Chicago

Deborah Butterfield

Zolla/Lieberman Gallery

Several years ago, I wrote about DEBORAH BUTTERFIELD’s work and noted the connection between her horses and the artist herself, the way she used her own body measurements to determine their physical proportions, and the lack of any genitals which left them open to interpretation with any identity. Ms. Butterfield expressed dismay at that review, saying it missed the point of her work. But reviews are not necessarily the vision of the artist; for otherwise, might not artists simply write their own reviews? Shouldn’t work be capable of affecting someone rather than simply stimulating a safe reiteration of what the artists themselves say about their own work. Isn’t that an intrinsically valuable sign that the art succeeds?

In her current show, the sculpture now appears less physically representational than before—a definite plus inasmuch as Butterfield’s horses have generally seemed only

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