Deborah Butterfield (American, b. 1949) Punch 1997

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Lot 26
Deborah Butterfield
(American, b. 1949)
Punch
1997

Sold for US$ 112,575 inc. premium
PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT BAY AREA COLLECTION
Deborah Butterfield (American, b. 1949)
Punch
1997

incised with foundry mark on the underside
bronze

35 by 40 by 10 1/2 in.
89 by 101.6 by 26.7 cm.

This work was executed in 1997.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Sale: Yellowstone Art Museum, Montana, Art Auction, 7 March 1997
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner


    Deborah Butterfield is known for her elegant, semi-abstract and instantly recognisable sculptures of horses and she has explored the equine form and its expressive nature throughout her career. Initially working in the 1970s with mud, sticks, clay, and papier-mâché, Butterfield later sought a more stable material to construct larger forms. Moving from organic matter to found metal, she later focused on bronze, casting sculptures from found wood. The present work was created in this way and is rendered in bronze, a medium which beguiles the apparent lightness of form and delicate design.

    Punch is constructed from many individual organic forms borrowed from nature, which Butterfield breathes life into. She is able to transform the work from an undefined shape to a living, breathing horse, challenging the viewer to see what was once discarded matter, as something significant and new. The sense of spirit and life instilled in the sculpture is only emphasised by the movement of the horse's bowed head and slightly parted legs. As a result of Butterfield's design, we are able to simultaneously view this sculpture as both a complex bronze construction as well as a recognizable living creature.

    The present work has been in private hands and not been seen publicly for over twenty years. Butterfield's work is included in numerous public collections throughout the country including the Art Institute of Chicago; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Sculpture Garden, Minneapolis and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Contacts
Deborah Butterfield (American, b. 1949) Punch 1997
Deborah Butterfield (American, b. 1949) Punch 1997
Deborah Butterfield (American, b. 1949) Punch 1997
Deborah Butterfield (American, b. 1949) Punch 1997
Deborah Butterfield (American, b. 1949) Punch 1997
Deborah Butterfield (American, b. 1949) Punch 1997
Deborah Butterfield (American, b. 1949) Punch 1997
Deborah Butterfield (American, b. 1949) Punch 1997
Deborah Butterfield (American, b. 1949) Punch 1997
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