New Sculpture
July 3 - August 23
Opening: First Thursday, July 3, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Welded found steel
51 x 61 x 17 inches

We are pleased to announce a special, two month exhibition of new sculpture by Deborah Butterfield. Her 8th one-person exhibition with the gallery since 1991 will be our most diverse exhibition of her work to date. There will be three large standing bronze horses in our Main Gallery. The other exhibition spaces will showcase three small standing bronze horses, one small reclining bronze piece, two small horses made from found metal and one small horse made from found copper. The exhibition will be a unique opportunity to view the range of Butterfield's abilities with a singular subject that has occupied her for over 30 years.

Since 1980, Butterfield has been constructing life-size horses from sticks and plant material from which she creates a casting in bronze at the Walla Walla Foundry in Washington State. Butterfield sculpts the original work, piece by piece, by fastening logs, branches, sticks, planks, and boards onto an armature that gives the basic posture of the particular horse. Molds are made for each chunk of wood—piece by piece, the burnable elements are covered with heat resistant plaster and then baked in a furnace until the wood completely burns away. Molten bronze is then poured into the recesses left by the wood. When the plaster is chipped away, the wooden piece has been refashioned exactly in bronze—right down to the grain of the wood. Since the wood is destroyed and the plaster is discarded in the casting process, each sculpture is unique and cannot be duplicated. The work is reassembled in bronze and intricately patinated to match the original wood sculpture.

Butterfield's found metal horses have been the most enduring aspect of her work since she curtailed making the wood and mud works in the early 1980s. Butterfield maintains an enormous selection of scrap metal on her ranch and studio in Montana, and stacks it by color to resemble a sculptor's version of a paint box of colors. Carefully choosing from this myriad of parts and pieces, she suggests some of the most delicate and surprising traits of the horse, allowing formally crude raw materials to indicate complicated aspects of posture and demeanor.

Found copper, welded

44 x 57 x 14 inches

Deborah Butterfield was born in San Diego, California in 1949. She received her BA and MFA from UC Davis. Butterfield's work has been featured in over 50 individual exhibitions. In the last several years she has had one-person exhibitions at: The University Art Museum, University of Louisiana, Lafayette; The Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN; Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, FL; The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu;Tucson Museum of Art; Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA; Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV and The Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach.

Butterfield's work is included in the permanent collections of several major museums, including: The Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Baltimore Museum of Art; Brooklyn Museum; The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Diego Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Seattle Art Museum; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

See more: Deborah Butterfield's Sculpture

Upcoming Exhibitions