los-angeles

Benjamin Butler

Karyn Lovegrove Gallery

In his first solo exhibition at Karyn Lovegrove Gallery, painter Benjamin Butler exploited to the hilt the sometimes surprising range of color found in nature. With the exception of Field of Flowers (all works 2005), every painting here depicts trees, and Butler’s unapologetically singleminded focus signals a relationship to his subject that is both personal and profound. At first glance, Butler’s simplistic forms and restricted subject matter might suggest a lack of substance, but a little more time spent with his paintings reveals a deeper complexity. There are nods, for example, to Impressionism, Color Field painting, and psychedelia. The disparate influences of Gustav Klimt, Milton Avery, and Frank Stella are also apparent. And though his palette is strikingly different from theirs, Butler shares Maureen Gallace’s steadfast pursuit of a single subject and the sunny flatness of Alex

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