The work of Deborah Butterfield, is on exhibit at the Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago from October 19th – November 28th, 2007
Butterfield transforms pieces of scrap metal and found wood into majestic life-size and small-scale horse sculptures that explore the essence and spirit of the horse.
Horses have been the single focus of Butterfield’s work for over twenty years — a remarkably prolonged, disciplined and ultimately poetic inquiry into our relationship with the organic other world, with other life forms, and with ourselves.
Her early works, first begun in 1973, are fragile forms created from mud, sticks, and straw as well as full-sized horses constructed of sticks and found metal, evoking horses either standing or resting on the ground. Since the mid-1980s she has been creating full-size and smaller works from sticks and branches, and casting the finished sculpture into bronze.
Butterfield says of her work, “I guess that my work with the real horse is so much about language and that my art has to do with imagining another form of life. It’s that empathy; I’m trying to get the viewer to project himself or herself into the form of the horse.”
Click on Art Letter for a recent review by Paul Klein.