Kyle Butler draws influence from the structures and systems of architecture and urban planning. He explores the contrast between destruction and renewal through a combination of mediums. The abandoned houses, rubbish piles, topographical maps, and dilapidated buildings that populate his work serve as visual metaphors for the precarious relationship between control and uncertainty. The artist’s interest in the blighted urban environment is partly biographical; Butler lived for a time in Detroit, Michigan, and is now based in Buffalo. The postindustrial landscapes of both cities suggest ideas of both despair and rebirth. Butler often sources his material from Google Maps, extracting screenshots from regions where neglect has overcome the cityscape. In Keep it Together, the artist meticulously spraypainted and drew his imagery on birch and poplar, which takes the place of canvas or paper. This approach constructs a seemingly three-dimensional effect.
Label from Drawing: The Beginning of Everything, July 8–October 15, 2017