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY

Opening reception: Friday, April 21, 6-8pm
On view April 22-23, 1-6pm

DUMBO Open Studios is an annual event organized by the Two Trees Cultural Space Subsidy Program. I presented a group show called "Output" that included one of my recent multi-panel paintings, working drawings, and some commerically printed objects, along with pieces by Bill Albertini, and RC Baker.

Image at top: Sharon Butler, "Open Studio," archival ink on canvas, 49 X 64 inches. 


"Spaces of Memory and Imagination" at Goucher College


On view at the Silber Gallery
Goucher College
1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Baltimore, Maryland

"Spaces of Memory and Imagination"
Curated by Alex Ebstein

Featuring work by:
Sharon Butler
Giulia Livi
Sookkyung Park
Kyle Tata

Bmore Art pick for best art openings and events in the Baltimore area

Artist talk, Sharon Butler, April 6, 2 pm, Merrick Lecture Hall. Free and open to the public.

On view February 23 through April 6, 2023

Image: Installation view, on left: Sharon Butler, Stacked 2, 2022, oil on canvas, diptuch, 72 x 48 inches. Center: Sookkyung Park; at right: Giulia Livi


In the Studio: NYAA 2023 Faculty Show

On view
February 1 – March 5, 2023
Open Daily, 10am–6pm
Closed February 20, 2023
Opening Reception
February 1, 6-8pm
New York Academy of Art
111 Franklin Street, NYC 10013
212 966-0300
For inquiries please contact

“In the Studio: New York Academy of Art Faculty Exhibition” presents 42 works of art from the Senior Critics, Full-Time Faculty, and Adjunct Faculty at the New York Academy of Art. This exhibition displays the breadth and complexity of the work produced by the creative community of the Academy’s faculty. From the meticulous and melancholy renderings of Michael Grimaldi to the mind-boggling bas reliefs of Jiannan Wu and the poetic abstractions of Sharon Butler, this display puts beyond question the value of studying with the world’s artistic masters.
Featured artists:

Steven Assael Michael Grimaldi Clifford Owens
John Belardo Rie Hasegawa Guno Park
Lisa Blas John Horn Heather Personett
Margaret Bowland Scott Hunt Colette Robbins
Sharon Butler John Jacobsmeyer Jean-Pierre Roy
Will Cotton Edgar Jerins Manu Saluja
Peter Drake Marshall Jones Justin Sanz
Cynthia Eardley Evan Kitson Edward Schmidt
Eric Fischl Nina Levy Wade Schuman
Judy Fox Greg Lindquist Dan Thompson
Steve Forster Dik F. Liu Melanie Vote
Thomas Germano Randolphlee Alexi Worth
Gianluca Giarrizzo Frederick Mershimer Jiannan Wu
David Gothard Gina Miccinilli Zane York

Image at top; Sharon Butler, Birthday, 2023, oil n canvas, 36 x 48 inches

PITCHES & SCRIPTS at Jennifer Baahng

January 20 – March 4, 2023
Jennifer Baahng Gallery
790 Madison Avenue, New York, NY

Jennifer Baahng Gallery is pleased to present PITCHES & SCRIPTS, a group exhibition of works on paper. On view are ink and graphite drawings, collages, inkjet prints, and sewed surfaces produced from the 1980’s through 2020. In pooling together six artists, the exhibition pitches a fermentation of ideas, technologies, and political stances that connote rupture and disintegration, while offering a script for growth, movement, and new life. PITCHES & SCRIPTS runs from January 20 through March 4, 2023, with its opening reception on Friday, January 20, 6 – 8 PM.

Image: Sharon Butler, IDIOMERICA, 2002; digital drawing, inkject, paint, pencil, thread, paper; each panel 16 x 20 inches, framed. Installation view

NEXT MOVES at Jennifer Baahng, NYC

NEXT MOVES, September 15 through November 15, 2022
Opening reception: Thursday, September 15th, from 6–8PM

Press release:

JENNIFER BAAHNG GALLERY is pleased to present NEXT MOVES, the gallery’s inaugural solo exhibition of Sharon Butler’s work. In 2016, Sharon Butler began making digital drawings on a phone app called PicsArt. They were meant to be seen on a smartphone, and she posted one each morning on Instagram as a way of marking daily life. Over the course of four years, she made and posted more than 1200 of them. It was a “growing thinking” and a “time in an alley waiting it out.” Eventually, the impulse to paint – born of the irresoluteness that courses through all painters – took hold. In 2020, to facilitate the transformation of the tiny digital drawings into full-sized paintings, she began drawing geometric grids on canvases. The digital drawings encapsulated in small squares on the mobile screen, infinitely scalable and potentially endless, were transfigured into permanent building blocks.

In Butler’s work, the grid functions metaphorically as a pulsating chord; a portal through which she gets from point A to point B. As such, it encapsulates activity, gathering meaning and power over time. So deployed, the grid builds on Butler’s interest in wabi-sabi and the provisional approach that she has called, in The Brooklyn Rail and elsewhere, “casualism.” Like Piet Mondrian’s valedictory Broadway Boogie Woogie, her paintings apprehend the syncopation and movement of New York City, exploring seriality with conceptual rigor, opting for a serendipitous, ironic approach.

The multi-panel paintings in the exhibition are monumental versions of smaller solo works. They embrace the history of painting and abstraction by way of idiosyncratic conjunctions and addenda. They resound with color, texture, and light, while also establishing compositional formality, tactile physicality, and emotional resonance. These liberal re-imaginings of images that were once originally pixelated retain an expressively vibrational quality. At the same time, an exuberant materiality anchors convergent edges, shapes, and patterns that afford the work visual stability.

In artcritical, critic Laurie Fendrich described Butler’s paintings as “beautiful and grittily compelling.” Fendrich added that “the future of abstraction will be owned by those who accept a post-compositional approach to their paintings. Right now, Sharon Butler has the best of both worlds.” In NEXT MOVES, Sharon Butler proposes restlessness within the strictures of painting, courting risk and glory, and we are in her church.

Sharon Butler’s solo exhibitions have been reviewed in numerous publications, including New York Magazine, Hyperallergic, artcritical, The New Criterion, The James Kalm Report, and Time Out New York. She has been awarded grants from Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation, the Pollock Krasner Foundation, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and Eastern Connecticut State University. She has held residencies at Yaddo, Blue Mountain Center, Pocket Utopia, and Counterproof Press. She has served as a visiting professor, artist, and/or critic at Brown University, Cornell University, the Hoffberger School of Painting (MICA), Penn State, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the School of Visual Arts, the Parsons School of Design at the New School, and the Vermont Studio Center. She is the founder of the art blogazine, Two Coats of Paint. She currently teaches in the MFA programs at the New York Academy of Art and the University of Connecticut.

Sharon Butler lives and works in New York.

Reviewd by Saul Ostrow in Tussle Magazine, October 2022
Reviewed by Adam Simon in The Brooklyn Rail, October 2022
"Conjunctions, Addenda, Commutations," a conversation with Raphael Rubinstein and Sharon Butler, Jennifer Baahng Gallery, October 8, 2022.

Jennifer Baahng
790 Madison Avenue at 67th Street, New York, NY

Image: Sharon Butler, Brighter Then Grass, 2022, oil on linen, 78 x 60 inches.

“Guided by voices” at LABspace

August 13 -September 17, 2022

Yura Adams
Sharon Butler
Adrian Meraz
Lucy Mink

2642 Route 23, Hillsdale NY
Located in the Hudson Valley, east of Hudson, north of Millerton, west of Great Barrington

Image: Sharon Butler, paintings, installation view at LABspace

TANGO Summer Group at Jennifer Baahng

Summer Exhibition
July 13 - August 17, 2022

Jennifer Baahng Gallery
790 Madison Ave, New York, NY
Romare Bearden
Sharon Butler
Chun Kwang Young
Michael McClard
Mario Merz
Jaye Moon
Janet Taylor Pickett
David Salle
Zhang Hongtu

Image at top: TANGO, installation view. Left, Sharon Butler; center, Mario Merz, right, Sharon Butler

MOD at Platform Project Space

April 22 to May 21, 2022 / Opening: April 22 (Same night that Dumbo Open Studios opens)

For the word “mod,” like all homonyms, everything is a situation. It’s a slippery term with many meanings that depend on context, which could be early twentieth-century philosophical and aesthetic iconoclasm, postwar architecture, 1960s Carnaby Street, or something else altogether. For Two Coats of Paint, a favorite definition comes from contemporary gaming: mods are created when a player takes the basic code or structure of a game and changes the plot. In one way or another, the five artists selected for this exhibition could all be considered “modders,” whether exploring ideas about Modernism, working modularly, hacking the outcome, or serving as moderators who steer conversations.

Artists include Sharon Butler, Peter Dudek, Steve Hicks, Sheila Pepe, and Adam Simon. Curated by Sharon Butler

Link to images of work in the show are available here.

Platform Project Space, 20 Jay Street  #319, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Doirector: Elizabeth Hazan

Dumbo Open Studios, IRL in 2022

"On April 23+24, 12–6pm artists in DUMBO will open their doors to the public as a part of DUMBO Open Studios, giving visitors a look into studios and workspaces across the Brooklyn waterfront. Known for its high density of artist studios, artist residency programs, and art galleries, DUMBO has been the epicenter of Brooklyn’s art community since the 1970’s."

I'll be showing the backdrop constructed of tarp and metalic paint for my collaboration with Julia Gleich in CounterPoint9 (see entry below), drawings made with tarp remnants, and some abstract paintings made in 2021.

Image at top: Sharon Butler, Tarp Remnant (CounterPointe9) 4, 2022, pencil, ink, tarp, grommets, frame, 13 x 17 inches. Private collection.