Exhibition essay: A Set of Glances, essay by Dion Kliner

Trapped between discrete layers of brain cells and sediment lie dormant undiscovered regions and new dimensions offering glances of deep time and perspective. The many doorways to these regions are located in peripheral vision and the fragments and ruins of memory and reflection. A set of glances draws a much better map than compasses which are unwieldy instruments of direction and guidance always stuck at magnetic north and limited to the angular degrees of a circle.

The physical landscape is a language of mounds, depressions and meanders that can be read as a series of dramas, comedies and tragedies not unlike the mental landscapes buried within the subconscious of the individual. Geologist and psychologist become fellow excavators searching their respective topographies for clues to the formation of both. Deformation of these landscapes is common, the result of powerful, often hidden forces. Digging into the work of Sharon Butler where geology and psychology are fused with a layer of art history, the individual, armed with a set of glances, is led on a meandering walk into a hypothetical landscape. Discussion of dichotomies, bipolarizations or “this and thats” is dull and unhelpful, yet such concepts form the bulk of the printed avalanche under which Butler’s work is frequently buried.

Imagine walking through a landscape and discovering a Lewitt grid or a series of open Judd boxes that offer a view defined and partially obstructed by the vertical and horizontal members. The experience would be decentering, almost science-fiction like. Rather than sites, these landscapes are reminiscent of Robert Smithson’s non-sites of determinate uncertainty. The view of landscape through the grid is a Modernist and particularly American one. No matter how European Butler’s heavily glazed landscapes appear, their lineage is undeniably American. The information contained is not of some place, but abstract and no place; pure pigment fictions.

— Dion Kliner, Brooklyn, NY, 1997

Blue Yellow Green
2001
oil on linen
each panel, 24"x 30"
Red Yellow Blue Green
2001
oil on linen
each panel, 9" x 12"
“Sharon Butler: Fontainebleau,” Lenore Gray Gallery, Providence, RI, 2001
Solo Exhibition "Picture [of?] This" at Central Fine Arts, NYC
1997
Installation view
Solo Exhibition "Picture [of?] This" at Central Fine Arts, NYC
1997
Installation view
Solo Exhibition "Picture [of?] This" at Central Fine Arts, NYC
1997
Installation view
Solo Exhibition "Picture [of?] This" at Central Fine Arts, NYC
1997
Installation view
Excerpt
1997
oil oncanvas
At the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA