Drawing inspiration from ancient art and mythology, Richard J. Butler’s alluring paintings skirt the boundary between figuration and abstraction. Constructed of intricate surfaces built up in layers of grated pastel, acrylic gel and paint, his work often depicts figures and silhouettes that seem to dissolve within vast colour fields. Over the past seven years, the artist has developed a unique technique which consists of pressing large packing blankets onto the still wet painting, a method similar to that of decalcomania. The blankets’ vertical lines are transferred to the painted surface, leaving a systematic imprint on the canvas whilst distorting the image. When viewed from a distance, recognisable forms appear while up-close, miniature abstract landscapes abound, creating sensual and hallucinatory surfaces that explore painting’s illusionistic potential. 

Butler's work is held in the personal collection of Terence Disdale and other private collections in the UK, USA, France and Belgium. He has exhibited with Bowman Sculpture, London; Modernity Stockholm, London; Hannah Barry Gallery, London; J. Hammond Projects, London; Kreuzberg Pavilion, Berlin; KARST, Plymouth. 

Richard J. Butler (b. 1986) Lives and works in London

Drawing inspiration from ancient art and mythology, Richard J. Butler’s alluring paintings skirt the boundary between figuration and abstraction. Constructed of intricate surfaces built up in layers of grated pastel, acrylic gel and paint, his work often depicts figures and silhouettes that seem to dissolve within vast colour fields. Over the past seven years,...
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