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Laconia Gallery



Ben Butler

Friday, July 1, 2016 to Sunday, July 31, 2016

Reception: Friday, July 1, 6 to 8PM.

The gallery will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 1-5PM and Sundays from 1‐4PM.

For more information, please contact: James Edwards at or Ben himself at 401-675-7653

Laconia Gallery proudly presents the works of award-­winning Newport, Rhode Island sculptor Ben Butler. In conjunction with Mr. Butler’s sculptures, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth faculty member James Alan Edwards’ documentary film on Ben Butler, Objects from Oblivion will be screened throughout the exhibition.

For decades Ben Butler has been refining the idea of combining readymade and found objects – objects from New England’s past and recent history ranging from farm implements to nautical hardware to commercial detritus – to create new sculptural forms. Gesture, shape humor, sexuality and spirituality are all evident in the resulting works; his sculptures are a clean and masterful intersection of former functionality and purely abstracted form. They are the luscious tone of time’s patina itself.

Ben’s innate elegance reinforces the earthiness of the objects that he works with, and his sensitivity gives them flight. The sculptures are robustly rooted in the wood and steel and practicality of once-­useful objects, capturing aged surfaces and textures with a painterly sensibility, yet also deriving deft power from an arrow-­like simplicity of line or curve.

“Each sculpture lives on and stands by itself,” says Ben, “but at the same time echoes out a feeling of a collective past.” In Ben Butler Sculptor: Objects From Oblivion, filmmaker James Alan Edwards has done a remarkable job of showing both the free­‐ranging energy of Ben’s creativity and capturing the artist’s work process from initial inspiration to the final completion of the contemporary object. Ben’s found-­‐ object sculptures, often composed of immobilized tools, draw much, as such, from the Duchamp readymade, but also take on a haunted quality in the context of this exhibition.