Rick Buttari at F.A.N. Gallery

A preference for the past

'Shirt Corner': The haziness of memories recalled.
'Shirt Corner': The haziness of memories recalled.

The bulk of this show consists of cityscapes, with the remainder taken up by still lifes and drawings. The drawings are fascinating.

Cash for Life, depicting customers lining at a newsstand to purchase lottery tickets, looks like a black-and-white photograph. Gawkers is similarly detailed. Long Bob Meusel Throwing and Fire at the Polo Grounds exude all the haziness of sports memories recalled.

So we seem to be in the presence of an artist in two minds: On the one hand, Buttari is a keen observer of people and something of a social critic; on the other, a recorder of the cityscape he lives in.

The "nostalgia" drawings suggest that Buttari is attracted to the past at least as much to the present— perhaps more, considering the care he takes with the drawings. The oils, by contrast, seem less detailed.

Buttari's still life pieces are colorful, and he achieves some interesting arrangements of shapes. But for all of that, they were the portion of the exhibit that least engaged me. I hope that Buttari will continue his baseball history series.

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