(American, b. 1949)
Cast bronze with patina
Overall: 231.1 x 299.7 x 76.2 cm (91 x 118 x 30 in.)
Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift 2020.201
© Deborah Butterfield / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Interested in horses from a young age, Butterfield initially felt conflicted about whether to pursue art or veterinary medicine while studying at the University of California, Davis.
To create her life-size horses, American sculptor Deborah Butterfield casts found pieces of wood into bronze, a process that translates the wood’s porous texture into metal. The artist then builds the structure of her sculptures, using her extensive knowledge of the animals to achieve their lifelike postures. Butterfield accomplishes this effect through the placement of the necks and heads of her horses, which she does last. In Belt, the abstract animal is integrated with the surrounding landscape to evoke the artist’s expansive Montana ranch where she has lived, worked, and kept horses for over 30 years.
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