JAMES D. BUTLER



Born 1945 in Fort Dodge, Iowa
Butler is an alumni of both UNO (he received his B.S. in Art Education in 1967) and the University of Nebraska Lincoln, where he completed an M.F.A. under printmaker Tom Coleman in 1970. Shortly after, he collaborated with the staff of the Tamarind Institute on the development of a pin-bar system, a process typically used in commercial offset lithography that provided him with a reliable method of achieving the precise registrations for his color lithographs of still-life subjects. The high-keyed color harmonies and sharply back-lit objects in these "tablescapes" were inspired by Caravaggio's "light and dark patterning, manipulations of space, and the plasticity of forms." Butler sought a "heightened reality through carefully orchestrated illusion" in his lithographs from this period. For several years after graduating from UNO, Butler would return over the winter break to teach Majeski lithography while his former teacher provided advice on etching techniques. In 1976, Butler joined the faculty at Illinois State University in Bloomington, which honored him with a Distinguished Professor award in 2002. He embarked on a long-term exploration of panoramic landscapes that resulted in the critically successful traveling exhibition, "Views Along the Mississippi River" in 1990.




Bittersweet Complex
1977; color lithograph; sheet: 16 1/4 x 19 3/4 (41.275 x 50.165); edition of 30