"The first time I glanced at [Bisa] Butler’s work I missed something crucial: her subjects float. When she translates early 20th-century photographs of mostly unknown individuals, she removes everything but the figure. Seated and standing individuals are left without chairs or ground. They float in an expanse of electrified fabric, proudly asserting themselves, free from the weight of cultural assumptions. They lean on nothing."
Hyperallergic explores the work of Bisa Butler—now on view at the Art Institute.
Birds and airplanes soar, horses gallop, purples meet yellows, cerulean blues tango with magenta in geometric patterns, foliate designs crash into damask.