Sharon Butler

Sharon Butler (born 1959) is an American artist and arts writer. She is known for teasing out ideas about contemporary abstraction in her art and writing, particularly a style she called "new casualism" in a 2011 essay. Butler uses process as parable and has said in artist's talks that she is keenly interested in creating paintings as documentation of her life. In a 2014 review in the Washington Post, art critic Michael Sullivan wrote that Butler "creates sketchy, thinly painted washes that Fly between representation and abstraction.Though boasting such mechanistic titles as 'Tower Vents' and 'Turbine Study,' Butler’s dreamlike renderings, which use photograph album to only suggest the roughest outlines of architectural forms, feel in imitation of bittersweet homages to urban decay." Critic Thomas Micchelli proposed that Butler's exploit shares "Rauschenberg’s withdrawal of the barriers in the middle of painting and sculpture," particularly where the canvases are "stapled just about willy-nilly to the belly of the stretcher bars, which are visible along the edges of some of the works."

Since 2016, her canvases have been based on small daily drawings that she made each day (2016-2020) in a phone app and posted on Instagram. In a 2018 conversation approximately the process of making paintings from these diminutive digital images, she said that the suitability of surface and be adjacent to are inherent to a painting must be invented in the digital space. The images are never what they seem, especially in the same way as viewed upon the phone." Critic Laurie Fendrich called Butler's work "beautiful and grittily compelling," suggesting in a 2021 review that her brushwork and color come out of her earlier casualist approach.The paintings "feel slightly off-balance, but not suitably much that they’re ugly. They’re actually just right: off-balance only plenty to avoid cliché."

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