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Freeman Butts [1928-1998] was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He studied on the GI Bill at the Hollywood Art Center School from 1945-1947and had a stint at the Disney Studio before painting in Los Angeles alongside the abstract expressionists of the 1950's. In 1975 he moved his family to Bozeman and then Livingston, Montana where he spent the remainder of his 50-year career as an artist painting the female nude and landscapes. His work came to define a signature language in his direct approach to merge a figurative style with abstraction. His work is unapologetic about the use of the female model and demonstrates his authority on the use of fluidity of line in both figurative work and landscapes. Landscapes were also an ongoing work for Freeman Butts. Supple paint handling was a signature technique easily distinguished through vigorous brushwork and gesturalism found in action painting. Looseness, fluidity of line, and speed of execution found in both figurative work and landscapes characterize all of his work.
His friends in the Montana art community including Bob and Gennie DeWeese, Ray Campeau, Rudy and Lela Autio, Russell Chatham, Theodore Waddell, Gaylen Hansen, and Heidi Oberheide represent a time in the remote regions of the art world that continue to inspire many artists and collectors. Freeman's work within the community of Montana artists continues to have a great, significant impact for the family, friends, and collectors that remember and own his work.
Freeman was a very prolific painter and left hundreds of artworks to his estate. This website is designed to place you in the presence of Freeman's work. Please inquire for prices and availability.
The work of Freeman W. Butts is in permanent collections of the following Montana Museums; The Missoula Art Museum, The Custer County Art Museum in Miles City, The Hochaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, The Holter Museum of Art in Helena, The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in Great Falls, and The Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings.