SILVERMAN is pleased to present Alas, an exhibition of new paintings by Luke Butler on view from March 23 – May 12, 2012. The artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery advances his ongoing exploration of heroic narratives and media culture. Drawing from television imagery of the 70’s, Butler captures familiar icons in unsettled or awkward moments, meticulously rendering them in the midst of an unseen plight. Invoking the formal legacy of religious painting, Butler uses these ready-made figures as vehicles for genuine pathos. Isolated against a flat ground, these images emphasize their subjects’ vulnerability and humanity.
Invariably, questions of nostalgia give way to a meditation on mortality, best captured by a new series of paintings aptly titled, ‘The End.’ Based on Butler’s ocean photographs, these paintings recreate panoramic views and distant horizons overlaid with cinematic credits. Infused with subtle humor, these works suggest a narrative that remains inaccessible and unresolved. For Butler, THE END is a classical figure that looms in our consciousness, despite our ability to see right through it. Removed from a cinematic context, ‘THE END’ sheds its familiar narrative role and takes up that of a memento mori.
Luke Butler (b. 1971) received his MFA fromCCA in 2008. He has held solo exhibitions in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and has been included in numerous group shows, most recently at Anna Kustera, New York and Elizabeth Leach, Portland. His work is part of numerous collections, including the Norton Museum, West Palm Beach. Butler currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA.