Gregory Botts Biography
Gregory Botts developed as a figurative and landscape painter under the tutelage of New York school rebels Paul Georges and Fairfield Porter - two artists seeking a relevant, modern vocabulary for representational painting that also honored certain ideas from Abstract Expressionism. Over his career, Botts has injected poetry, philosophy and critical theory into his continuing search for a painting style that marries the abstract to the concrete.
Born in landscape, apprenticed in abstraction and now a seasoned synthesis of the two, Gregory Botts is devoted to the power of color and brush. In spite of his innovation, or perhaps because of it, he is recognized today as a member of the National Academy. Currently living in both New York and New Mexico, the artist chooses to begin his creative process by painting en plein air. However, Botts does not limit himself to the tangible environment. Instead, he focuses on the ever-changing scenery that he interprets as allegory. Unlike his predecessors and contemporaries, Botts brings a modern edge to this deep-rooted subject by reforming his “sketches” in his studio. It is in the city that he alters the initial compositions and paints big, sometimes 10-foot canvases, which become poetically grounded abstractions of his experience. In the final development of his work, Botts brings juxtapositions of abstract surface to naturalist spaces to bear. This is most apparent in his studio ‘scapes’, which are assembled views of the painting’s elements within his studios.
Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1952, Gregory Botts attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City, as well as assisted the artist Paul Georges. He received a scholarship to attend the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Botts has served as painting instructor at Anderson Ranch Arts Center for the past 5 seasons, at the University of Santa Barbara, California since the 1980s to now 2006, and teaches figure drawing at the National Academy of Design and NY Studio School. Botts is a full time artist. He has exhibited extensively in both solo and group shows across the United States.
· 1970-1972 School of Visual Arts, NYC
· 1973 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine
· 2015 Cathedral of St John the Divine, Stations Project, Feb-May
Painting Along the Road, Austin Peay State U of Tenn, Clarksville
· 2014 David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, July, August
· 2013 Alan Avery Art Company, Atlanta, GA
· 2011Cathedral of St John the Divine, Stations, March, April
Heidi Cho Gallery, Marilyn Rosenberg, 21 April-21 May, NYC,
· 2010 Gerald Peters Gallery, Landscape, February, Santa Fe, NM
· 2009 Turtle Point Press Gallery, NYC
· 2008 Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe New Mexico, June 2008
· 2006-7 Gregory Botts: Jigsaw Poetry, Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
· 2004 Salander-O’Reilly Gallery, Two person Show, NY
· 2001 Art Resources Transfer, New York City
· 2001 Western Landscapes, Roswell Museum, NM
· 1997 Paintings from Joshua Tree National Park and the Landscape Institute, College of Creative Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara
· 1996 Art Resources Transfer, New York, NY
· 1993 Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, NY
· 1993 Ro Snell Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
· 1993 Renée Fotouhi Gallery, East Hampton, NY
· 1993 University of the Arts (Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery) Philadelphia, PA
· 1993 Villa of the Sun Paintings, (Catalog essay by Carter Ratcliff)
· 1991 Anne Plumb Gallery, New York, NY
· 1990 Anne Plumb Gallery (Catalog essay by Harold Bloom), New York, NY
· 1989 Anne Plumb Gallery (Catalog essay by David Shapiro), New York, NY
· 1988 Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, HI
· 1988 Freedman Gallery, Albright College, Reading, PA
· 1988 Anne Plumb Gallery, New York, NY
· 1987 Earl McGrath Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
· 1987 Anne Plumb Gallery, New York, NY
· 1986 Anne Plumb Gallery, New York, NY
· 1985 Anne Plumb Gallery, New York, NY
· 1984 Manhattan Art, New York, NY
· 1984 Salvatore Ala Gallery, New York, NY
· 2015 Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Bushwick, New York, The Two States of W.W.
