Wednesday, August 19, 2015

You Are Now Experiencing Perception

The disillusionment of dreams by Bradley Butler
Geisel Gallery in the new Legacy Tower
former headquarters of Bausch & Lomb in Rochester, NY

“We dream, we wake on a cold hillside, we pursue the dream again. In the beginning was the dream, and the work of disenchantment never ends.”
― Kim Stanley RobinsonIcehenge

All points bulletin for sentient beings:  You are now experiencing perception.  Just think of all the forces that have to come together in just the right way for you to even read this page!  We don't even know the half of it - but we will gain some clues from science and medicine along the way - and it will still be a mystery.  The point is we take perception for granted - and we are reminded of all this by Bradley Butler in his new show of paintings at The Geisel Gallery in the newly named Legacy Tower in downtown Rochester, NY.

a poetic fragment without a credit line
helps set the stage for this show

This is your chance to see a body of artwork that is all of one piece - each of the twenty-five or more works support one another and this represents a moment in a young artist's career when he can put together a show without fear, or having to fit into someone else's categories.  That is a very good thing for Bradley Butler, because categories will not do justice to this artwork - which is too poetic to fit neatly into a box anyhow.

Contemplating Alternate Realities, painting on canvas, 2014
Bradley Butler

Brad was one of our gifted students in a recent graduate painting program at R.I.T.  I had the pleasure of seeing his painting begin to evolve from something more quotidian to a more abstract and lyrical approach to the application of his rather somber colors.  But Brad has a way with these few colors that cranks up the mystery and emotions that go along with it, and a viewer can go and get lost in this work.

"Unraveled and Dislodged "
by Bradley Butler

Brad's paintings range from the intimate in scale to something a little larger and most of these paintings were made in the last two years.  The colors can remind one of the ocean ( in rough weather ) and I see traces of Turner's sea battles in the lyrical approach to his compositions.  Sometimes Brad can lapse into a more representational mode where you can see skeins of wool unraveling or a whale surfacing, but these are interesting metaphors to employ, and they work like hooks in a pop song - they keep you coming back to look at them.

I particularly like the allusions to floating and such that these poetic paintings seem to conjure up.  I would say on the whole this is a very satisfying show to visit, and you may want to come back for more.

"The disillusionment of dreams...
Bradley Butler
August 5 - 29th, 2015