LA Weekly

Must See Art

By Amra Brooks

September 2007

Benjamin Butler’s “New Trees” at Karyn Lovegrove Gallery

For his new body of work, a further meditation on trees, Benjamin Butler mixes techniques of modern abstract painting to convey a spiritual fascination with the natural world, veering toward the psychedelic through his use of color and heavy patterning. In many of these new works he paints a single tree that resembles a willow; his ruminations on a single form are quite compelling and start to resemble African textiles. In another work, Butler plays with scale: a large 6-foot-by-10-inch painting takes up one whole wall. Though he’s still a relatively young painter, the work is maturing quite nicely. His brushstrokes seem more loose and confident, and the quality of the paint is slightly more transparent, revealing colors underneath for a more textured surface than the work in his last show.