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Reynier Llanes: What is Essential is Invisible to the Eye

What is Essential is Invisible to the Eye is a new exhibition of paintings by Reynier Llanes, one of the most complex and lucid artists of his generation. Painted in the Cuban tradition of narrative symbolism, this collection of recent artworks transmutes the raw emotion of life experience into visual imagery that beckons the viewer to look deeper into the impact of relationships with  vulnerability. Inspired by the children’s book, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the exhibition embodies the idea of childlike adventures while it also touches on serious social issues.


“Reynier Llanes is a unique talent whose creative energy rivals, in a beautiful way, the work of Cuban artistic legend Wilfredo Lam. Llanes’ brushwork envelops the subjects of his work. Every square inch of the canvas is enlivened with painterly happenings. He is an artist whose work brings back to life expressionism and all its emotional power.


Beyond expressionism, we find in Llanes’ work more than a touch of surrealism, adding a layer of conceptualism. However, in the end the work is clearly about visual joy and intellectual excitement


The Butler is honored to present his work to northeast Ohio, and we are so very pleased to introduce his wonderful skills to a new and appreciative audience.


The Butler Institute of American Art would like to thank Bill Meek from Harmon – Meek Gallery for introducing us to Reynier Llanes.”


– Louis Zona, Executive Director, The Butler Institute of American Art


A public Meet-the-Artist Reception is scheduled for September 18 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.


In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, on the morning of September 20th, the museum will host a private workshop for children from predominantly Hispanic-speaking schools. At 2:00pm on September 20th, Llanes will present a talk to the general public.


Posters of the most popular piece in the show, “Stay” (shown in slideshow above) will be available for purchase for $60 at the Meet-the-Artist Reception on September 18th, where Reynier will sign them for free on the spot. All proceeds for these sales will benefit The Butler’s free programs and free admission.


Exhibition, Featured


September 4 - October 9, 2022

Public Artist Reception

September 18, 2022, 1:00pm-3:00pm


Finnegan/Hynes Gallery 2nd floor

Artist Talk

September 20, 2022 2:00pm