Present Tense

The Art of Memphis, 2001-Now

Ben Butler
Poplar, dimensions variable.
The configuration shown at Clough-Hanson was 90 x 124 x 229 - about a 10 x 20 footprint.
It could be abbreviated to something more like 10 x 15 or could be expanded to any size

Artist Ben Butler

Courtesy of the artist, Ben Butler

Ben Butler received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his BA from Bowdoin College. He came to Memphis to teach at Rhodes College, where he is a professor of sculpture. His work as been exhibited in solo and group shows nationwide. Cloud is a manifestation of Butler's interest in the theories of organic growth and its natural laws, constructed in such a fashion that it is infinitely expandable, never occupying the same footprint or skeletal structure the same way twice. In his words: "I have become increasingly aware of a paradox that helps describe the natural world – quite simple and strict systems will very often generate remarkably complex and unpredictable forms. It begins with a quintessentially human device – the grid. It is rigid, repetitive, measured, predictable, conceptual, unchanging. But the grid is then manipulated, disassembled and re-assembled, cropped, expanded, trimmed. It is never distorted, but its boundary is redefined. Working with this single variable, the challenge is to develop or discover the non-human, the non-functional, amorphous, complex, unpredictable, ephemeral."

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