June 3 – July 9, 2021
ClampArt is pleased to present “John Button | City & Country,” an online exclusive exhibition at Artsy.net, curated by Jackson Siegal.
John Button (1929-1982) was known for his realist cityscape paintings, but the artist produced a large collection of small-scale works on paper depicting not only urban scenes, but natural landscapes as well. This exhibition presents a selection of Button’s city and country works created between 1966 and 1982, when the artist died at the young age of 53.
Unlike the cityscapes, which often utilize dynamic vantage points and upward-looking angles, Button sticks to a level horizontal perspective in his country scenes. One can view this change in perspective as a direct reaction to the formal realities of the pastoral. The city’s architectural features, once present, no longer fuel the artist’s decision to use atypical perspectives. The open horizon and sky are no longer in conversation with vertical structures and geometric forms. Instead, they gently meet towards the center of the canvas or sheet in rolling hills, bushes or trees.
Born in California, John Button (1929-1982) was educated at University of California, Berkeley. After moving to New York City in the early 1950s, he became friends with Fairfield Porter and Frank O’Hara and assumed his part in the New York School of painters and poets. John Button’s work is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; among many others. ClampArt is the sole representative of the estate.
The exhibition is in loving tribute to the memory of Alvin Novak (1928-2021). Alvin, a professional pianist, served as the executor of the Estate of John Button. He is survived by Sid Talisman, his partner of over fifty years, and by his two nieces, Phyllis Elliot and Mitzi Katz and their families.