PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston July_August 2021_rev

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OBSESSIONS. DECORATION. SALIENT FACTS. I n December 2014, we covered one of America's most discerning gallerists on the occasion of his 30th anniversary. "If ever a gallerist exemplifies the highest standards of a once noble profession, we would propose Hiram Butler," we wrote. "Modest in demeanor and understated in WHAT'S IN A NAME: JOSH PAZDA HIRAM BUTLER dress, yet unerring in aesthetics and possessing an incisive intellect, he is the standard-bearer of a concept of connoisseurship t h a t s e e m s a l m o s t antiquated in today's frenzied marketplace." We can't improve on this description. Butler's West End enclave is situated in a manicured tropical garden that adjoins a prim turn-of- the-century Shaker-type cottage. Known for his exhibitions for Jasper Johns, Agnes Martin, Timothy Greenfield- Sanders, Vernon Fisher, Robert Wilson, and James Turrell, Butler opened in 1984, at a halcyon time when the Houston art world was a far different place — small, accessible. Since 2006, Butler has mentored colleague Josh Pazda, a B.A. and M.A. grad in art history from the University of Houston, who is also a working artist specializing in collages. "My first show working at Hiram Butler was 'Timothy Greenfield- Sanders' 'XXX – Pornstar Portraits.' Great way to start a new job," says Pazda. Flash forward 15 years, and the time has come for a name change to reflect the transition to the shared and equitable v i s i o n o f B u t l e r and Pazda. It's now official: Josh Pazda Hiram Butler. The new moniker comes with an understated website, including a c o m p r e h e n s i v e l i s t a c c o m p a n i e d by images of an exhibition history that began 37 years ago and reads like a roll call of artists who now are acknowledged to be part of art history. Chief of these would be James Turrell, with Butler dedicated to fundraising for the completion of the artist's Roden Crater. From Texas, that list includes the modestly sized paintings of Forrest Bess, the bait fisherman from Bay City who today is acclaimed for his talismanic landscapes (first exhibited by Butler in 1987). Receiving increasing national attention, including inclusion in an important group show this fall at Gagosian Gallery, is Rick Lowe, co- founder of Project Row Houses, 2014 MacArthur Genius Award Fellow, and 2020 Texas Artist of the Year. Lowe headlines at Josh Pazda Hiram Butler November 6 – January 15, 2022, the crescendo of an ambitious season that begins with minimalist Kate Shepherd (through August 21), followed by Matt Magee (Rauschenberg's archivist), whose rigorously reductive work often alludes to the grid (August 28 – October 23). Catherine D. Anspon BOTH PHOTOS TONY SOLIS Above and left: Josh Pazda, Hiram Butler 16

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