· 2014 Schema Gallery, Purple Mountains, Amber Waves, September, Brooklyn, NY
James Graham and Sons, Detail Oriented, January, NYC
· 2013 Come Together, Surviving Sandy, October- December, Brooklyn, NY
Brian Morris Gallery, Endless Summer, August, NYC
· 2011 Gerald Peters Gallery Landuse Misuse, Santa Fe, Summer Show
· 2009 Steven Harvey Fine Art, Group Show, Summer, NYC
National Academy, Member’s Annual, May
Bomb Magazine Benefit, May
Dahl Arts Center, Rapid City, South Dakota, Ray Graham Collection
· 2007 The Flag Project, Rubin Museum, NYC
Out West, The Great American Landscape, National Art Museum of China
· 2005 Group Show, Amenoff, Resika, McNeil and Botts, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
· 2004 National Academy of Design, Wolf Kahn selections from the Collection, NAD, NYC
· 2001-02 Anderson Ranch Faculty Show, Snowmass, Colorado
· 1999 Small Work Benefit, James Kelley Contemporary, Santa Fe, New Mexico
· 1998 Interpreting, Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
· 1998 Conversation exhibition with Mary Carlson, Art Resources Transfer, New York, NY
· 1997 Auction to Benefit Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA
· 1995 Painting in Poetry/Poetry in Painting: Wallace Stevens and Modern Art, Baruch College, NY
· 1994 The Figure, 1994 (Organized by Sandra Gering Gallery), Deutche Bank Lobby Gallery, NY
· 1994 25th Anniversary Art Auction, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH
· 1994 White Columns Benefit, White Columns, NY
· 1992 Painting, St. Peter's Church at Citicorp Building, New York, NY
· 1991 Lost and Found: The Painterly Image II, New York Studio School Art Gallery, New York, NY
· 1990 Terra Incognita: Contemporary Landscape Painting, Museum of Art, RISD, Providence, RI
· 1990 Group Show; Richard Green Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
· 1990 Amnesty International Benefit Exhibition, Germans-Van Eck Gallery, New York, NY
· 1989 Group Show, Earl McGrath Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
· 1988 1900 to Now: Modern Art, Rhode Island Collections, Museum of Art. RISD, Providence, RI
· 1987 Gregory Botts and Roy Fowler, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, CA (Catalog essay by Stephen Westfall)
· 1986 Award Recipients, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
· 1986 Ten Years of Collecting: Selections from the Downe Collection
· 1986 Wellesley College Museum, Wellesley, MA
· 1986 Abstraction Landscape, Robin Lockett Gallery, Chicago, IL
· 1985 Factura, Schlesinger/Boisante Gallery, New York, NY
· 1985 Drawing 1975-1985, Barbara Toll Fine Arts, New York, NY
· 1985 Gregory Botts, Christopher Wool. To the Astonishing Horizon, Los Angeles Visual Arts Center, L.A.,CA
· 1982 Four From New York, Richard Hines Gallery, Seattle, WA
· 1982 Carl Apfelschnitt, Gregory Botts, Keith Haring, David Kapp
AWARDS & GRANTS
· 2004 Death Valley National Park Artist in Residence Program
· 2002 Roaring Forks Club Artist in Residence, Aspen, Colorado
· 1997 Joshua Tree National Monument Artist In Residence Program
· 1997 National Academy of Design, Elected Member
· 1993 Adolph Gottlieb Emergency Grant Recipient
· 1986 American Academy And Institute of Arts and Letters Award For Excellence in Painting
· 1972 Skowhegan School of Painting, Student Scholarship
· Federal Reserve Washington, DC
· Mint Museum of Art Charlotte, North Carolina
· Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christie, TX
· San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX
· Chase Manhattan Bank, NY
· Denver Art Museum
· Honolulu Academy of Art, HI
· IBM, New York
· Jones, Day, Reavis & Poove Washington D.C.
· La Jolla Museum of Art
· Museum of Contemporary Art, Honolulu, HI
· Progressive Corp, Cleveland, OH
· Prudential, NY
· Santa Barbara Museum of Art
· Shimuzo Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia
· McGee, Louis. Review of Clouds, Leaves, Waves. LIBRARY JOURNAL, October 1996.
· Newhall, Edith. Review, ARTNEWS, December 1993.
· Johnson, Ken. Review, ART IN AMERICA, November 1993.
· Henry, Gerrit. Review, ART IN AMERICA, February 1992.
· Cyphers, Peggy. Review, ARTSMAGAZINE, Summer, 1991.
· Bloom, Harold. ARTSMAGZINE, Summer 1990, "The American Sublime,"(included cover reproduction).
· Carrier, David. Review, ART INTERNATIONAL, September 1990.
· Schapiro, David. PEQUOD, Summer 1990, "Painting and Poetry's Truth."
· Morgan, Robert. Review, ARTSMAGAZINE, Summer 1989
· Gardner, Colin. Review, LOS ANGELES TIMES, Dec.11, 1987.
· Mueller, Cookie. Review, DETAILS, May 1987.
· Indiana, Gary. VILLAGE VOICE, Feb. 25, 1986 "An Opinionated Survey."
· Cameron, Dan. ARTSMAGAZINE, September 1985, "The Submerging Figure."
· Westfall, Steven. Review, ARTSMAGAZINE, Summer 1990
Gregory Botts Description
At first glance, Botts’ paintings are as straight forward as they seem, contemporary and reductive landscapes. However, on closer examination they are much more complex with many layers of imagery, painting and meaning, shifting more to abstraction and bordering on conceptual. How can that be? Botts is fascinated with the passage of time, both on a micro scale—the duration of time when creating his plein air paintings with the ever changing clouds, moving water and shifting sun that changes the light, shadows and color palette—and macro scale—shifts in art tendencies and genre, the poetics of art and popular culture and changes in the environment. Yet he captures all of this passage of time and more in his paintings as he creates narratives illustrating the impact of these changes. For Botts, “the reality of the present is informed by the romantic past and the projected idealistic future”. Painting with Fairfield Porter and Paul Georges on Long Island, NY, he honed his formal skills from the masters. However, Botts was very much influenced by his contemporary colleagues in New York and the ever-changing world of Post-Modern art. Botts conflates all of it into his unique approach to landscape painting in a very modern and contemporary world. His plein air paintings capture the essence of the landscape, while the studio paintings introduce his memory and interpretation. The pinnacle of this work is the constructions, the paintings of paintings that have been juxtaposed in the studio in various orientations with the many overlapping fragments combined together. The constructions are the narratives that bring together the passage of time on a micro and macro scale as well as the artist’s romantic and poetic notions and formal elements from art historical positions and cultural fashion, all of which impact our view and interpretation of the landscape.
Gregory Botts Resumé
2015 Op Infinitum: “The Responsive Eye” Fifty Years After, Part I, Part II, American Op Art in the 60’s, David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
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