The Butler Institute of American Art

Main Facility in Youngstown, OH



David Rothermel: The Light Within

July 11 through August 29, 1999


The southwestern American landscape is the subject of this Butler Salem branch painting exhibition featuring the art of David Rothermel. The exhibition is curated by Robert L. Kurtz, Curator, Special Exhibitions. Accompanying the show is a catalogue including 22 color plates, a forward by David Rothermel and essays by Stuart A. Ashman, Director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, NM and Hugh Gorley, III, Director of the Colby Museum of Art in Waterville, ME. The catalogue is for sale in the Butler's Museum Gift Shop.  On July 11, 1999 a public reception to honor the artist was held at the Butler Salem branch, located at 343 East State Street in Salem, Ohio. The Butler Salem branch is made possible by The Salem Community Foundation.

In the Introduction section of the catalogue, Louis A. Zona, Director of The Butler Institute of American Art says: "This exhibition honors one of the most respected landscape painters working today, David Rothermel. From his initial days in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Skowhegan School to the present, Rothermel has been deservedly praised for his contribution to painting and drawing, both in the United States and in Europe."

Rothermel explains the title of the exhibition: "My reason for entitling this exhibit 'The Light Within,' was the belief in its multiple meanings at many different levels. Not only the pure pictorial sense, but in the process, technique and total effect. Being spiritual in nature, the viewer and the artist can join in an inner stillness that is felt inside by both." The artist adds "I believe that it is within or underneath that creates true beauty. An anatomical view of the spirit or anatomical view of the paint. There is no difference. What I am striving to achieve in my art is that timeless moment of reflection, that meditative oneness, a point in time and space when everything is silent. It must use hesitation as part of the process so we can identify with ourselves and our emotions. Identifying with ourselves on this level gives us a sense of being connected to the greater universal fact that we are here."

Images from top to bottom: Autumn Axis, 1992, oil on canvas, 48 x 24 inches, Collection of Angel Saenz; Desert Dreams, 1998, oil on canvas, 60 x 72 inches, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Catalano; Skylighting, 1998, watercolor, 12 x 10 inches, Collection of Angel Saenz; Level Light, 1996, watercolor, 8 x 10 inches, Collection of the Artist. Art photography by Russell Bamert, Jamie Hart and Fred Chilton.

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