Thursday, November 6, 2008
"To say Deborah Butterfield sculpts horses is too simplistic. Using wood, metal and bronze, she constructs, engineers, molds, hammers, pounds, rips and solders her pieces in what can be an epic struggle between artist and unrelenting materials." (artworks mag, 5/13/08)
I love Butterfield's horses. Until recently I was unaware that it is her sole subject. While at first thought this might seem repetitive, once you encounter more than one of her horses, the thought leaves your mind. Her horses are beautifully constructed sculptures. Starting with an armature to which individual pieces of would are attached by wire to create the sculpture, each piece of wood, meticulously marked for its location and is then recreated in bronze. The piece is the reassembled and welded together.
We have one of her horses her at TMA (outdoors in our sculpture garden) and I recently saw one at the Speed Museum of Art in Louisville (the first I've seen that wasn't displayed on the floor, it was hung on a wall in the gallery). While I'm happy to encounter her sculptures anywhere, seeing them outside is the most fitting, they become more imbued with their natural surroundings. Her titles are the names of actual horses. She and her husband live on a 350 acre working horse farm, check out the Art Works Magazine article for more.