Butler Exhibition to Feature Art with Unusual Shapes

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – An exhibition opening Sunday at The Butler Institute of American Art will highlight the museum’s collection of works that are oddly shaped or oversized.

It is one of three shows opening in January. Works from the Pastel Society of America will open Jan. 21, and photographs by John Greenman will open Jan. 14.

The first exhibition, “Less Than Usual,” will run through Feb. 4 in the adjacent MacIntosh and Finnegan-Hynes galleries.

It will showcase works with odd shapes that The Butler has accumulated over the decades.

One of the most original works in “Less Than Usual” is a painting on a wooden structure with heavy tooling. The work by Youngstown’s Ralph Humphrey, titled “Tondo,” is more of an object than a traditional painting on canvas. It will dominate the exhibition, along with Russ Maddick’s painted frameworks.

Judy Chicago’s half-scale study of “Double Jeopardy” from the Holocaust Project is also included in the exhibition, as are works by Paul Jenkins.

Opening Jan. 14 in the Davis Gallery will be an exhibit of photographs by Greenman taken between 1992 and 2018.

Greenman, 74, will be on hand for an opening reception Jan. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m.

An emeritus professor at the University of Georgia, Greenman says of his work, “You would be forgiven if you thought these photographs were taken by different photographers.”

The photos represent 26 years of work in color photography, with a focus on images that depend more on color than composition. They range from the interpretation of work by London street artists to a series of urban and rural landscapes. 

The Pastel Society of America will present its annual show from Jan. 21 to Feb. 25 in the Giffuni Gallery. The exhibition comprises select award winners from the society’s most recent exhibition and represents some of the nation’s best pastel artists.

This painting by Linda Harris Reynolds will be among many in the upcoming Pastel Society of America exhibition at The Butler.

“If the world of art had such designations, Flora Giffuni would be deemed the patron saint of pastels,” said Louis A. Zona, executive director and curator of The Butler. “I say that not just because she founded the Pastel Society of America and performed other good works on behalf of the medium, but also because of her other mission, which is to give the art of pastel the kind of recognition and honor it deserves.”

The Giffuni Gallery, established at The Butler in 2004, is the only museum gallery in the nation devoted to pastels. It was founded by Flora Giffuni.

The Butler is at 524 Wick Ave. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Pictured at top: This piece by Lily Harmon (1912-1998), titled “My Mother, the Guitar,” is part of the “Less Than Usual” exhibition that opens Sunday at The Butler. It is 65 inches tall.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.