Friday, January 10, 2014

Corinna Button ~ A Studio Visit

Corinna Button, "Watching you watching me watching" Acrylic, ink & charcoal on canvas 109 x 72in

The “…Breaking Criminal Traditions” exhibition—currently on display at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law—has gained a great deal of attention. Audiences seem to be drawn to the visual content and touched by the issues that the paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures represent. Since the opening of the show, two other Chicagoland venues have expressed interest in acquiring the exhibition—the Beverly Art Center and The Art Center of Highland Park. As the Exhibition Curator, I decided early on, to select a unique mixture of fine art pieces for each new venue. That said… I continue to explore new work.

Yesterday morning, I met with fine artist, Corinna Button at her studio at the Zhou B Art Centre in Bridgeport. Button—an exceptionally prolific artist—explores the human condition. Her figurative imagery is presented through layers and layers of surface—paint, ink, graphite, and collage—symbolic of the layers of life experience that we collect over time. Occasionally, portions of the layers may be erased or even ripped from the surface …perhaps to remove a bit of the collected armor.

Exploring the studio walls, it was obvious that Button communicates with honesty and passion. Each object demands the viewer’s attention. Each tells its own story. As we discussed the work, I pointed out that interpretation is the result of the viewer’s history and experience—at times, void of the artist’s intention. With this, it was obvious that many of Button’s works were appropriate for inclusion in upcoming presentations of “…Breaking Criminal Traditions”.

The exceptionally large “portraits” found in Button’s studio, are just a sample of the imagery she is currently producing. One of these appears to be the interpretation of a child bride—adorned with the ornate fashion of a foreign land. The pensive stare conveys a loss of hope… the questioning of the future. Other pieces reference Human Trafficking, Circling and issues related to Honor Killing. To be clear… this was not the artist’s intent. These references are strictly an interpretation. Incidentally, I gravitate to many of Button’s pieces for their ornate beauty and haunting honesty.

Select pieces of Corinna Button’s work will be included in upcoming presentations of “The Art of Influence… Breaking Criminal Traditions. Watch for it at the Beverly Art Center [April 18-May18, 2014] and The Art Center – Highland Park [November 7 – January 3]. Information for receptions will be included in future posts. Additional information about the exhibition can be found at

After completing her Fine Art degree at Leeds, Corinna Button went on to study Printmaking in London, gaining much attention for her works. Now with her pieces in many high profile collections including the BBC and Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, Button has exhibited at the Zhou B Art Centre in Chicago and is a respected member of the Royal Society of Painters and Printmakers.