January 10th 2022

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

January 3rd 2022

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022!
WARM WISHES AND NEW ADVENTURES

December 13th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
MINYADES
An exhibition of paintings by Richard Höglund
The Bonnier Gallery, Miami
December 2021
A Catalogue Essay

December 6th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
MISCHA KUBALL
ReferenzRäume
Museum Morsbroich
5 December – 24 April 2022

November 29th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ABOUT THE TREES
Thanksgiving 2021

November 25th 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

November 15th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
THE WORLD MAP
Thanks to Mr Hide

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November 8th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
KOEN VANMECHELEN LABIOMISTA, GENK (BELGIUM)
The book launch and debate
“NOT TO BE MISTAKEN”, November, 4th

October 25th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
OCTOBER 2021
"Linda Karshan: The Covid-19 Conversation"
Still in the limelight

October 18th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IDE TO POLAND
POSTSCRIPT PARIS

October 11th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IDE TO POLAND III
Out of the oven
Warsaw Sept 28-Oct 3

October 5th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
HELMUT FEDERLE
NOVARTIS Campus – Forum 3, Basel
DIENER & DIENER - WIEDERIN
2005

October 2nd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
BETWEEN LISTENING AND TELLING
Esther Shalev Gerz
Nuit Blanche Paris,
Tonight

September 27th 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

September 20th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ART BASEL HALL 2.0C1
René Schmitt and ART & LANGUAGE
THESE SCENES, 2016

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September 6th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
MISCHA KUBALL
Wolfsburg and Utopias

August 30th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IDE TO POLAND II
A new expedition on the CERAMIC & FOOD ROUTE
Bright blue and white ceramics fill the dining room with warmth and visual appeal

August 23rd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IDE TO POLAND I
A new expedition on the CERAMIC & FOOD ROUTE
Starts today in Warsaw through 3 October

August 2nd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ESTHER SHALEV-GERZ
SUMMER IN PARIS

July 30th 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

July 26th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
ARCO MADRID,
1st Art Fair in 2 years

July 23rd 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

July 19th 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

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July 16th 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

July 12th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IN THE ARTIST'S STUDIO
JASON BUTLER "THE COLLAGES"
Pop-Up Exhibition, Jersey

July 5th 2021

STILL BEHIND THE SCENES:
NINA NOWAK'S EXHIBITION
Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen

June 28th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
PER KIRKEBY UNREALISED BRICK PROJECTS
Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen

June 21st 2021

NEW ARRIVALS:
MISCHA KUBALL

June 18th 2021

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
HELMUT FEDERLE NIETZSCHE-HAUS SILS-MARIA
Schwabe AG Basel, 2004 Peter André Bloch & Jan Thorn-Prikker
on the occasion of Helmut Federle's "Edelweiss im Nietzsche-Haus, Sils-Maria" exhibition in Nietzsche's Haus, Sept 2004 to July 2005

June 14th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
L'INTERSTICE ARLES OPENING
JOSETTE SAYERS AND GUILLAUME ZUILI'S PHOTOGRAPHS
Brave and fearless

June 4th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
THE LAUNCH OF REAL TIME AND THE 3BS

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May 24th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
MATHILDE BRETILLOT DESIGNS NEW MUSEUM FOR LA MANUFACTURE DE GIEN

May 17th 2021

THIS TIME TWO YEARS AGO:
DRAW ART FAIR, LONDON, 2019, DESIGNER MATHILDE BRETILLOT AND ARCHITECT MISKA MILLER-LOVEGROVE

May 10th 2021

NEW ARRIVALS:
WETTERLING, STOCKHOLM

April 25th 2021

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
HELMUT FEDERLE
ABSTRACT PAINTING OF AMERICA AND EUROPE
Ritter Verlag, Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Vienna Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, 1988

April 11th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
LUKAS HOFFMANN, CNAP ACQUISITION AND TWO EXHIBITIONS

April 9th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ESTHER SHALEV-GERZ, WEFRAC 2021

February 22nd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
RICHARD MILAZZO OBSZINE #3
The Sadness of Bad Thinking

February 15th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
RICHARD MILAZZO OBSZINE #3, ART, POETRY, AND THE PATHOS OF COMMUNICATION,
The Art of Impeachment

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February 1st 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
WITH POET/CURATOR RICHARD MILAZZO
REVISITING OBSZINE #3

January 12th 2021

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
POETRY IN SEDITIOUS TIMES

January 5th 2021

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND SOUVENIRS FROM 2020!

December 31st 2020

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
DECEMBER 31, 2020. JASON BUTLER'S EXHIBITION
Meyer Schapiro, “Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist and Society

December 18th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
LIOR GALL, BRUSSELS, 2020

December 11th 2020

HIGHLIGHT:
LOVE LETTERS
A new participative project by artist Koen Vanmechelen

December 4th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
LINDA KARSHAN AND THE BROOKLYN RAIL

November 27th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
NOVEMBER 2020, LINDA KARSHAN
The Covid Conversation, A New Film

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November 6th 2020

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
PARIS, NOV. 6, 2020
ABËTËI by Ishmael Fiifi Annobil

October 20th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
MATHILDE BRETILLOT
Designs new offices for Parfums de Marly, Paris

October 12th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
BERLIN STUDIO VISIT - LUKAS HOFFMANN

all posts title image
Courtesy of the artist © Jason Butler, 2020

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
DECEMBER 31, 2020. JASON BUTLER’S EXHIBITION
Meyer Schapiro, “Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist and Society

December 31st 2020

Jersey exhibition kindly hosted at a private residence by ArtHouse Jersey

PART I

The year finishes tonight. I look back at all we have come through. Instability underpins a quiet nerve-wracking uncertainty. Maniacs in office, political certainties cast adrift, a virus overwhelms our human community everywhere. There is no safe place, unless you just stay home, like a snail in its shell. Ha-ha-ha, I say everyday outsmarting the virus, I just won’t go anywhere. I will live in my shell with Zoom as portal to the world.

But we know this is unsustainable.

I look back tonight at so much loss amidst collective strength; how do we look at the climbing figures and make sense of this anymore. Yes, we go out and glance one to another over our face masks trying to read a smile, or catch a reassuring furrow that says, hold onlets keep our heads up. Do not give in to fear, grief, and the diet of reactionary lies floating like seaweed across airwaves.

Courtesy of the artist © Jason Butler, 2020

We eat podcasts like candy; follow self-help webinars that promise new businesses for us all on social media. We meditate. We do online yoga and ballet. We take a business coach. To keep from being pulled under this dark crashing sea of “nothing being the same again;” looking for safety somewhere new – within perhaps if you believe the wisdom traditions, or thankfully in art.

PART II

You recall my commentary about Jason Butler’s sumptuous abstract paintings in the Summer back in our studio visit. At the end of this fraught year he finished a body of work. This has not been easy, not at all. How can something so captivating be difficult you might ask?

In this arduous moment a new body of paintings give me hope. When he sent me the installation views of this group of paintings now out of the studio – I was so elated as if they were like a child being sent off to a first overnight at a friend’s house. You wonder, how will they hold up in a new environment, under objective scrutiny?

Courtesy of the artist © Jason Butler, 2020

It was a happy moment, more than that I was delighted to see the paintings in the living room of a neutral space. Holding their ground with bold determination and verve. They spoke in a language that was as loud and clear as the architectural surroundings, like a person striding into a party with charisma everyone sees in a first moment. You have seen them in the studio months ago, but now they are something powerful and forthright. Independent and not part of the artist any more, they exist on their own terms.

Which made me today look into my library for help unpacking their possibility, thinking as well about the loss of Barbara Rose, a brilliant writer, thinker, a colleague and friend who loved painting. But I will save this for another time. Today I reached for the art historian Meyer Shapiro and the 4th volume of his collected writings On Perfection, Coherence, and Unity of Form and Content. Some of you may think his writing is outdated but he can take apart the visual field like few others. His teaching a generation of young men at Columbia influenced two old friends whose work I esteem and know from that time in New York during the 70’s, writers Sanford Schwartz and Nicholas Fox Weber.

PART III

“Content and form are plural concepts that comprise many regions and many orders within the same work. The vagueness of the form-and-content usage is due to the failure to specify in which region the connection or the unity lies. In any work, form and meaning cover several layers and scales of structure, expression and representation. Line, mass, space, color, dark-and-light constitute different orders in painting, as do words, actions, characters, and the large sequence of narrative in a play or story. Besides, within each of these aspects of the work are elements and characteristics that belong to the style of the time, others that are personal, and still others that are unique solutions for the particular work. To disengage these in their contribution to the content, even to interpret their expression, is beyond the power of an immediate apprehension of the whole.”

Meyer Schapiro, Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist and Society, published in 1984 by George Braziller, New York, p. 43.
Courtesy of the artist © Jason Butler, 2020

“I have argued that we do not see all of a work when we see it as a whole. We strive to see it as completely as possible and in a unifying way, though seeing is selective and limited. Critical seeing, aware of the incompleteness of perception, is explorative and dwells on details as well as on the large aspects that we call the whole. It takes into account others’ seeing; it is a collective and cooperative seeing and welcomes comparison of different perceptions and judgments. It also knows moments of sudden revelation and intense experience of unity and completeness which are shared in others’ scrutiny.”

Meyer Schapiro, Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist and Society, published in 1984 by George Braziller, New York, p. 49.

So here Shapiro invokes this process of “others’ seeing.” Which is what takes the painting from the personal space of the studio into this other communal realm where it lives or dies on its own merits. Again it is the multitude that sees it, that looks for whatever coherence might be on offer.

Courtesy of the artist © Jason Butler, 2020

PART IV

In the case of Jason Butler’s works we have clarity in public view. Anytime we may experience this it has a homeopathic affect on us, makes the breath a bit easier, the sense of safety almost tangible in an instant. We are on stable ground for the moment the order and language of the painting washes through us as nothing else possibly can.

As 2020 comes to a close I can think of nothing more beneficial for the soul than to witness art do what we need it to do – which is to assuage the pain of our collective human condition. Right now, it is our last hope it seems to me. I am grateful for its power; grateful to be part of a community that holds its inherent values and content so dear.

Courtesy of the artist © Jason Butler, 2020

We are the lucky ones—I have said several times in the past week watching this year come to an end—with the hope of seeing my soon-to-be-90 year old mom again amidst the raw crazed commotion of four generations beneath one roof. She is stoic and sage, not betting on next year for Thanksgiving yet. That is another subject and one that wants to project into the future a sense of certainty again.

But Jason Butler’s spontaneous exhibition remind us that light and color are fleeting, bombastic if we are lucky, restrained if we are calm but fundamentally unpredictable. And for this they seem an apt end to the year, and my inspiration alone here in Paris in my library with art, friends, and colleagues in my head welcoming 2021 with a sense of relief and trepidation. We have made it gratefully this far to see another day.

Meyer Schapiro, Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist and Society, published in 1984 by George Braziller, New York