Artwork Details

Deborah Butterfield

b. 1949

Black Jack
Polychromed, patinated bronze sealed with hot wax
40 x 54 x 12 inches
Not on view
Accession Number
Long-term Loan
Long-term Loan from the Stuart & Barbara Padnos Foundation Collection
Image Copyright
© Deborah Butterfield

About the Artwork

Since the 1970s, Deborah Butterfield has steadfastly focused on representing horses in sculptural form. Her first horse works were created with mud, clay, and sticks, eventually incorporating scrap metal and found steel. In the 1990s, she began creating sculptures with found driftwood which she carefully and intuitively selects to draw” in three dimensions. These models, or ghosts” as the artist refers to them, are then cast in bronze, burning away the wood and creating one, unique sculpture. Butterfield sees her sculptures as self-portraits, saying, I first used the horse images as a metaphorical substitute for myself — it was a way of doing a self-portrait one step removed from the specificity of Deborah Butterfield.” She partially, and humorously, credits her birthday as an inspiration for her subject matter, as it fell on the same day as the 75th Kentucky Derby.