Deborah Butterfield

Saturday, April 22 • 7-8 pm

Internationally renowned artist Deborah Butterfield will provide an artist talk on April 22, giving the second occurrence of the annual Stephen Fleischman Lectureship series. Butterfield’s talk is held in conjunction with the reinstallation of her locally-beloved sculptures, Dapple Gray 1980 and Untitled 1983, in the MMoCA lobby. The Stephen Fleischman Lectureship is held annually in April and features individuals who have made exceptional contributions to art and culture. Created in 2015 to mark Fleischman’s 25th anniversary as director of MMoCA, the lectures are free to all. 

Admission to the talk is free. To guarantee seating, reservations are required.  For guaranteed access to the lecture hall, guests with reservations should be seated by 6:50 pm. Seating will be opened to the general public after this time. Reception in the MMoCA Lobby to follow. Cash bar.

Reserve your seat - Lecture hall reservations are currently full. Click one of the following links to add your name to the wait list.
MMoCA Members, available March 10. Membership status must be current at time of reservation.
General Public, available April 7.


About Deborah Butterfield

Deborah Butterfield is an important American sculptor who began to show her work in the 1970s. For three decades, the single subject of Butterfield's art has been the horse. Over the years, she has created a deeply moving series of variations, in style and materials, on this motif. Initially realistic in style, created with plaster over a steel armature, her horses by the mid-1970s were crafted with natural materials, especially mud, clay, and sticks over metal armatures. In later work, Butterfield adopted junk metal and industrial materials such as barbed wire, pipes, and fencing. Most recently, since the late 1990s, she has cast her horses in bronze from models of wood and organic materials.

All of Butterfield's horses are mares, which she conceived from the first as symbolic self-portraits. "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."

The Madison Art Center (now Madison Museum of Contemporary Art) took pride of place in having organized Butterfield's first solo exhibition in 1976.