Kent Anderson Butler
Opens February 6
Through March 13, 2014
Amanda Harris Gallery of Contemporary Art
Jack Butler detail for “Avant-Kitsch"
Through colleague G. James Daichendt, I spent enough moments with Kent Anderson Butler to join into his quiet mischievous irrelevance. As a video artist influenced by Bill Viola, Christian faith-based Butler responds to Renaissance and Baroque paintings composition shared with film and photography. He deconstructs it back a bit with “Avant-Kitsch,” portraits of artists and curators on, what he calls, “photo tapestries.”
Bill Viola is one subject portrait, along with other artists, curators, and writers, including Ingrid J Calame, Liz Young, Susan Joyce, Mat Gleason, Andi Campognone, Tyler Stallings, Jack Butler, and Kent himself. I made the short list, but haven’t seen the final work that uses Butler's photograph of me against a bright pink wall shot in December.
Of course, Las Vegas is an Avant-Kitsch tapestry all by itself, and Amanda Harris Contemporary Gallery's front door are steps away from Las Vegas Blvd in the Arts District footprint. But Butler says the region’s reputation isn't necessarily guiding the narrative. That same preview inquiry asked Butler if the Kitsch narrative opens the door for these tapestries to be mass reproduced and sold on Las Vegas street corners, giving the artist a chance to make add a performance art component.
The idea got a laugh, but it won’t be happening. Butler's "Avant-Kitsch" will remain temporarily sequestered in a gallery through March 16.
"Kent Anderson Butler" photo tapestry for “Avant-Kitsch" was delivered to Amanda Harris Gallery Friday, Jan. 31. Pictured is Butler's self-portrait, a large-scale woven selfie, ready to be installed (Photo added 1.31.14).
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Seven Magic Mountains
Art Production Fund
Nevada Museum of Art