Weldon Butler’s show at G. Gibson Gallery reveals the hidden forces at work in Seattle. Although Weldon Butler’s artwork is in the collections of the Seattle Art Museum as well as numerous design and architectural firms, it is not well known locally and it should be. Here, he is finally brought to the foreground in his city of residence. Butler’s hand shows strongly in every medium on display. From painting to collage to assemblage/sculpture, his bold yet subtle aesthetic rewards repeat viewing. His shapes show the foundation of his work in fender repair, as well as the conceptual approach of Ellsworth Kelly.
Further, “Untitled (2005)”, is reminiscent of Henri Matisse’s color cutouts. The subtle edges in the serigraph and the gap which our brain fills in are all Weldon Butler.
The conte crayon marks of “This Here” do more than command the space of the paper. The simplicity of form projects its power out across the room. Work like this deserves a large enough space to let it free.
One of the more recent works on display, “Pivot” is layered and musical in impact. The subtle layering of inky blackness and broken green line lead the eye around on a pleasurable dance. The fragility of the structure adds to its charm, provoking an urge to protect. It is a gentleman’s dance of decorum.
Butler’s collage, like “Jog” below, transposes simple found items into narrative form.
And “Tootsie Roll” simply says it all — from found objects, a story is told.
Pictures are provided by G. Gibson Gallery