When her early stick-and-mud horses deteriorated, Butterfield developed a new, faux-wood method. Tiring of a secondary "veterinary art restorer" career, and using the services of the Walla Walla Foundry in Washington State, she developed a unique method of casting bronze. In the labor-intensive solution she documents and disassembles her wood horses, makes a mold for every stick, burns out the wood and pours in molten bronze. After casting, the artist reassembles the metal parts according to the original photograph and allows patinas to restore the natural hues to give the sculptures their faux wood appearance.
"My work is not so overtly about movement. My horses' gestures are really quite quiet, because real horses move so much better than I could pretend to make things move. For the pieces I make, the gesture is really more within the body, it's like an internalized gesture, which is more about the content, the state of mind or of being at a given instant. And so it's more like a painting...the gesture and the movement is all pretty much contained within the body." - Deborah Butterfield (American, 1949 - ).
Baker reviews Butterfield at Gallery Paule Anglim
Curated by Casey and Associates. Artwork courtesy of Gallery Paule Anglim. Photographs by Nancy