Daniel Butcher

The often abstract, sculptural black-and-white images in Daniel Butcher’s works have in common the artist's fascination with hidden layers and discovering the “range of human expression and presence” within the materiality. Raised in Montreal, Canada the interdisciplinary artist began as a painter, and later started working sculpturally employing plaster, pigments, charcoal and pastel into his practice. The artistic career of Canadian artist parts itself in two directions. After more than thirty years of painting large abstract panels, Butcher reinvents himself and takes a more figurative passage. His technical approach characterizes the use of the fresco- technique of painting in which he covers his collages, paintings, charcoals on paper as well as pictures and texts with plaster. He uses the same technique twice in order to further explore the ''range of human expression and presence''. The forms turn in direct dialogue with each other forming his expressive, anonymous portraits. No pattern or shape gets neglected but rather its presence intensified until the composition gets fully grounded. The fascination of hidden layers draws back to his use and particular materiality of the artist. Plaster being his favourite medium, as it allows him to examine it. He does so by repeatedly scratching the surface and the many layers of colour. The uncovering, erasing and decomposing of the underlying layers enables his to a very sculptural feeling while painting. Today's works, mostly consisting of faces and figures, stress on what is left behind or underneath those, that actually carry multiple discarded and transformed, unfinished faces beneath the actual work of art. It is to keep in mind that, although figurative, his works are not following an actual storyline. The final stressing always resolves around the creative ambulatory of the artist and the surface of the picture. ''My paintings are my statement. I am more interested in the "doing" than in the "saying" : meaning comes out of the process rather than preceding it.''