Campus News

Sculpture by Ben Butler '00 on View at Coleman Burke Gallery

Story posted July 11, 2007

Castle, an exhibition of recent sculptures by Ben Butler, Bowdoin Class of 2000, is on view through July 31, 2007, at the Coleman Burke Gallery, Fort Andross, 14 Maine Street in Brunswick, Maine. The Coleman Burke Gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. An opening reception will be held Friday, July 13, from 5 to 8 p.m.

All things long to persist in their being (2006), Hemlock wood joinery, 10' x 25' x 35'.

Each of Butler's sculptures is based on a simple and unique algorithm: a mathematical system that produces an elegant, fascinating, and often surprising manifestation of the principles from which it derives.

"The spirit of science, of discovery and illumination, is central to my art," the artist has written. "Yet, for both art and science, successful work must allow others not to simply rediscover what you have discovered, but to make, through the work, their own discoveries."

Butler accomplishes this through a high level of craftsmanship — using humble means and materials, but with great precision — that appeals as much to the senses and the imagination as it does the intellect. Changes in scale and permutations of form play a key part as well, often placing the viewer in a dynamic and shifting relationship to both macro and micro-structures.

Above all, Butler's art is one of sublime beauty, which draws equally on nature, human intellect, ingenuity, and pure spatial play to achieve its effect.

After Bowdoin, Ben Bulter earned his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since 2003, his work has been featured in several solo exhibitions, including Suyama Space in Seattle, Washington; John Davis Gallery in Hudson, N.Y.; Plane Space in New York City; and Zg Gallery in Chicago.

Butler's group exhibitions include shows at John Davis Gallery in Hudson, N.Y.; ICON Contemporary Art in Brunswick, Maine; Zg Gallery in Chicago; and Chesterwood Outdoor Sculpture Park in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

His work has been written about in the pages of The New York Times and Sculpture Magazine, and he has been awarded artist's residencies at the Norton Island Artist Residency (2007); MacDowell Colony (2004); Dorland Mountain Arts Colony (2001); and the Vermont Studio Center (2000). Butler was also awarded an artist's grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in 2006.

Ben Butler's work is represented by Plane Space in New York City and by John Davis Gallery in Hudson, N.Y.

Coleman Burke Gallery, founded and directed by artist John Bisbee (Bowdoin lecturer in art), co-directed by artist Mark Wethli (Bowdoin's A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Art), and sponsored by Anthony Gatti of Waterfront Maine, is named for Coleman Burke, who has generously donated this space. The mission of the gallery is to serve as a venue for leading artists to create large-scale, site-specific works of art.

For more information, contact John Bisbee at or Mark Wethli at, or 207-725-3761.

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