MARCH 30 TO APRIL 23, 2016

Colossus, 1968
Acrylic on Canvas, 111” x 79“

The Red Head Gallery is pleased to present Making to Know an exhibition by artist Jack Butler.

Making: I made and printed the lithographs, From the Side and Cherie 1 by transferring ink from the  surface of the body (of devoted and patient friends) to a lithograph stone and then, by drawing, I modified  the transfer, bringing the image from a direct trace of the skin to a full expressive sign.

To Know: It was essential to me that the “expressive sign” be grounded in a direct trace from the body, from “nature”, as an index, if you will, in the sense that a shadow or a foot print can be traced directly to their source. I feel in this process, this way of making an image, a direct connection to an impulse shared with the sciences. In my subsequent work as an artist, I have often used art-making as a tool for scientific research – most notably in a series of medical research projects in human embryology published as medical science.

Colossus is based on the body transfer lithograph of my friend David’s torso, writ large. Making Colossus, I move from the indexical trace to a hand drawn colour translation of those marks of the trace to make a  map of the skin.

Making to Know: these three images made in 1968, instantiate my engagement with the terms of the skin - the “Skin Ego”, where the map of the skin stands in for (my) full presence.  More like a map than a picture, I believe Colossus reads most intelligibly laid out on the ground.

Jack Butler's hybrid practice uses the means and methods of visual art to produce research in two domains - medical science and collaborations with Inuit artists. With degrees in visual art and philosophy, Butler exhibits internationally with work in public and private collections including the National Gallery of Canada.

From the Side, 1968
Lithograph, 4/7

Cherie 1, 1968
Lithograph, 5/7