MAKING to KNOW
MARCH 30 TO APRIL 23, 2016
OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY APRIL 1, 6 - 8:30 PM
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.