Ernest Beutel Opens “Animality” in Gallery 242

“Can You Hear Him Weep?” by Ernest Beutel.

On Tuesday, September 2, Door County artist Ernest Beutel will open an exhibition titled “Animality” in Gallery 242, located on the lower level of the Fairfield Art Center in historic downtown Sturgeon Bay. The exhibition will launch with a free reception, 6 –8 pm, and refreshments will be served.

Beutel’s work can be best described as “abstract representationalism,” an interpretation of reality with elements of abstraction. Through his imagery, he reminds viewers that life is a balance between the grotesque and the playful, the real and the surreal.

According to Beutel, this topsy-turvy world of animals and cock-eyed distortion of reality can be recited as clear as a nursery rhyme: “I may be here now, but I am not altogether there.”

For his new exhibition, Beutel drew inspiration from the Fauvists, a group of artists who, as he puts its, “lacked a certain amount of discipline.” Les Fauves is French for “the wild beasts.”

“Rather than call this exhibit ‘Neo-Fauvism,’ I decided to use a more primitive-sounding title,” Beutel explains. “‘Animality’ is a show full of animals. By definition, an animal is a living organism with independent movement, but an animal by association is the id.”

The subject matter in “Animality” ranges from Alice Cooper to the animals Beutel and his wife have had as household pets.

“This freshness is what I desire,” Beutel explains of his work in the show. “I seek the beast untainted by political agendas and formulas for drawing. I hope to be on the crest of the wave, as opposed to remembering the high-water mark. Why not play the guitar with your teeth? Why not stick your head out the window? Why not ride the wave? Why not be an animal?”

“Animality” will appear in the Fairfield’s Gallery 242 through Saturday, October 4. To learn more about Ernest Beutel and his work, visit

The Fairfield Art center is open free to the public from 10 am – 5 pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 am – 8 pm Thursday; and 10 am – 4 pm Saturday. For more information call 920.746.0001, send email to info@fairfield or visit