Inspired by horses: Deborah Butterfield

I’m not typically a fan of “western art.” Living in Colorado, however, means I cannot avoid it. Liz and I again visited the Denver Art Museum this past weekend, which perhaps not coincidentally has a large exhibit of western art. In spite of my  feelings on the genre, each time I visit the DAM, I find myself returning to the western collection, with something like excitement propelling me there.

What has enacted this change? A horse. More specifically, a found-steel, scrap sculpture of a horse by Deborah Butterfield.

Can I gush a little here? (of course, it’s my blog) I love this sculpture. I visit it every time I’m at the museum. I love the way it conveys the essence of a horse, without having to literally represent it. I love that it’s larger than life. I love that it is (roughly) my own medium, that it is using found/recycled materials and creating something beautiful with them.

Recently Deborah Butterfield has been a source of inspiration to me. She doesn’t have to create offensive and in-comprehensive work to be noticed. She has done what I think will be increasingly relevant in the years to come: she has studied and become an expert in one thing. (that one thing is horses- in case you’re not following) She has found a clear niche, and excelled in it.

Check out this video I’ve put together featuring Deborah Butterfield’s sculpture Orion at the DAM – or even better go take a look in person, maybe it will change your opinion about western art … or at least sculptures of horses. =)

Untitled from Jeremy Grant on Vimeo.

(Music by DM Stith/Roberto C. Lange)

And, here are a few additional horses by Butterfield, also awesome – just not local.

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4 thoughts on “Inspired by horses: Deborah Butterfield

  1. Art is not about copying photographically what you see. It is about how you feel. Think about the cave art all over the world. It is not just about representation but about magic and power, in order to give these people food: how those people felt about themselves and about the animals they needed power over. When I look at them, I see the humans are celebrating and happy and there are some of the animal
    paintings which show a great deep respect. The horses at Lascaux convey the DEEP RESPECT OF THE BEAUTY OF THE ANIMAL. Cynthia Allen McLaglen

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