This Is My Suit

DEBORAH BUTTERFIELD HORSES

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Born and raised in San Diego, Deborah Butterfield first began creating sculpture in the form of a horse in the 1970’s using mud, clay and sticks. In 1977, she moved to a ranch in Montana and in 1979 began using scrap metal and found steel. For the past decade, she has been making bronze work, cast from “stray, downed pieces of wood.”
Butterfield carefully, intuitively, selects the branches and sticks which are used to “draw” her horses.

“The lines of the branches do not simply outline the forms of horses, they create the contours through an accumulation of simple or energetic lines that seem to build up from within. This is three-dimensional gesture drawing, and the result is both skeletal and muscular.” These models or “ghosts” (as the artist refers to them) are then cast, burning the wood away with molten bronze, creating one, unique sculpture to which she then methodically, expertly applies her patina.


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