Statement & Resume

New Works, 2005
Species & Sediment
Works on Paper

"Nest," poplar, 43" 150" 86", installation at Zg Gallery

Artist Statement: On Making

To answer the question ‘what do I want to make?’ is to have a vision, to externalize, and to create a doctrine. But to answer the question ‘given these parameters, how will I make something?’ is to manifest internalized experiences, to create poetry.

All things, under close enough observation, will reveal the complete stories of their making. My objects simply reveal themselves much more readily than most, and therefore hope to teach us something about looking.
The spirit of science, of discovery and illumination, is central to my art. Ultimately, everything made is first found.  Yet, for both art and science, successful work must allow others not to simply rediscover what you have discovered, but to make, through the work, their own discoveries. The work then remains alive.  Every thing has a source. When the order of things eludes us, we often mistake complexity for chaos, and therefore miss the wonderful sources of things.

Education:    M.F.A. Sculpture, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL
B.A. Visual Arts, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME
School of the Visual Arts, New York, NY  

Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Artist Residency, Bethany, Connecticut, 2009
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts Residency, Omaha, NE, 2008
Art Omi International Arts Residency,  Ghent, NY, 2005

MacDowell Colony, Artist in Residency, Peterborough
, NH, 2004   
Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT, 2004
Plane Space, Artist in Residence, New York, 2003
Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, Temecula, CA, 2001
Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT, 2000
Ucross Foundation, Clearmont, WY, 2000

2008 Zg Gallery, "Ben Butler, New Sculptures & Works on Paper," Chicago, IL see reviews

Ben Butler: Castles, Coleman Burke Gallery, Brunswick, ME
Whitney Art Works, Tiny, Portland, Maine

Zg Gallery, "Summer Show," Chicago, IL


Bridge Art Fair – Miami, Zg Gallery, Miami, FL
(Un)Natural History
, group show, Zg Gallery, Chicago, IL

Bowdoin Alumni Print Exhibition
, ICON Gallery, Brunswick, ME

“Perfect,”  Traveling Group Show, The Illinois State Museum, Lockport Gallery, Lockport, IL
“Perfect,”   Traveling Group Show, The Illinois State Museum, Southern IL Art Gallery, Wittington, IL
“Ben Butler: New Work,” Suyama Space, Seattle, WA

Gallery Artist, Inaugural Show,
John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY
Summer 2006,
Group Show, Zg Gallery,  Chicago, IL
Art Chicago in the Park, participating artist with Zg Gallery, Chicago, IL


Zg Gallery, “Working Process: A Glimpse into the Artist’s Studio Practice,” group show, Chicago, IL
FermiLab Scientific Research Facility Art Gallery, “Perfect,” Traveling Group Show, Batavia, IL
Plane Space, “Ben Butler: New Sculptures,” New York, NY
Art Museum of the Univ. of Memphis, “Perfect,” Traveling Groups Show, Memphis, TN
Quogue Library, Ben Butler: Sculpture on the Grounds, Quogue, NY
Contemporary Arts Center, “Perfect,” Traveling Group Show, New Orleans, LA
Zg Gallery, “Summer Show 05’,” Chicago, IL
Northeastern Illinois University Art Gallery, “Ben Butler: New Sculptures”
Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, “Perfect,” Traveling Group Show, Grand Rapids, MI

Zg Gallery, "Ben Butler, New Sculptures & Works on Paper," Chicago, IL
see reviews

2004 Plane Space, "Drawings,"  New York, NY
Zg Gallery, "Summer Show '04" Chicago, IL
Chicago Cultural Center, Michigan Ave. Galleries, "Perfect"  a group show, Chicago, IL
2003 Zg Gallery, "As Small As Possible," A Group Show, Chicago, IL
Plane Space, "Ben Butler, New Work,"  New York, NY
Evanston Art Center Sculpture on the Grounds, “Waiting,” (with Rena Leinberger) Evanston, IL
Gallery 400, "Depiction,” University of Illinois, Chicago, IL
Zg Gallery, “Species & Sediment,” Installation & Sculpture by Ben Butler, Chicago, IL
see review
2002 Zg Gallery,  “12” x 12” A Group Show”, Chicago, IL
MN Gallery, The Stray Show, Chicago, IL
University of W. Alabama, Glacial Erratics,”
2 yr. Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Livingston, AL
Evanston Art Center, “16th Evanston & Vicinity Biennial,” Evanston, IL
Gallery 2, School of the Art Institute Chicago,Group Show,” (with Rena Leinberger) Chicago, IL
Apartment 1R, Variations,”
Chicago, IL
MN Gallery, Topologies,
Chicago, IL
The Storefront, “Fittings,” Chicago, IL
Gallery 2, School of the Art Institute Chicago,
Group Show, Chicago, IL
2000 Maine Center for Contemporary Art, Maine Coast Artists Biennial,” Brunswick ME
2004 Monadnock Ledger, “Sculpture times two: Ben Butler” Interview by Brendon Tapley, p.11,22, 2/26/04
Sculpture Magazine, “Waiting” Evanston Art Center, Jan./Feb. 2004, picture

Chicago Artists’ News, “Reclamation: Themes in the Work of Three Emerging Artists,” John Brunetti, pgs.6, 8, Oct. 2003
New City, “A House is Not a Home”, Review by Michael Workman, pg. 18, September 18, 2003
Chicago Tribune, “‘Depiction’ of Art for Art’s Sake,” Art Review by Lisa Stein, August 1, 2003, picture
Chicago Reader, “Critic’s Choice: Ben Butler,” Art Review by Fred Camper, April 11, 2003, picture

Gallery Information
Books & Catalogs
Tea Drawings
Invention Drawings
Species & Sediment
Divided Chair


300 W. Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60654

Please contact
Zg Gallery
for further information.

T. 312.654.9900


  Copyright © 2008 Zg Gallery Inc. All rights reserved