Deborah Butterfield, Horse, 1976

Artist: Deborah Butterfield (1949 - )
Title:Horse, 1976
Medium:Mud & Straw Butterfield horse sculpture on Armature with Horseshoes
Image Size:86 1/2 in x 77 1/2 in x 24 in (219.7 cm x 196.8 cm x 60.9 cm)
Condition:In excellent condition, all elements sound.
ID #w-1928
Price on Request


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Historical Description

Executed in 1976, Deborah Butterfield Horse, 1976 sculpture was created using mud and straw over a supportive armature and horseshoes.  Prone to using found objects and materials, Butterfield (Iowa, 1949-) took inspiration from her immediate environment and used what was available to her at her home and property in Wisconsin.  That same year, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago became the first to hold a solo exhibition on Butterfield’s works, including Horse.  This work was included in her first show solo show.  A note about this work that I find personally whimsical is the subtle inclusion of horse shoes on the hooves of this piece.

During her early period of sculpture, Butterfield (Iowa, 1949-) focused on using raw, organic materials (e.g. mud, straw, clay) which, when formed and set to create her life-size horses, creates a fascinating, textured surface highlighting both the medium and the musculature of the horse itself.  The monumentality of the work is stunning and still manages to retain a sense of whimsicality and humor while addressing pertinent themes in the context of contemporary art.

According to John Yau, Butterfield’s horses “can be understood as both mythic creatures and as animals whose existence is closely tied to nature, the earth.”

Her use of mud and straw is especially pertinent as it draws a formal relationship between our conventional ideas on sculpture and Butterfield’s unique interpretation of horses as a her primary subject.  Its inherent strength is directly linked to its grandeur and scale, making this sculpture simultaneously poignant and dazzling; definitely an exceptional masterpiece for part of any collection.


Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago

Property of Jane & Lucy Lerner


1976 - Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago

Catalogue Raisonné & COA:

This Deborah Butterfield Horse, 1976 sculpture is fully documented and referenced in the below catalogue raisonnés and texts (copies will be enclosed as added documentation with the invoices that will accompany the final sale of the work) :

1.)     A Masterworks Fine Art, Inc. Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.

Subject Matter: Animals